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Everything posted by Atlas51184

  1. http://www.amazon.com/Objective-Communication-Writing-Speaking-Arguing/dp/0451418158/
  2. Stephen, You mention Nozick and Hospers. Part of the Peikoff/Schwartz argument is that there is no valid concept the CCD of which is "amount of government". Do you agree with that, and classify Nozick's, Hospers', and Rothbard's political philosophies together on some other grounds?
  3. Ninth, "In practice [schwartz's article] has meant guilt by association and has led to suffocating insularity among ARI affiliated Objectivists." ARI affiliated intellectuals have been working in various capacities with non-anarchist 'libertarian' intellectuals (mostly economists and policy people) for at least the last 15 years. So I don't know what you're talking about. Rothbard and the LP. See previous post. He was a member of the founding committee, along with anarchist Roy Childs. Rothbard was the dominant figure in 70s and 80s libertarianism. Respect for Rand. I take it that respect for Rand means respect for Rand. What's Dave Harriman have to do with anything?
  4. Catching up on the thread... Stephen and Ninth, I think your knowledge of libertarian history is deficient. The first sentence of the wikipedia article on Cato: "The Cato Institute is an American libertarian think tank headquartered in Washington, D.C. Founded as the Charles Koch Foundation in 1974 by Murray Rothbard, Ed Crane and Charles Koch." The first paragraph from the History of the Libertarian Party article: "The Libertarian Party was formed in Colorado Springs in the home of David Nolan on December 11, 1971, after several months of debate among members of the Committee to Form a Libertarian Party, founded July 17. [...] This group included John Hospers, Edward Crane, Manuel Klausner, Murray Rothbard, Roy Childs, Theodora (Tonie) Nathan, and Jim Dean." I recognize two anarchist names. If one is worried about sanctioning Rothbard (or other anarchists), one would rightly be wary of groups he helped found.
  5. Ninth, My source for Allison's plans isn't linkable; it's what he said during a presentation about it, and AFAIK it's not been put online. During that presentation, Yaron Brook said that Rand's (and ARI's) antipathy to "libertarians" has always been antipathy towards Rothbardian anarchists. Libertarian = Rothbardian. You ask why Schwartz didn't say explicitly that he meant Rothbard when he wrote about libertarians. In paragraph three of the "Perversion of Liberty" essay: "Murray Rothbard, widely viewed as the father of the movement..." The context of the rest of the essay shows that Schwartz agrees with that view. In the 70s and 80s, wasn't the libertarian movement dominated by Rothbardians and anarchists? Rothbard was a founder of both Cato and the LP, and weren't most of the journals/magazines cited by Schwartz connected to Rothbard? Obviously, the libertarian movement has changed since then. But you can't look at these things out of their historical context. If in 1985 "libertarian" was mostly associated with Rothbard and anarchist friends, it's a safe bet that's who Schwartz was talking about when he criticized libertarians. And, who were the non-Rothbardian or non-anarchists cited by Schwartz? I'm looking at the footnotes now and no names stand out. Reason is cited, but the article is by Rothbard. Brudnoy. If Peikoff associates with people like Brudnoy, but not anarchists, isn't that evidence he means by "libertarian" Rothbardians/anarchists? Why attribute to Peikoff (or ARI) a contradiction when there's a better supported alternative interpretation of what's happening? And an interpretation that's the one the current president of ARI has endorsed, at that! Edit: Lest I be accused of inventing scuttlebutt, my notes on the Allison discussion show that he said those disrespectful of Rand will change their attitudes or find other employment. Not that they will be fired outright. "Respectful" didn't have any implication of them becoming Objectivist. Also, Allison said that he will be there for a number of years and in that time he will be grooming an Objectivist replacement. And, he wasn't going to take the job until Yaron Brook convinced him to.
  6. There's an obvious mistake about half-way through the video, in one of your text graphics. The "Libertarian = Right-Wing" text is targeted at Peikoff, right? But he's attributing that position to the radio host, and Peikoff himself says that it's the wrong definition. And I don't think "Nolan Chart" gets to determine the correct definition of 'libertarian.' The Nolan Chart says so and so... who cares? I don't understand where the snark is coming from in that part. Hasn't "libertarian" become, for many people" a word like "conservative" and "liberal"? A not very clear concept that means to them something like "socially liberal and economically conservative"? Such a libertarian isn't what Peikoff/Schwartz ever had in mind when they talked about sanction, I don't think. I always took it that Rand, Peikoff, and Schwartz meant by "libertarian" "Rothbardian." Weren't all Schwartz's examples of libertarians examples of Rothbardian anarchists? If that's so, then I don't see any hypocrisy going on here. The Kochs own Cato and Charles is an Obejctivist, and Allison has promised to remove anarchists and persons disrespectful of Rand from the Cato payroll. Sounds like Cato moving in an Objectivist direction to me.
  7. Peter Schwartz - Contextual Knowledge Darryl Wright - Reason and Selfishness Darryl Wright - Ayn Rand's Ethics: From The Fountainhead to Atlas Shrugged Darryl Wright - Ayn Rand and the History of Ethics M. Northrup Buechner - A General Theory of Objective Prices M. Northrup Buechner - Objective Value vs. Modern Economics John Ridpath - Debate: Is Capitalism or Socialism the Moral System? Harry Binswanger - Psycho-Epistemology I Harry Binswanger - Psychol-Epistemology II Dina Schein Garmong - Reclaiming Egoism and Morality Yaron Brook - This Rise of Totalitarian Islam Allan Gotthelf - Aristotle as Scientist: A Proper Verdict Bo Dragsdahl - Karl Popper's Assualt on Science All are tapes, except for "Ayn Rand's Ethics: From The Fountainhead to Atlas Shrugged." Everything is in excellent condition. http://cgi.ebay.com/...em=140819574084
  8. Windelband's History of Philosophy was for a long time a must read for Objectivists. I think LP recommends it in his course. It might hold you over for a few months while you wait for ARB to release the LP course. Jones' multivolume History is also frequently recommended.
  9. That's not a good criticism, because it's not a criticism of Rand's theory. Rand says concepts have to be formed on the basis of perception. That's different than saying concepts have to be formed from their referents. A paleontologist forms the concept "dinosaur" by studying fossils, not dinosaurs. Generally, if some trivial observation refutes a philosophical theory, you've not presented the theory correctly. That goes for non-Objectivism, as well.
  10. Previous discussion of TEW on this forum.
  11. An email list for GLBT Objectivists: http://www.olist.com/ohomos.html There are quite a few GLBT Objectivists, including well known Objectivist leaders. So you probably just haven't met the right ones yet.
  12. Rand talks about language in her book Introduction to Objectivist Epistemology. She rejects the linguistic turn and any claim that philosophical problems can be solved by analyzing language, so philosophy of language isn't a central concern for Objectivism. I don't know of anything on philosophy of language by other Objectivist philosophers, but perhaps there would be something in the forthcoming Ayn Rand: A Companion to Her Works and Thought. Alan Gotthelf makes some comments about Rand's views on philosophy of language in a draft of one of his papers for that book: Ayn Rand on Concepts.
  13. You should read "An Untitled Letter" in Philosophy: Who Needs It. Rand talks about John Rawls and luck-egalitarianism. It addresses the kinds of questions raise in the first post.
  14. Many of the courses are based on Peikoff's lectures. OAC is formal instruction in philosophy. Writing classes are one part of that.
  15. I'm not sure who you have in mind here, but I'll bet that most or all of them went through earlier programs run by Leonard Peikoff or Harry Binswanger. I know of no Objectivist intellectuals doing good work who haven't gone through such programs.
  16. I finished the OAC undergrad program in 2008, and have been in the grad program since then. From what I hear, the program is currently going under major revisions. I believe they are keeping UPAR, the Undergraduate seminar on the Philosophy of Ayn Rand. That's a year long course that covers OPAR in great detail, and also uses many of AR's essays as a supplement. As it was in 2004, in addition to 3 hour long weekly seminars there were two papers and two one hour one-on-one consultations about the papers the with professor. At the time it was Onkar Ghate, and I think it still is. The program I took included two writing/communicating courses and a logic class. I learned more about writing from those classes than I have from anywhere else. There was also a year long class on Understanding Objectivism and Objectivism Through Induction. This class consisted in listening to lectures and doing frequent writing assignments, along with periodic seminars with Onkar. The classes in this paragraph are the ones that are under heaviest revision, from what I've heard. If you plan to be some sort of intellectual or academic, OAC is a must. Understanding Objectivism is hard and a lot of work. Getting to the level of understanding required to be an intellectual is probably impossible without some kind of expert guidance. If that's your goal, you'd have to figure a way to make it work some how. The time commitment is equivalent to a college course. Weekly seminars and readings, papers, etc. If you have more specific questions I'd be happy to answer them.
  17. Are you in OAC? If so, you should email them and ask for access to the program. I did that, and they gave me access. Saves much money, if you are an OAC student. (If you're pursuing grad work in philosophy and aren't in the OAC, apply!)
  18. Hi all, I'm moving to St. Louis in about two weeks. So far, I know one serious Objectivist in the city, but I'd like to meet more. I've searched the internet for Objectivist groups, but what I've found has been sketchy. If you're interested in corresponding, or can recommend a group in the city, or put me in touch with someone, or something else, please send me a PM or post something in the thread. Thanks! - Mike
  19. Andre, You might want to check out the OHomos email group and ask them some of your questions. It is a mailing list for "gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender (GLBT) Objectivists (and others)." Here is their website with info on joining. In my experience those Objectivists who view homosexuality as immoral are a very small minority. From what I've seen, if some Objectivist starts babbling anti-gay nonsense other Objectivists will come down on him pretty hard for his irrational beliefs. *** Mod's note: some reaction to the rules of the OHomos list has been split to a separate thread. - sN ***
  20. Comparing Locke's theory of abstraction in An Essay Concerning Human Understanding with Ayn Rand's in ITOE will help deepen ones understanding of Objectivist epistemology. Teasing out the ways in which the two theories are superficially similar but essentially different is great philosophical exercise. Also, reading Berkeley's (A Treatise Concerning the Principles of Human Knowledge) and Kant's (Lectures on Logic) criticism of Lockean abstractionism may also be valuable. Seeing how Objectivism can answer their criticisms of abstractionism will deepen your understanding of Objectivist epistemology. Given that Aristotle is like Objectivism beta, all Objectivists should be almost as familiar with Aristotle as they are with Rand. One of the best ways to learn to think philosophically is to see masters like Aristotle critique other philosophers. Familiarizing yourself with Plato, and then thinking through Aristotle's (and Aquinas's) criticisms of Plato will make you a better philosopher. Reading someone like Hume and finding the assumptions which lead him to disaster is a good exercise in philosophical detection. Currently, I am working through Wilfrid Sellars' criticisms of foundationalism and concept empiricism, and figuring out how the Objectivist theory of concepts can answer him. I won't know if that's worthwhile until I'm done, but so far I've gotten some value out of the project. The value of reading primary sources depends on your goals. If the above projects sound like something you'd find value in, primary sources are a must. Given that you would be interested specifically in using those texts to deepen your understanding of good philosophy, you can't rely on secondary sources that often miss what one needs to accomplish that goal. If you are just interested in knowing the basics of the history of philosophy, something like W.T. Jones' A History of Western Philosophy would be preferable.
  21. While it's common for cosmologists (especially when speaking to the popular press) to talk of the big bang as the "beginning" of the universe, I don't think there's anything intrinsic to the theory to necessitate this. What the theory does is trace back the development of the universe to a point, beyond which GTR breaks down. It's common to hear this point referred to as so many seconds after the beginning of time. This part of the theory (that the current state of the universe evolved from an earlier, much denser state) is very well grounded. The problems come in when cosmologists start speculating about what happens when GTR is inadequate. One of the pieces of evidence in favor of the BB theory is the observed ratio of heavier elements to light elements, which is exactly what BB predicts. The brilliant little guy Jennifer links to disputes this, claiming that there is more carbon than there should be if BB is correct. Is he right? I haven't a clue. But if he's doing PhD level work in math at 13 years old, he's obviously a genius, his alleged philosophical inadequacies notwithstanding. Comments on those philosophical criticisms of BB cosmology below. A number of people have repeated an argument made over the years against big bang theory by David Harriman. (This argument was in DIM 2004. Notably, DIM 2009/10 omit physics, and BB is replaced by string theory in the most recent outline of DIM. LL has different (better) arguments against BB. So it's possible Harriman (and Peikoff) no longer endorse this argument). I think it's a really bad one, so I'll explain why. The argument can be simplified as follows: (1) The universe (by which proponents of this argument mean "all of existence") has no cause/beginning in time/moment of creation/etc. (2) BB theory holds that the universe has a beginning in time (the Big Bang). Therefore (3) big bang theory is false because it contradicts (1). The argument only works if BB requires "universe" to mean "all of existence," but it need not. BB's universe is defined as space-time + matter. It doesn't imply that space-time + matter = everything that exists. One could, as Roger Penrose has, posit that the observable universe is a "bubble" existing in some larger totality. Thus the Big Bang would be an event within existence, not its beginning. I'm not saying that there aren’t good criticisms of BB cosmology (there are), or that Penrose's ideas are true (or even methodologically well founded). I'm saying simply that the "there is no beginning" type arguments fail to seriously engage with the content of BB cosmology, and are thus not any good. We can criticize attempts to hold the big bang as the beginning of existence, but that wouldn't be a criticism of the theory, only one possible interpretation of it.
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