Jump to content
Objectivism Online Forum
Sign in to follow this  
want to know

What happen with Mr. Branden and Objectivism?

Rate this topic

Recommended Posts

If you want to observe Rand's relationship with non-Objectivists check out The Letter Of Ayn Rand edited by Micheal Berliner. You should be able to get it at your local University library. Specifically check out her correspondence with philosopher John Hospers. You will see her patience, her generosity. But even more you will see her as an intellectual trader gaining value from another philosopher. She once said that the only person she was indebted to in the history of philosophy was Aristotle. To see her communicate on such a deep level with a modern philosopher is remarkable. It says a lot for John Hospers. She introduces and compliments Dr. Hospers for his psycho-epistemology.

Ayn Rand wanted another mind at her level. Hospers managed to interest her for quite a while.

You will also learn some new things, I'm sure.

Americo.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ayn Rand broke with him definitively, both personally and professionally. She said at the time that what he had written in books and in her periodicals (The Objectivist and The Objectivist Newsletter) up to that point in time should still be considered Objectivism, but nothing else.

He seemed to stop writing about philosophical issues and Objectivism in particular, though he issued a number of criticisms of Ayn Rand and Objectivism which misconstrued what she stood for and contradicted what he had previously said. He continued to write about psychology, but in a radically different way than he had previously in articles in The Objectivist (which were republished in a book, the Psychology of Self Esteem).

Apparently he has in more recent years started partially advocating Objectivist ideas and trying to re-associate himself with the movement publicly, but also continues with the attacks. He clearly had some kind of major character breakdown contradicting what he claimed to stand for and has consequently blown his credibility. I was appalled by what he revealed about himself in his book, Judgment Day (better called "Monster Day").

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As far as I know Psychology of Self Esteem was written before the break. (It was published in September 1969)

It's not considered part Objectivism for several reasons. First, it's psychology not philosophy. Second, it was not (as far as I know) fully reviewed and approved by Ayn Rand. As far as I know the book is consistent with Objectivism, though, and I think it is worth reading.

Sorry, that's a lot of "As far as I know"s

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
As far as I know Psychology of Self Esteem was written before the break. (It was published in September 1969)

It's not considered part Objectivism for several reasons. First, it's psychology not philosophy. Second, it was not (as far as I know) fully reviewed and approved by Ayn Rand. As far as I know the book is consistent with Objectivism, though, and I think it is worth reading.

Sorry, that's a lot of "As far as I know"s

Regardless of the status of this man I still wouldn't mind getting my hands on that book.

I appreciate everyones info on the subject.

~Michael

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
As far as I know Psychology of Self Esteem was written before the break. (It was published in September 1969)

It's not considered part Objectivism for several reasons. First, it's psychology not philosophy. Second, it was not (as far as I know) fully reviewed and approved by Ayn Rand. As far as I know the book is consistent with Objectivism, though, and I think it is worth reading.

Sorry, that's a lot of "As far as I know"s

Thanks for the info. Maybe next time I'm near a library, ill check it out.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
And what would be in conflict with Objectivist ideas?  I was recomended one of his books by a fellow Objectivist.

Also, it's really not an issue plaguing this student, it's just something I found to be quite contradictory and I wanted to know why. 

Perhaps reading Piekoff's essay might help you to understand what is going on. It mentions David Kelley too, who thinks along similar lines to Branden.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That's a good essay but I don't think it helps explain much about Branden.

Regardless of the status of this man I still wouldn't mind getting my hands on that book. 

Right; just because Branden is loopy now doesn't mean the book he wrote back then is not worth reading. Same deal with David Kelley; I don't see any reason to avoid reading The Evidence of the Senses.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Was Branden's book Psychology of Self Esteem was written before the break?  Is the material in this book considered Objectivism?
"Psychology of Self Esteem" was published after the break, but consists of articles published previously in The Objectivist. Ayn Rand endorsed the articles, but said it was only a limited beginning to a good science of psychology. I don't know if he made any changes for the book, but if you have The Objectivist -- which you should anyway -- you already have the "Psychology of Self Esteem" and can read it there.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Branden and Kelley appear to be people that believed that Ayn Rand was not *gasp* the final authority on all things philosophy.

Consequently, the Randists have branded them as traitors.

I know many folks that attended TOC's most recent summer seminar. Kelley and Branden are certainly rational people, and both offer a wealth of knowledge to people striving to be rational. Kelley's book, the Art of Reasoning stands as one of the best intros to logic I've ever come across. As far as I can tell, these guys view the essential attribute of Objectivism as reason. If one can use reason to derive a valid conclusion differing from Objectivism, he is not necessarily an evil bastard and sworn enemy of Ayn Rand.

Bear in mind I'm not too happy about either side. TOC is certainly not mature about this matter either.

Am I the only one that thinks the "split" has been an enormous hinderence to selling Objectivism to the masses? Add to that the typical harsh language employed by Objectivists, harsh moral judgements, and a general lack of benevolence towards not-so-rational people, and you have the perfect recipe to prevent anyone from siding with you.

Heck, let's not forget the treatment of libertarians. As far as I can tell, you have two choices as an Objectivist when dealing with a liberatarian:

1) You may dismiss them as whim-worshipping subjectivists and ignore them, thus giving them the impression that all Objecitivists are arrogant assholes who should be ignored in return.

2) You may acknowledge that they have very rational political views, and heck, might even offer them a philosophical justification for such views.

Needless to say, the vast majority of Objectivists opt for choice #1. I find this baffling considering the fact that libertarians account for the vast majority of the defenders of capitalism, especially in the US.

Anyways, I suppose the preceding post would be reason enough for me to be put on Peikoff's traitor list framed in his bathroom.

Objectivism will continue to be a minor movement as long as this schism exists.

[/rant] :yarr:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If you can't understand what the actual issues are and deal with them other than by snide sarcasm and caricature -- which you may or may not actually believe -- you won't be taken seriously either. It has nothing to do with "bathroom traitor lists".

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Am I the only one that thinks the "split" has been an enormous hinderence to selling Objectivism to the masses?  Add to that the typical harsh language employed by Objectivists, harsh moral judgements, and a general lack of benevolence towards not-so-rational people, and you have the perfect recipe to prevent anyone from siding with you.

(snip)

Objectivism will continue to be a minor movement as long as this schism exists. 

[/rant] :angry:

Objectivism is a philosophy by which to live one's life, it's not a "movement". I don't think the ultimate goal of any Objectivist is to see how many people they can get to "side" with them. The benefits and rationality of adhering to reality speaks for itself despite the fact that people can choose to ignore it. Either way, it's not a popularity contest nor is something that should have to be sold with pleasantries.

VES

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Objectivism is a philosophy by which to live one's life, it's not a "movement".  I don't think the ultimate goal of any Objectivist is to see how many people they can get to "side" with them.  The benefits and rationality of adhering to reality speaks for itself despite the fact that people can choose to ignore it.  Either way, it's not a popularity contest nor is something that should have to be sold with pleasantries.

VES

Although I do agree, the explicit purpose of both ARI and TOC is to promote O(o)bjectivism. This is what I take issue with, given that both organizations are doing a terrible job.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Although I do agree, the explicit purpose of both ARI and TOC is to promote O(o)bjectivism.  This is what I take issue with, given that both organizations are doing a terrible job.

ARI is responsible for introducing me to Objectivism, giving me a formal education in philosophy, sponsoring my club intellectually and materially, bringing national speakers to my campus, introducing me to fellow Objectivists all over the country, and indirectly - the existence of this forum.

The TOC is responsible for motivating trolls like you who thrive on controversy and invade other's property to tell them how “minor” their ideas are. Over 900 members on this 1 1/2 year-old website might argue otherwise.

Objectivism is for individuals who are primarily interested in applying ideas for their selfish interest. If your interest is in being part of a popular “movement” and dwelling on controversy, this isn’t the place for you.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Heck, let's not forget the treatment of libertarians.  As far as I can tell, you have two choices as an Objectivist when dealing with a liberatarian:

1) You may dismiss them as whim-worshipping subjectivists and ignore them, thus giving them the impression that all Objecitivists are arrogant assholes who should be ignored in return.

2) You may acknowledge that they have very rational political views, and heck, might even offer them a philosophical justification for such views.

Needless to say, the vast majority of Objectivists opt for choice #1.  I find this baffling considering the fact that libertarians account for the vast majority of the defenders of capitalism, especially in the US.

[/rant] <_<

How can anyone have "very rational political views" that are not based on a rational philisophy? Your argument is like saying that Objectivists should cooperate with Marxists because both have a rational view of religion.

The big problem with libertarians is that they defend the right answer (capitalism) for irrational reasons or no coherent reasons at all. That makes it look as if capitalism cannot be defended rationally and makes Objectivism's goals that much harder.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

ARI is responsible for introducing me to Objectivism, giving me a formal education in philosophy, sponsoring my club intellectually and materially, bringing national speakers to my campus, introducing me to fellow Objectivists all over the country, and indirectly - the existence of this forum.

The TOC is responsible for motivating trolls like you who thrive on controversy and invade other's property to tell them how “minor” their ideas are. Over 900 members on this 1 1/2 year-old website might argue otherwise.

Objectivism is for individuals who are primarily interested in applying ideas for their selfish interest. If your interest is in being part of a popular “movement” and dwelling on controversy, this isn’t the place for you.

I nominate this for Post of the Month! Right on target, and very nicely said.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Heck, let's not forget the treatment of libertarians.  As far as I can tell, you have two choices as an Objectivist when dealing with a liberatarian:

1) You may dismiss them as whim-worshipping subjectivists and ignore them, thus giving them the impression that all Objecitivists are arrogant assholes who should be ignored in return.

2) You may acknowledge that they have very rational political views, and heck, might even offer them a philosophical justification for such views.

I have a third choice based on the fact that not all L/libertarians are alike.

I ask them Betsy's Standard Question for Libertarians: Why do you call yourself a L/libertation rather than an Objectivist?

I get a wide range of responses ranging from the awful ("Who does Peikoff think he is telling me I can't get stoned any time I feel like it?") to the promising ("Because I LOVE Ayn Rand. What's an "Objectivist?") -- and I then treat them accordingly.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Although I do agree, the explicit purpose of both ARI and TOC is to promote O(o)bjectivism.  This is what I take issue with, given that both organizations are doing a terrible job.

I picked up the Fountainhead just under 2 years ago, after attending a lecture given by Yaron Brook at The University of Pennsylvania.

ARI's "terrible job" drastically improved my life.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I have a third choice based on the fact that not all L/libertarians are alike.

I ask them Betsy's Standard Question for Libertarians: Why do you call yourself a L/libertation rather than an Objectivist?

I get a wide range of responses ranging from the awful ("Who does Peikoff think he is telling me I can't get stoned any time I feel like it?") to the promising ("Because I LOVE Ayn Rand.  What's an "Objectivist?") -- and I then treat them accordingly.

What's the matter with you? Don't you know that all libertarians are hopelessly irrational anarchists and drug addicts and should be ruthlessly shunned? What are you, some sort of Kellyite collaborationist? I vote we ban Betsy!

;) Actually I totally agree with you. It's silly to automatically dismiss out of hand everyone who calls themselves a libertarian, without even finding out what their underlying beliefs are.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

QM wrote:

"If one can use reason to derive a valid conclusion differing from Objectivism, he is not necessarily an evil bastard and sworn enemy of Ayn Rand."
Perhaps true. If, however, one calls one's conclusion which differs from Objectivism, "Objectivism", then one is a fraud.

QM continues:

Add to that the typical harsh language employed by Objectivists, harsh moral judgements, and a general lack of benevolence towards not-so-rational people, and you have the perfect recipe to prevent anyone from siding with you.

Why would I want "not-so-rational people" siding with me?

QM:

You may dismiss them [Libertarians]as whim-worshipping subjectivists and ignore them, thus giving them the impression that all Objecitivists are arrogant assholes who should be ignored in return.

If any whim-worshipping subjectivists have the impression that I am arrogant, I hereby welcome them to ignore me in return.

QM:

You may acknowledge that they have very rational political views, and heck, might even offer them a philosophical justification for such views.
If I reject the notion that Libertarians have "very rational political views", may I offer my philosophical justification for that ? Or would that be arrogant?

QM concludes:

Objectivism will continue to be a minor movement as long as this schism exists.

Well, no. But Libertariansim will.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
What's the matter with you? Don't you know that all libertarians are hopelessly irrational anarchists and drug addicts and should be ruthlessly shunned? What are you, some sort of Kellyite collaborationist? I vote we ban Betsy!

That's been tried -- unsuccessfully -- by at least two people in the past.

One tried to exclude me (and many of my Objectivist friends) from his "Objectivist" chat channel. He implied, in a public forum, that I was probably in league with the "Tolerationists" because a Kelleyite had praised me (without my knowledge or my consent) on his web site. All things considered, not participating on his chat channel is no great loss.

Another told people who didn't know me that I was soft on Libs and Kelleyites (big news to the Libs and Kelleyites!) and other lies until he got a letter from my attorney explaining why his conduct was actionable defamation.

I realize you meant it in jest, but I wish you wouldn't joke about something like that. I take my reputation VERY seriously and I will not allow ANYBODY to misrepresent my views or my actions. :yarr:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Godless, Betsy forgot to mention that the letter to you from her attorney is in the mail.

Betsy just explained, in all seriousness, why she does not like to have jokes made like that, and then you go and make another joke. Not very respectful of her wishes, are you?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Godless, Betsy forgot to mention that the letter to you from her attorney is in the mail.

I agree...come on man, that was pretty tasteless.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×