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Howard Roark blowing up Cortlandt was not Objectivist, and neither is

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Chris LeRoux
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Yikes!!!

Look at you. If I recall right, you claimed I was in error on a citation of a quote from the book, only to find out later that you were using the movie instead, and hadn't read the book "in a long time." At least Lisa acknowledges what it is that she is unqualified to comment on. How about your acknowledgement.

By the way, I checked the quote today, and it is exact in the book. Maybe you ought to brush up yourself.

Double "Yikes!"

Edited by KendallJ
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Look at you. If I recall right, you claimed I was in error on a citation of a quote from the book, only to find out later that you were using the movie instead, and hadn't read the book "in a long time." At least Lisa acknowledges what it is that she is unqualified to comment on. How about your acknowledgement.

By the way, I checked the quote today, and it is exact in the book. Maybe you ought to brush up yourself.

Double "Yikes!"

And by the way, since you've given your own blanket agreement 100% to Jonathan's last post, I'm sure you understand it well enough to be in a position now to refute my response to it.

Edited by KendallJ
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I'm preparing a broader post on this discussion on whether this is fraud or not.
When the Cortlandt builders made the contract, they were led to believe that these were Keating’s designs, and that Keating (and only Keating) therefore had full rights to negotiate a contract as he saw fit.

Regardless, would you agree that blowing up the property of another party before seeking legal remedies is wrong within (and assuming) a lawful society?

The whole context of whether or not justice can be served and rights are protected is in doubt, and Rand concretizes this doubt very specifically in the book… Protection of rights is in doubt, law is in doubt and the very meaning of what a lawsuit actually is is in doubt.
Really? From what I saw in the novel, it was no less lawful or rights-protecting than our own society.

Assuming Roark/Keating didn't commit fraud, then the government obtained Cortdlant by breach of contract. The legal concept being tested then is whether the government actually owns Cortdlant of not if it was obtained by fraudulent means. One cannot defend this by suggesting that the government owns Cortdland and therefore has rights.
I don't have to tell you that “actually owns Cortlandt” and “actually has the right to use Keating’s Roark’s designs” are two different things. Perhaps I haven’t read enough of this 8 page thread, but I don’t recall anything in the novel saying that the ownership of the Cortlandt real estate and building materials was obtained through fraud or otherwise in question. You’re saying that it is?
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When the Cortlandt builders made the contract, they were led to believe that these were Keating’s designs, and that Keating (and only Keating) therefore had full rights to negotiate a contract as he saw fit.

That's not fraud. Keating actually had the rights to negotiate a contract with Roark's designs. The terms that Keating is bound to are imaterial, given that he offered terms to the government and they accepted those terms. Any party to a contract is not bound to disclose his degrees of freedom to the other party. He simply must proceed in a manner by which he is bound.

There are all sorts of things that were not disclosed to the Cortland builders, and all sorts of things that are not disclosed to parties in a contract discussion. This does not constitute fraud, nor does it constitute misrepresentation. There are no false pretences here.

Regardless, would you agree that blowing up the property of another party before seeking legal remedies is wrong within (and assuming) a lawful society?

I've already stated that. Your qualifications means that the only party which would satsify this criteria is another private party.

I don't have to tell you that “actually owns Cortlandt” and “actually has the right to use Keating’s Roark’s designs” are two different things. Perhaps I haven’t read enough of this 8 page thread, but I don’t recall anything in the novel saying that the ownership of the Cortlandt real estate and building materials was obtained through fraud or otherwise in question. You’re saying that it is?

Not at all. However, you don't get rights back free and clear, becuase part of the consitutents of a project were constructed lawfully. Cortdlant is not just the bricks or the real estate. As the building sits it is both a combination of the materials that went into it and the specific physical form in which is resides. How does this in any way change the fundamentals of the issue. What are you suggesting would be different?

Edited by KendallJ
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It is true in your example the piston manufacturer has no concern with what the fish people do with the person you sold the pistons to, but that's because the transaction between the piston maker and the buyer was in no way a subcontract, it was just a normal contract with no impact on things that needed to be done in the future, their whole transaction and all conditions were met and completed once they made that sale. Nothing anybody does with the person you sold those pistons to or the pistons themselves has any connection to you anymore...

That's not true. If the USFWS's refusal to pay you results in your inability to pay me, then my conditions have not been met, just as the conditions of Roark's contract with Keating had not been met due to the fact that the owners of Cortland didn't abide by their contract with Keating.

J

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This is not correct. Depending on the terms, 3rd parties may have rightful claim to suits. Happens all the time. If the terms of one agreement stipulate subsequent terms, then the subsequent party may have liabilit that the original parties may sue for. It is not necessary to have only a direct contract holder sue.

The example you list above is not parallel to the Roark case.

Keep trying tho.

If it happens all the time, then I'd imagine that you'd very quickly be able to cite several real-life examples in which plaintiffs successfully sued defendants for breach of contract-by-proxy, where the defendants had a contract with an intermediary but not with the plaintiffs. I look forward to reviewing any such examples that you post, and analyzing whether or not they actually parallel the Roark/Keating/Cortland case. I'd be especially interested in hearing about artistic copyright and IP cases in which the plaintiff initially claimed to have had nothing to do with the project but then reversed himself when deciding to take legal action.

a. If Roark lied to Wynand, then he also raped Dominique. As Rand said, "if that was rape, it was rape by engraved invitation." Well I would add, if that was a lie, then it was a lie with a wink and a nudge. You should go back and read the scene.

I would characterize the scene as Roark saying, in effect, "I didn't design Cortland, and that's going to be my official position, okay? I'm committed to lying about it. So, as a friend, please cut me some slack and drop it."

He does certainly act to hold private his involvement with the project, but this does not in fact necessarily constitute fraud, moral or legal.

No, he's not acting to "hold private" his involvement. He's acting to pass off his work as someone else's. "Hold private" sounds as if he might be bashful or something, and that he's not motivated by the desire to subvert others' right to not hire him. And that most definitely is his motivation.

I'll get to that in a future post. You don't address the reasons why they won't hire him, and this goes directly to whether knowledge of his involvement is actually a false pretense. The question "would not hire him to do what?" must be answered if this to be indeed shown a case of fraud.

They won't hire him to design buildings. They have they right to not hire him.

This is a smear. I'd like you to quote me one passage where Roark expresses resentment. In fact, he realizes throughout that he only wants and needs a certain type of client. He doesn't resent the client who wants to give aesthetic input, he simply says "those are not my terms, I'm sorry."

He didn't say that to the clients on the Cortland project. Contrary to what you say, Roark wanted something much more than his "certain type of client." He wanted the type of client who would finance his dream project with wealth confiscated through taxation.

And you of all people, as an Objectivist should know that characterizing this is "reliance" on others is competely false and violates any sort of discussion of the trader principles. He relies on his own ability, and he trades with others voluntarily. He does not maintain the mindset of "reliance," and others cannot be said to fund his in that way.

Roark relies on others' wealth in order to build his projects. Look, as a painter, I can easily afford to buy the materials that I need to paint. Roark could not afford to buy the land and materials that he needed to build the projects that he wanted to build.

To then assert that Roark could still go into business for himself in spite of the government's action is to confuse the metaphysical and the man-made (or I should say government made). To hold him to a lesser moral standard...

I haven't held Roark to a lesser moral standard.

...because he doesn't take this route is to simply characterize government's actions as a state of nature whose moral impetus is then for us to mold to our own use. Rand wrote a whole essay about this fallacy.

So, you're suggesting that it would have been impossible for Roark to take his brilliant new solution to the problem of affordable housing and find a way to make money off of it himself privately?

Certainly you can't mean that when I contract with an architect that I have a reasonable expectation that the lead architect himself has been involved in the design or that he designed the whole thing himself.

It depends on what you mean by "contract with an architect." If you mean hiring some random, small-time architecture firm run by Joe Blow to design an average Kwik Mart, then I don't think that you, or anyone else, would really care much if Joe had anything to do with the actual design or not. But if you're taking about wealthy private investors or government entities hiring someone who is considered to be one of the leading architects in the world, they most definitely would have the expectation that the architect they hired would have done most of the work and made all of the final aesthetic decisions about what would and would not be included in the design. They would expect to be informed if the architect they hired had already agreed to "subcontract" the project in its entirety to another architect. They would expect to be informed that another architect was making all of the aesthetic decisions and was allowing no input, including from the architect they hired.

When hiring an architect at that level, people are purchasing much more than a utilitarian structure. They are purchasing what they also consider to be a work of art from a renowned artist, and if that artist is "subcontracting" the entire project off to another artist while withholding that information from the client, he is engaged in the same type of fraud that Milli Vanilli were engaged in.

Despite holding the official title, Keating was not actually the "architect" on the Cortland project, and Roark was not a "subcontractor," just as Rob and Fab were not actually the "singers" of Milli Vanilli, despite being portrayed as such, and the people who actually did the singing were not "subcontractors." Milli Vanilli was sued for consumer fraud, and if they had employed the word-game strategy of calling the actual singers "subcontractors" who were trying to "hold private their involvement," no one would have fallen for it.

If this were two private parties, acting within the framework of an actively rights respecting government, then the analysis would be perfectly valid. But that is not the case, and that is vitally important to the context of this analysis. A government cannot in the same action violate rights and then claim the very same rights under the very same principle. When this occurs, when the party who is itself suppose to supply the context that would make Roark's actions immoral, does not supply that context (in it's role as right's protector) it cannot then turn around and try to claim those rights for itself. This is the very definition of tyranny and pure despotism. You can't get around this fact by suggesting that Roark and Keating are private parties and Roark's case should be with Keating, because the whole context of whether or not justice can be served and rights are protected is in doubt, and Rand concretizes this doubt very specifically in the book. This is critical. When you sit here and say that only Keating can file suit with the government, or that Keating should file suit with Roark, you are reinstating the context that there is a rights respecting government at the end of this whole chain providing the context that makes the very concept of lawsuit have any meaning. That context does not exist. Protection of rights is in doubt, law is in doubt and the very meaning of what a lawsuit actually is is in doubt.

You're treating the government as a monolithic entity, when in reality it is made up of individuals with different interests and motives and varying degrees of fairness or corruption, and it contains separations and checks and balances on power. The fact that one government entity might violate a contract and say "go ahead and try to sue us" doesn't mean that another government entity hearing the case would automatically decide in favor of the other government entity. The fact the one court ruled in a manner that you find unjust, doesn't mean that the next court will. In short, Roark and Keating really had no reason to believe that they couldn't win in court. The only way to find out if they would have received justice by going to trial would have been to go to trial.

Anyway, if they had gone to court and won, no judge or jury would have awarded them the right to blow up Cortland. Roark and Keating would have had to settle for a much more reasonable and just outcome. And I think that's what it comes down to: Roark wasn't willing to be reasonable.

J

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Back.

Alright to the issue of fraud. Jonathan has claimed that this is a case of legal and moral fraud on the part of Roark and Keating, in that Roark attempted to pass off his designs as "Keatings" and in doing so deprived the government of their right to refuse to work with Roark if they so choose. Jonathan uses the example of an artist who passes off his work as someone else's as an example of this type of deceit. In subsequent arguments this particular point is pretty critical as its used to essentially undermine the standing of the contract that Roark and Keating had. Jonathan says that

They simply altered the terms of their agreement with Keating, who had first violated their agreement by claiming to have designed Cortland.

LeRoux also claims that the contract with Roark and Keating was invalid, although for different reasons.

Let's look at this aspect then. Is the withholding of information a case of fraud? legally or morally? I want to separate the legal vs moral distinction as the legal question goes to the subsequent legal justification that Jonathan and Leroux seem to think justifies in some way, the government's subsequent actions. That is, if Keating and Roark did not commit any form of legal fraud, that whole line of reasoning breaks down. If instead they committed moral fraud, but not legal fraud, one could claim Roark's actions immoral, but not illegal or criminal.

Is this a case of legal fraud? Jonathan claims that Roark withheld information about his role in the design of Cortland and that Keating passed off the designs as "his" and in doing so obtained value and prevented the government from exercising their right to refuse to use designs that were designed by Roark. He then uses this example of an artist who passes off his art work as someone else's in order to sell it to someone who wouldn't have purchased it if they had known who the artist was. So let's work through this analsys.

I grant that information was withheld from the government in their decision to use Roark's design. However, this in insufficient to claim legal fraud. All sorts of information is not provided to prospective clients when they make a decision about a product, both within and outside of the architectural profession without legal fraud being committed. Contrary to Jonathan's claim, a client is not usually and is not provide with a list of names that, and the architect is not obligated to provide that list. A client is not told with aesthetic decisions the owner of the firm might or might not have participated in. He is not told for instance that the owner chose a particular column, but that the interiors of the rooms were designed by employees or contractors. For it to be fraud, the information witheld must be material to the decision made.

Jonathan said that Keating passed off the designs as "his". Certianly with the example of an artist we can see that there is intuitively some sort of plausibility to this sort of thinking. That is, when we buy something from an artist there is an expectation that the artist himself actually conceived the work, but most importantly that the artist himself actually executed the artistic portions of the work. For a work to be "his" the painter must have painted it, and the sculpture must have sculpted it. Even if the artists had assistants that assembled the canvas or say poured the final castings, the actual aesthetic portion of the work, in its entirely must have been executed by the artist. But does that analysis hold true for something like a building, which is the product of not a single individual, but a corporate entity? What does that mean to say that a design is "Keating's" when we're talking about the context of a company?

And before I address that I want to make a clear distinction that we are not talking here about a choice about specific aesthetics or the design itself. One cannot be said to be defrauded because they didn't like the aesthetics of the work itself. Rather we are talking about the materiality of the knowledge of the authorshipof those designs. The aesthetics themselves are completely self evident in the actual physical design and in the case of Cortland there was no information withheld about the design of the building including the aesthetic components. The government knew in advance and with complete certainly what Cortland would look like.

So we have Jonathan's discussion of the artist. And certainly there is some similarity between that and architecture. There are aesthetic components to a buildling. As well, those components are the result of some people making aesthetic design choices about the building. We know that some architects fancy themselves "artists" and that some clients buy specifically because of the aesthetic elements of a buildings design. But at the same time we know and are given evidence that there are also differences between works of art and works of architecture. First of all works of architecture, including the design of aesthetic elements may be cooperative efforts. That is, one person may make a design choice and another person another. We know that some architects design in whatever aesthetic style their clients want and may even let the client make aesthetic choices. We We also know that as a cooperative enterprise that there are multiple ways that various people contribute to the design. They may be employees of the firm. They may be contractors. They may be clients. All of this differs from the case of an lone painter or sculptor.

So let's see if we can add some other examples of cases that draw in some of the differences as well. Here we want to look at the aesthetic components since that is still where the artist example feels like it has some plausibility. (I'm sure we all agree that someone can outsource drafting or manufacture and that is somehow not relevant to calling a design "his") I already gave the case of Apple's original design for the iPod, the aesthetic components of the iPod were designed by IDEO. Most peole don't know that, and no one would claim it's fraudulent to withhold that information. Even when Apple is specifically known for it's aesthetic designs. its certainly reasonable to consider that the product is "apple's" product. An even more start example of this comes from the story of the Porche 944. Some of you may remember this particular car, popular in the 80's. The entire car was designed and manufactured by... Volkswagon. The only thing "Porche" about the 944 was the logo that was slapped on it. This information was avialble, but generally not widely known, and Porche dealers were certainly under no obligation to tell every prospective buyer about that fact. Yet in neither case was fraud asserted. Note also that in the case of Apple, Steve Jobs is widely known to have a big say in the aesthetic design of the products Apple represents, yet somehow, his "authorship" of the product is not necessarily expected. Note that it would be no more the case if Apple was instead named "Jobs & Wozniak." In both cases, aesthetics can be said to be a critical part of the choice of the product, but where does "authorship" come in?

So here we have examples of products with significant aesthetic components, like buildlings. These products are designed cooperatively, mabye not even by the company represneting them. Yet, it is NOT fraud to withhold the information about who actually participated in the design. So where does an architect and the buildings his firm designs actually fall?? The answer if we look around at the variety of firms both in real life, and as presented by Rand, is that "it depends." Some architects can certainly seem to fall more into the camp of artist, and some clearly fall into the camp of "building provider" in the same way that apple provides iPods, and Porche provides 944's. When you buy a Frank Lloyd Wright building, there is a signfiicant expectation that Wright designed the building himself. But when you go to Joe Blo Architects, and ask to have a building designed in teh Wright style, there is no expectation nor does one care that Joe Blo himself designed the product. Rather only that Jo Blo is willing to provide the product, and stand by it. In one case one might be able to make a case that the authorship of the design is important to the product in its aesthetic capcity, in another not. So it may be the context that determines the validity.

So, in this case, what sort of architect is Keating, and what sort of buyer is the government? Keating designs anything you the client would like. He lets his employees make many times most if not all the aesthetic decisions. At the time of Cortland his firm has fallen from favor. No one is interested in buying a "Keating" design as a "Keating" design. Keating is hardly the sort of architect that places Frank Lloyd Wright in the category where aesthetic authorship of the design matters. What sort of architect would that be? Well, one that had a very particular aesthetic style, a unique style. One whose style is so unique that only he can add the aesthetic elements that make it so. One where neither the client nor an employee can make those decisions. That architect if it's anyone in The Fountainhead, is one like Howard Roark (ironically). So for other architects who are not "aesthetic authors", what does it mean when one says the building is his? Well, it can also mean that Keating is willing to put his firms name on the product, he will stand by the product, he will correct deficiencies in the product. These are all ways that a firm makes the producct "theirs." I submit that this the way that Apple and Porche made their products "theirs." IDEO designed the iPod, but Apple put its name on it, sold it, stood by it, and integrated it into their other products. The same is true of Porche. Given the kind of architect Keating is, cortland is most definitely "his". And there is every reasonable expectation that he will represent the design, see it built, and make sure it is build as promised. He did not withold any information to this regard. I submit that the exampe of a artist passing his work off as another's does not fit this situation. There is another way to determine this fact, and I'll return to it in a minute.

And what sort of buyer was the government? Well, was aesthetic authorship their primary concern? It couldn't be. Why else would they solicit designs form any architect who would wish to submit a design? In fact one woudl reasonably claim that the government specifically would not go out of their way to get a design that was authored by a prominent "artist" style architect, because this would have increased taxpayer expense and when government does this it's generally considered wasteful spending. What was their central concern? The economics of the project. The cost efficiency of the design. How do we know this was the central overriding concern? Because we are told (when Toohey notifies Keating) that all other architects who would have submitted bids have done so, and none were able to meet the criteria of the government needs. And in regard to the cost effectiveness of Keating's design, no information was withheld about the attributes of this design in that regard. In fact, we know that the government chose it, because it did meet the economic criteria.

So Keating is neither the type of architect nor is the government the type of buyer for whom authorship is material in any objective sense. However, we still know that it is reasonably possible that they would have still said no to Roark's submission had they known he authored it. This is purely a political decision and arbitary, (i.e. not based in any rational assessment of the design or Roark or Keating). But is this still enough to be fraud legally? Is it enough for the government to say, "we would have chosen otherwise, if we had only known" as Jonathan claims. The answer is: no. The fact that you might have chosen something different or even chosen not to buy had you had a particular piece of information is not sufficient to claim legal fraud. Why? A lawsuit for legal fraud requires a final element in order to have "standing" (i.e. in order to qualify as fraud). That element is: injury. You must show that you have in some way been injured or damaged by the fact that information was withheld from you. What sort of injury could the government claim in contracting with Keating to have him build Cortland with the designs he provided? The government wanted a cost effective housing project. They were given the designs for one. They were built what they were given. They have not been injured in any way. This is why it is very critical to ask why it is that the government wouldn't do business with Roark. If it is for no good reason, or for arbitrary political reasons, then legally the case will always fail the injury test. It is not legal fraud. This is exactly why it is not fraud for a Porche car dealer to withhold who manufactures the 944. You might hate Volkswogen, and would never buy one, but as long as you get a car that does what it says it does, and that Porche stands by it, the fact that your choice would have been different doesn't constitute legal fraud.

So Keating's willingness to represent Roarks design does not somehow confer legal fraud. Roark is a contractor working for Keating. Keating has outsource the design to Roark, and Keating is quite willing and able to represent the design as competent, to build it, and to stand by it. This is perfectly legal. Roark did withhold information, and the government would have made a different choice if they had known, but this in no way constitutes legal fraud. (the question of moral fraud is still open)

This also allows one to go back and concretize in another way why the "artist" example holds authorship as important. In the case of a work of art, or even a building designed by an architect who falls more into this "artist" category, the authorship affects the value of the work. Both the value that an artist asks for the work as well as the resale value of the work on the subsequent market. This fact means that in cases where authorship is important, we can also see that in the description of injury. That is where authorship is relevant, withholding information about authorship can be shown objectively to be injuriouis to the party, and as a result, withholding or falsifying information about authorship would be considered fraud.

If a client buys a work of art from an artist, he usually pays a price comensurate with the value of that artists work, usually more than the going rate for works of similar effort. If a con man passes off his work as the work of an famous artist it is because he wants to collect the added premium that works by that artist fetch. The injury is the overpayment. Also, such a work cannot command prices on the open market if they are shown to not be by the artist claimed. This is another form of injury. So this would be an alternate way to test the assessment of whether or not a particular architect falls into that category or not. Does he charge higher fees than architects of his client base? Does he guard the aesthetics of his pieces rabidly? Do his works fetch higher than normal market prices on the open market. If so, then one has a case that falsifying the design is fraud. If not, then no, the architect falls more into the class of businessman repping a product.

Hopefully I have shown that legal fraud is not an issue here. So, what of the issue of moral rather than legal. Here I think one has to agree that Roark lied and committed a moral breach. That much is obvious and clear. He helped Keating fake his reality, he removed the governments rights to make its own decisions, even arbitrary decisions. So what is important from the standpoint of evaluating the literature, in light of her philosophy which we know she was very consistent about. Well, I think two things are important. First that to really still have Roark maintain a very large "hero" status, that is breach not be too large. That is, Roark is a hero of very high integrity, but he certainly is not omniscient. For us to still retain that basic evaluation of him, he cannot have made a large obvious moral breach. Otherwise his integrity would be in question. I don't think this breach was of that large a moral proporation given his overall actionsn throughout the book. Second, he should learn from his mistakes. That is, to really remain a hero he must realize the moral errors he's committed. This he rightfully and clearly does (when he tells Keating):

It's I who've destroyed you, Peter. From the beginning. By helping you. There are matters in which one must not ask for help nor give it. I shouldn't have done your projects at Stanton. I shouldn't have done the Cosmo-Slotnick Building. Nor Cortland... Now we'll both pay for it. It will be hard on you, but it will be harder on me.

I think it's interesting to note that Roark sees his moral afront primarily toward Peter. He helped Peter fake reality. Relative to the damage done to Peter vs the govt this is really how the breach should be characterized.

One final note, it is going to be easy for some to say that the law is not 'objective' and that's why it's not legal fraud, but it is a moral breech. They will want to say in essence that I "got off on a technicality." This all hinges on the legal idea of "injury". I believe that this idea is quite in line with objective ethics, and that it is essential to how we think about this offense both from a moral and legal perspective. That is, how serious of a moral breech it is. The law has to draw lines between what matters it will deal with and what matter it need not deal with. Many things can be immoral, but not illegal. The question is are the principles that

are used to draw these lines objective. he idea of injury is most certainly in line with Objectivist principles. Why? Well, what gives rise to the idea of fraud being an example of force? The idea that just as when we are physically force, when material information it withheld we are prevented from using our rational faculty, and we need our rational faculty to survive, i.e. to flourish. When we are defrauded, while we still use the rational faculty, it has had material informaiton witheld from it, and this results in an inability to survive. That inability to survive is injury. Our decisions are poorer as a result. Our life, in that case that we our constantly defrauded, is significantly diminished. That is true in general, but it is true to more or lesser degrees depending on the level of injury. This is how we can think about rating the seriousness of the moral infraction. It is the objective way to do it, and the law uses this exact concept to separate between those cases that constitute legal fraud, even if they might constitute a moral breech.

Anyway, all for now. I doubt I will give any replies the level of treatment I have here as I've already spent far more time on the discussion than any of my opponents, I'm quite sure of that; and I'm quite confident in the assessment I've given.

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As a follow on to Jonathan. You've posted a response while I was finalizing my last post. I've addressed most of your key issues in my follow up so I'm not going to go point by point through your post. The ones I didn't address go more to your understanding of what I said, and I'm not going to reitereate those things. YOu havne't actually asserted something contrary to the argument I've made, just thrown in a quip that while it might lead to an objection, isn't one. Make and objection state your case and I'll address that point.

As to 3rd party lawsuits,

Here is an example: I buy a car. I get into an accident because the car has a faulty brake. The brake is not manufactured by the car manufacturer I bought the car from. It is found that the car manufucturer took all reasonable precautions to assure the brake worked but that the brake manufacturer was in fact negligent. I can sue the brake manufacturer for damages because there is an implied warranty of fitness. This is essentially a breach of contract between the brake mfg and the car mfg, but I can take the suit directly to the brake mfg.

As I said, it happens all the time.

I've explained in my subsequent post at length why the artistic angle doesn't apply here as regards authorship. It is most certainly fraud if authorship is relevant, as in a work of art. It might be relevant in some cases where injury could be claimed by falsifying it. It is not legally relevant here.

Edited by KendallJ
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It depends on what you mean by "contract with an architect." If you mean hiring some random, small-time architecture firm run by Joe Blow to design an average Kwik Mart, then I don't think that you, or anyone else, would really care much if Joe had anything to do with the actual design or not. But if you're taking about wealthy private investors or government entities hiring someone who is considered to be one of the leading architects in the world, they most definitely would have the expectation that the architect they hired would have done most of the work and made all of the final aesthetic decisions about what would and would not be included in the design. They would expect to be informed if the architect they hired had already agreed to "subcontract" the project in its entirety to another architect. They would expect to be informed that another architect was making all of the aesthetic decisions and was allowing no input, including from the architect they hired.

When hiring an architect at that level, people are purchasing much more than a utilitarian structure. They are purchasing what they also consider to be a work of art from a renowned artist, and if that artist is "subcontracting" the entire project off to another artist while withholding that information from the client, he is engaged in the same type of fraud that Milli Vanilli were engaged in.

I've already analyzed the government as buyer, but you are making a big mistake here in lumping together wealthy private investors and government entities as buying entities. Everything you say about wealthy investors is completely true; however, it is not correct to characterize government this way.

Governments don't pay top dollar for leading architects (at least not knowingly as matter of policy). They commonly portray themselves as servants of the people, and stewards of tax dollars, and they commonly buy frugally specifically in terms of aesthetics. There is no reason to believe that they would be doing so, especially for a low cost housing project. In addition it is ludicrous to suggest that that was the criteria here, and that Roark wouldn't have gotten hired for those reasons. Everything about the nature of governments as buying entities, and specifically in this case, suggests that aesthetics was the last thing on their minds.

In this case, the government was accepting bids from anyone! This was an "open casting call", and "open audition". "Anyone who can solve this problem can bid and get the bid. (except that Roark guy we don't like him)" Yes, politicos were controlling who got reasonable consideration but this was not a "we're only accepting prestigous architects" sort of selection. You're going to really claim that authorship of the design is material here, and specifically expected? Yes, their decision woudl have been different, but it is not material in any objective way, and they certainly can't claim injury.

Additionally, Keating is not a "leading architect" in any way shape or form at the time of the bid. He is all but washed up. His firm is tiny. They have no commissions. He has to go and beg Toohey to even let him have a shot at Cortland, which Toohey agrees to reluctantly. Cortland is the last building Keating & Dumont build. Keating is "Joe Blo Architects" at the time of the bid.

I do appreciate your arguments Jonathan. A lot of what you say is plausible, and in certain contexts could be considered fully justified. You just don't go look at the details of the story very well to see if that context is actually the context involved.

Edited by KendallJ
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I've already analyzed the government as buyer, but you are making a big mistake here in lumping together wealthy private investors and government entities as buying entities.
Exactly. The objections based on contracts, first parties/third parties have nothing to do with the Cortlandt example in FH. In FH, we have a situation where the architecture business has changed drastically since the opening of the book. The government is taking over more and more building, and people can foresee a time when it would be almost the sole builder. We also have a corrupt selection process. The government bureaucrats are not going to assign the contract based purely on the virtues of the architect. We have many of them looking to Ellsworth Toohey to tell them whom to favor with business. For all intents and purposes, Toohey is running the corrupt selection. This is not about some private person, nor about a normal functioning government: this is a government functioning corruptly in this particular area.

Toohey has a problem though: the objective reality of the requirements. None of his favorites have the capability to deliver a plan that will meet the requirements within the cost constraints. Toohey is stumped. Then, Keating brings him drawings and Toohey immediately recognizes them as being from Roark. He is thrilled. He is the person who will decide on the architect, and here he sees drawings from Roark, and says he will accept them. So, the notion that there was any real deception is false. Toohey, the primary decision-maker, knew that Roark was the architect.

Interestingly, Toohey did not try to get changes made to the Roark's vision; but he was the inadvertent agent of some changes, since he did force some other architects onto the project. Many of the other changes were not about innocent bureaucratic decisions, but motivated by outright corruption.

Finally, Keating had no way to enforce his contract in the courts.

That is the context. I'm not providing references. Anyone interested in checking the details can start at FH, Part-4 Ch-7.

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That's not true. If the USFWS's refusal to pay you results in your inability to pay me, then my conditions have not been met, just as the conditions of Roark's contract with Keating had not been met due to the fact that the owners of Cortland didn't abide by their contract with Keating.

J

The transaction between the piston maker and the initial piston buyer though was supposed to have been completed before the pistons were resold. Additionally, if for some reason you gave the buyer the pistons ahead of time and were going to get paid later and then the person couldn't pay because somebody broke contract and thus left them with too little money to pay you, those pistons could just be taken back, problem solved, you don't need to destroy anything anyway like was required to stop somebody from keeping things taken from Roark's design in their building design.

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You don't get rights back free and clear, becuase part of the consitutents of a project were constructed lawfully. Cortdlant is not just the bricks or the real estate. As the building sits it is both a combination of the materials that went into it and the specific physical form in which is resides. How does this in any way change the fundamentals of the issue.
(Something in) the Cortlandt project is not owned by Roark, so the fundamental, as I see it, is that Roark destroys something that does not belong to him. Assuming Roark's rights were violated by the Cortlandt builders, does their initiation of force against Roark justify Roark initiating force against them?
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One initiator, granted. I should have said that better.

Assuming the Cortlandt builders illegally used Roark's property, under what conditions was he justified in dynamiting the builders' property?

Shouldn't he have gone through the legal system before blowing up Cortlandt??

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Shouldn't he have gone through the legal system before blowing up Cortlandt??
The book specifically mentions that the justice system was such that it would not have delivered justice, therefore this option was ruled out to Roark.
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I grant that information was withheld from the government in their decision to use Roark's design. However, this in insufficient to claim legal fraud. All sorts of information is not provided to prospective clients when they make a decision about a product, both within and outside of the architectural profession without legal fraud being committed. Contrary to Jonathan's claim, a client is not usually and is not provide with a list of names that, and the architect is not obligated to provide that list.

Why are you trying to pretend that this about "subcontracting," and about Keating not bothering his clients with a tedious list of all of his minor employees, and that it's not an issue of Keating passing off Roark's work as his own? When Keating and Roark initially discussed the project, Roark told Keating that he could take all of the credit, and that's what Keating did. When questioned by Wynand, Roark lied and said that Keating designed Cortland. When grilled by Toohey about who actually designed Cortland, Keating repeatedly stated that he, Keating, had designed it. How much more clear could Rand have been in informing the reader that Roark and Keating were presenting work completely designed by Roark as if it had been completely designed by Keating?

A client is not told with aesthetic decisions the owner of the firm might or might not have participated in. He is not told for instance that the owner chose a particular column, but that the interiors of the rooms were designed by employees or contractors. For it to be fraud, the information witheld must be material to the decision made.

In my experience (I've worked as a sculptor on several building projects) the clients are told almost everything. Putting up a building is usually a very personal experience for clients, and they like to be involved. It's common for architects to keep in almost daily contact with them, and to inform them of their thinking process while creating. Clients usually want to meet with everyone who will be contributing any creativity to the project, including sculptors like me, who tend to be a subcontractor of a subcontractor of a subcontractor (sometimes I'm creating prominent elements, and sometimes I'm contributing very minor decorative elements, but in either case, I've never worked on a project in which the client wasn't aware my involvement).

There are several reasons for architects keeping clients in the loop, including the fact that clients are much more likely to agree with an artistic vision if they thoroughly grasp the big picture and understand the reasons behind the decisions. And client involvement doesn't decrease when the client is a corporation or government entity. Architecture is just as personal an issue with people who own companies or represent agencies.

Read some of Frank Lloyd Wright's correspondence with his clients. He does indeed discuss such things as the choice of a particular column, or even a vase or knick-knack that he thinks might look good in a certain spot, and who drew his attention to it.

Jonathan said that Keating passed off the designs as "his". Certianly with the example of an artist we can see that there is intuitively some sort of plausibility to this sort of thinking. That is, when we buy something from an artist there is an expectation that the artist himself actually conceived the work, but most importantly that the artist himself actually executed the artistic portions of the work. For a work to be "his" the painter must have painted it, and the sculpture must have sculpted it. Even if the artists had assistants that assembled the canvas or say poured the final castings, the actual aesthetic portion of the work, in its entirely must have been executed by the artist. But does that analysis hold true for something like a building, which is the product of not a single individual, but a corporate entity? What does that mean to say that a design is "Keating's" when we're talking about the context of a company?

Yes, the idea of aesthetic authorship holds true of architecture, especially in the upper echelons of architecture in which Keating and Roark were working (or hoping to continue finding work). If you hire Calatrava to design a building, you're not going to get a design which was created by someone else, and in which Calatrava had no creative input.

So we have Jonathan's discussion of the artist. And certainly there is some similarity between that and architecture. There are aesthetic components to a buildling. As well, those components are the result of some people making aesthetic design choices about the building. We know that some architects fancy themselves "artists" and that some clients buy specifically because of the aesthetic elements of a buildings design.

Here you seem to be deviating significantly from Objectivism. Rand believed that architecture was an art form. She believed that the Objectivist Esthetics holds that architecture is art. When discussing architecture as an art form in the Romantic Manifesto, she referred the reader to The Fountainhead for further background or details. She fancied architects as artists, and she saw Roark as an artist along the lines of Frank Lloyd Wright.

Now, if you disagree with Rand, that's fine; we can have that discussion as well, but I think it should be a separate discussion. If you think, as I do, that accepting architecture as an art form contradicts Rand's definition and criteria of art, then we might have an interesting discussion on how to resolve that contradiction. My view, in a nutshell, is not that architecture (and music, and perhaps other art forms) should be eliminated from the list of valid art forms because it doesn't meet Rand's definition and criteria, but that her definition and criteria are in need of revision.

But at the same time we know and are given evidence that there are also differences between works of art and works of architecture. First of all works of architecture, including the design of aesthetic elements may be cooperative efforts.

Any work of art may be a collaborative effort. Architecture isn't different from the other art forms in that regard.

That is, one person may make a design choice and another person another. We know that some architects design in whatever aesthetic style their clients want and may even let the client make aesthetic choices. We We also know that as a cooperative enterprise that there are multiple ways that various people contribute to the design. They may be employees of the firm. They may be contractors.

Roark didn't "contribute" to the design. One doesn't "contribute" to a "cooperative" design by designing it in its entirety. Keating also didn't contribute. He had nothing to do with the design. So, I think you should stop playing word-games.

As I implied earlier, all of your arguments could be applied to Milli Vanilli: Music production is a collaborative effort; there are performers, and studio musicians, and engineers and other techies, and they all might contribute aesthetic elements; no one wants to see a list of all of the minor employees who may have made some minor creative contributions; therefore Milli Vanilli wasn't a fraud! Is that what you believe? Is that really the type of reality-denying argument that you want to make?

So, in this case, what sort of architect is Keating, and what sort of buyer is the government? Keating designs anything you the client would like. He lets his employees make many times most if not all the aesthetic decisions. At the time of Cortland his firm has fallen from favor. No one is interested in buying a "Keating" design as a "Keating" design. Keating is hardly the sort of architect that places Frank Lloyd Wright in the category where aesthetic authorship of the design matters.

Keating is a wimp and a failure, but he's a wimp and failure in the upper echelon of art-architecture. He's vying for projects which are considered to be prestigious and which attract the attention of prominent architects, as well as cultural and architectural critics (like Toohey). He saw Cortland as his chance to remain in the upper ranks of architect-artists.

What sort of architect would that be? Well, one that had a very particular aesthetic style, a unique style. One whose style is so unique that only he can add the aesthetic elements that make it so. One where neither the client nor an employee can make those decisions. That architect if it's anyone in The Fountainhead, is one like Howard Roark (ironically). So for other architects who are not "aesthetic authors", what does it mean when one says the building is his? Well, it can also mean that Keating is willing to put his firms name on the product, he will stand by the product, he will correct deficiencies in the product. These are all ways that a firm makes the producct "theirs." I submit that this the way that Apple and Porche made their products "theirs." IDEO designed the iPod, but Apple put its name on it, sold it, stood by it, and integrated it into their other products. The same is true of Porche. Given the kind of architect Keating is, cortland is most definitely "his". And there is every reasonable expectation that he will represent the design, see it built, and make sure it is build as promised. He did not withold any information to this regard. I submit that the exampe of a artist passing his work off as another's does not fit this situation. There is another way to determine this fact, and I'll return to it in a minute.

No. Keating was not the equivalent of Apple or Porsche. He was looking to take personal credit for Cortland, and he did -- repeatedly -- when confronted by Toohey.

And what sort of buyer was the government? Well, was aesthetic authorship their primary concern? It couldn't be. Why else would they solicit designs form any architect who would wish to submit a design? In fact one woudl reasonably claim that the government specifically would not go out of their way to get a design that was authored by a prominent "artist" style architect, because this would have increased taxpayer expense and when government does this it's generally considered wasteful spending. What was their central concern? The economics of the project. The cost efficiency of the design. How do we know this was the central overriding concern? Because we are told (when Toohey notifies Keating) that all other architects who would have submitted bids have done so, and none were able to meet the criteria of the government needs. And in regard to the cost effectiveness of Keating's design, no information was withheld about the attributes of this design in

that regard. In fact, we know that the government chose it, because it did meet the economic criteria.

The project was considered prestigious, and it's clear that aesthetic considerations were important. Keating and Toohey wouldn't have concerned themselves with it if it hadn't been prestigious, and Keating wouldn't have had to beg Toohey to give him a shot at the building.

So Keating is neither the type of architect nor is the government the type of buyer for whom authorship is material in any objective sense.

Authorship is most definitely a major consideration, and not just because of aesthetic reasons. "Who was brilliant enough to solve the utilitarian problems on the Cortland project?" was not a question to which people were accepting vague answers such as, "Oh, that was the Apple-like Keating Corporation, so I guess it must have been a collaboration between some of the company's many unnamed contributors or subcontractors." No, Keating personally took credit for the design, and, therefore, for having solved the utilitarian problems, just as he and Roark agreed that he would.

I've already analyzed the government as buyer, but you are making a big mistake here in lumping together wealthy private investors and government entities as buying entities. Everything you say about wealthy investors is completely true; however, it is not correct to characterize government this way.

Governments don't pay top dollar for leading architects (at least not knowingly as matter of policy).

Government entities do pay for leading architects. Granted, sometimes they don't have to pay "top dollar" to hire them, but that's because the architects are sometimes willing to work for less on prestigious projects which will advance their careers. Governments frequently hire those who are thought to be the world's leading architects.

Additionally, Keating is not a "leading architect" in any way shape or form at the time of the bid. He is all but washed up.

I agree that he's all but washed up, but within the upper echelon of architect-artists.

His firm is tiny.

Yet you compare him to Apple and Porshe?

They have no commissions. He has to go and beg Toohey to even let him have a shot at Cortland, which Toohey agrees to reluctantly. Cortland is the last building Keating & Dumont build. Keating is "Joe Blo Architects" at the time of the bid.

No, he's not a "Joe Blo." He's an upper echelon architect-artist who is blowing it.

I do appreciate your arguments Jonathan. A lot of what you say is plausible, and in certain contexts could be considered fully justified. You just don't go look at the details of the story very well to see if that context is actually the context involved.

Actually, I think I've nailed it. I think that you, on the other hand, are desperately trying to find a way to fake reality so that Roark's actions won't be judged to have been dishonest of immoral.

J

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The book specifically mentions that the justice system was such that it would not have delivered justice, therefore this option was ruled out to Roark.

If the justice system was such that it would not have delivered justice, how is it that it delivered what you consider to be justice at Roark's trial?

J

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As a follow on to Jonathan. You've posted a response while I was finalizing my last post. I've addressed most of your key issues in my follow up so I'm not going to go point by point through your post. The ones I didn't address go more to your understanding of what I said, and I'm not going to reitereate those things. YOu havne't actually asserted something contrary to the argument I've made, just thrown in a quip that while it might lead to an objection, isn't one. Make and objection state your case and I'll address that point.

As to 3rd party lawsuits,

Here is an example: I buy a car. I get into an accident because the car has a faulty brake. The brake is not manufactured by the car manufacturer I bought the car from. It is found that the car manufucturer took all reasonable precautions to assure the brake worked but that the brake manufacturer was in fact negligent. I can sue the brake manufacturer for damages because there is an implied warranty of fitness. This is essentially a breach of contract between the brake mfg and the car mfg, but I can take the suit directly to the brake mfg.

You've reversed the direction of the lawsuit, and therefore your example is not applicable or analogous to the Roark/Keating/Cortland case. In the Roark/Keating/Cortland case, Roark is the product creator and plaintiff, Keating is the intermediary who is unwilling to sue the intended defendant, and the owners of Cortland are the consumers of the product and the defendants. In order for your example to be analogous, the brake manufacturer would have to be the plaintiff suing the defendants who had purchased automobiles from an intermediary unwilling to sue them.

Keep trying tho.

J

Edited by Jonathan13
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You've reversed the direction of the lawsuit, and therefore your example is not applicable or analogous to the Roark/Keating/Cortland case. In the Roark/Keating/Cortland case, Roark is the product creator and plaintiff, Keating is the intermediary who is unwilling to sue the intended defendant, and the owners of Cortland are the consumers of the product and the defendants. In order for your example to be analogous, the brake manufacturer would have to be the plaintiff suing the defendants who had purchased automobiles from an intermediary unwilling to sue them.

Keep trying tho.

J

Oy, you asked for a specific sort of description. I gave it.

You want parrallelism. Patents or trademarks that have been licensed have the ability to have the original patent or trademark holder to sue third party infringers.

I'll get to the rest later.

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I'll get to the rest later.

I'll take that back. I just read through it. Everything you say here ammounts to "Architecture is art, therefore the artist example is the only one that applies." Yet you've not made a case for why architcture has some aspects of art and some not. I think I've distinctly shown when it might be considered art and when it might not, and that includes an answer to the "Milli Vanilli" example which bring up again and which I already said would be an example of fraud. (intrestingly MV didn't have to write their own songs, they just have to sing them... What sort of artistic fraud is that?) None of my arguments apply to Milli Vanilli and I said as much.

I'm not going to spend time refuting each of your points as they all don't get to the heart of the issue. Let me know when you're going to discuss the heart of the issue and I'll work with it.

My examples about architecture not being art apply whether we're talking about Apple or some tiny firm, and Keating's previous prestige as a top-tier architect are only relevant if he's trying to charge the fees that one would. His pervious prestige does not confer any obligation to reveal or to author that his current status doesn't invalidate. Keating wasn't initially considered, and Toohey only did so because he begged him to.

You haven't addressed injury or any other of the key issues that would make this a legal case of fraud.

As for Keating claiming authorship to Toohey, you'll have to quote that. It's not there. He didn't represent himself as having designed anything to Toohey. Irrelvant anyway as I've already discussed.

And as to the issue of governments being fractured entities. I didn't say that there was certainty that he wouldn't get a fair trial, and if you've never ever seen in the history of government that influence isn't peddled across boundaries, despite checks and balances, then you aren't paying attention. There most certainly is doubt that he will get a fair trial. Checks and balances do not confer complete compartmentalization across the various divisions of govt.

Basically, all your quips are oblique jabs, and the only one, which you don't state is that you're rejecting my assessment of architecture as non-artful in this case. You dance around the issue.

Edited by KendallJ
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If the justice system was such that it would not have delivered justice, how is it that it delivered what you consider to be justice at Roark's trial?
Can you imagine a competent lawyer allowing Roark to go to trial on the grounds he did?
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As for Keating claiming authorship to Toohey, you'll have to quote that. It's not there. He didn't represent himself as having designed anything to Toohey. Irrelvant anyway as I've already discussed.

Woops. I did find it. Although it's after Cortland was BLOWN UP, which would have made if very difficult for it to be material to Toohey's influence toward the decision to BUILD it.

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As for Keating claiming authorship to Toohey, you'll have to quote that. It's not there. He didn't represent himself as having designed anything to Toohey. Irrelvant anyway as I've already discussed.
Yes, it is completely irrelevant to the morality of the issue because Toohey knew Roark designed Cortlandt. There is absolutely no doubt in Toohey's mind; this is made clear to the reader. Not only does Toohey know, but he gives Keating the project because he sees that Keating has managed to get Roark to do the work. He even praises Keating for managing to harness Roark in this way. Not only does Toohey know the work is Roark's, he even receives confirmation from someone else who is knowledgeable about Roark's work.

Of course, none of that would not hold up in a court of law; but, that's not relevant to the moral issue.

Edited by softwareNerd
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