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Objectivism in Academia

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  • 6 months later...

On Thursday evening January 6, 2022, at 7pm, there will be a session of the Ayn Rand Society. That will be at the Eastern Division Meeting of the American Philosophical Association. Lester Hunt will deliver a paper on Rand’s comments on film in her essay “Art and Cognition”. This session will be in person, not via Zoom. The Meeting this year is being held at the Baltimore Marriott Waterfront Hotel. The commentator on Prof. Hunt’s paper will be Prof. Andrew Kania.

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  • 1 month later...

The Ayn Rand Society session for Eastern 2022 was one of many sessions that opted in late December 2021 to not assemble in person, but virtually. The date was shifted to 18 January, at 2:00 pm. The paper to be read by Prof. Lester Hunt addresses, in view of some brief remarks by Rand on film, two related, long-standing questions in film theory and criticism. Comments on the paper, as noted earlier, will be from Prof. Andrew Kania.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I'd like to welcome to Objectivism Online the poster Laws of Biology, who writes in his/her About Me the following:



I was surprised and pleased to recently discover that Ayn Rand was a real and serious philosopher, who was well-versed in the whole history of Western Philosophy, and in all the important eras, movements, issues, and technical terms of Western Philosophy.

Previously I had gotten the impression (from representations in the mass media, both pro and con) that Ayn Rand was more of a shallow, irrational, emotionalist, imbalanced, activist ideologue and provocateur, along the lines of Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Bill O'Reilly, Tucker Carlson, Ben Shapiro, Steve Bannon, Stephen Miller, Laura Ingraham, Rachel Maddow, Anderson Cooper, etc. 

But no, I have come to see that Ayn Rand was a real philosopher in the tradition of Western Philosophy, and the philosophy of Objectivism that she delineated is a real, systematic, comprehensive philosophy that deserves to be taken seriously.

Objectivism should be closely studied by anyone interested in the path of Western Philosophy as a means to gaining the clearest possible understanding of reality and as a means to living the best possible human life. 

Rather than being viewed as being comparable to the aforementioned shallow and often incoherent pundits, provocateurs, and activists, Ayn Rand deserves to be regarded as being in the company of the likes of Aristotle, Plato, Socrates, Cicero, Lucretius, Marcus Aurelius, Epicurus, Aquinas, Hume, Hobbes, Locke, Kant, Burke, Nietzsche, Herbert Spencer, Marx, Bertrand Russell, Karl Popper, Hannah Arendt, and Wittgenstein (not that Ayn Rand agreed with all or most the doctrines of the aforementioned persons, but that, like them, she was a serious, knowledgeable, systematic, sincere, determined, forceful, and rational thinker in the tradition of Western Philosophy). 

Objectivism seems, to me, to very different from many other movements and "-isms" in that Objectivism claims to use the classical methods of Western Philosophy to firmly and undeniably establish and prove its system of ethics and its political philosophy.  The proponents of other "-isms," such as Conservatism, Libertarianism, Socialism, and Progressivism, generally do not seem make any such claim. 

Based on what I now know, Objectivism claims to be the apex, pinnacle, climax, culmination, fulfillment, and completion of Western Philosophy. 

In essence, as I understand things at the present, Objectivism claims to be the final philosophy, with Ayn Rand as the final philosopher.

I am interested in investigating all these claims fairly and thoroughly.

My objective is not to debunk, nitpick, or find fault, but to dive deep into the essence of what Western Philosophy is. 

Objectivism is also profoundly different from the philosophy that is taught in philosophy courses at all or nearly all universities and colleges in the USA. These courses seem to generally teach epistemological skepticism and moral relativism. I recently read an online essay by a university-based philosopher that was titled: "Philosophy cannot resolve the question ‘How should we live?’" I think that is typical of university-based philosophy. Of course, most of many people would think that a philosophy that cannot guide people on how they should live is a philosophy that is worthless. But Dave Ellis, the university-based philosopher who was the author of that essay, was confident that his work had value even though it could not resolve the basic question of "How should we live." 



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