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ARI then vigorously supported the creation of a better-funded competitor to TIA, The Objective Standard, which has reliably served as a de facto "house organ" for ARI, expressing views on war and politics that are in line with the approved positions there.

I'm not sure about the views of The Objective Standard on war and politics as a whole; however, I do know that they just published an article by Craig Biddle in which he is in direct opposition to Peikoff's opinion on the Ground Zero Mosque.

Very intriguing article, though. I will be mulling over some things as well.

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I'm not sure about the views of The Objective Standard on war and politics as a whole; however, I do know that they just published an article by Craig Biddle in which he is in direct opposition to Peikoff's opinion on the Ground Zero Mosque.

The TOS largely falls in line with ARI's foreign policy. The fact that there was a disagreement regarding opinion on the Mosque means nothing because Peikoff's argument regarding the Mosque was viewed as illegitimate by many members of the Objectivist community, and in my personal opinion was not only wrong but in conflict with Ayn Rand's writings (and what she has alluded to in audio interviews), but this thread is not here to discuss that, nor do I wish to do so.

I have noticed Lew Rockwell has also taken note of this:

http://www.lewrockwell.com/blog/lewrw/archives/65169.html

Edited by TJ46
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I have yet to read Harriman's book (I plan to pick it up shortly) but there are a few key points on this case that this article misses at first glance. Peikoff claims that McCaskey's criticisms go to "the heart of the philosophical principle." If McCaskey has criticized Objectivist principle, then he has departed with Objectivism and jeopardizes his status at ARI. If he has criticized Peikoff's principles, that's another issue. But since the exchanges referred to are private, they're probably not going to be released to the public unless done so by McCaskey. I assume that this is why Peikoff did not cite specifics but allowed the release of the letter which simply refers to them.

As far as any allegation that Peikoff is relying more and more on argument from authority, that's going to take a deeper look and research than what a casual first glance offers.

Edited by Sir Andrew
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The TOS largely falls in line with ARI's foreign policy.
You mean that they happen to agree with ARI on foreign policy?

The fact that there was a disagreement regarding opinion on the Mosque means nothing because Peikoff's argument regarding the Mosque was viewed as illegitimate by many members of the Objectivist community, ...
It does mean something. The person to whom you replied was pointing to that as an example where TOS differs from LP.

Of course the nature of TOS is not the focus on the TIA article linked, and one can disagree with that a a few other such side issues without disagreeing with the main thesis.

Edited by softwareNerd
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The fact that there was a disagreement regarding opinion on the Mosque means nothing

I was not presenting what I said as an argument to the article. I haven't even finished it yet, as I had to stop reading to attend to other matters.

I was merely pointing out that one of the examples Mr. Tracinski used for his argument is not consistent. If TOS was completely overseen by ARI, and ARI didn't make a move that Peikoff didn't approve of, it is doubtful that the article by Biddle would have been published. Unless, of course, Peikoff was aware of this sort of criticism against him and allowed it. This is all based on the assumption that Peikoff has a hand in what ARI does, and that ARI has a hand in what TOS publishes, like the article implied.

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You mean that they happen to agree with ARI on foreign policy?

Yes that is what I meant...

It does mean something. The person to whom you replied was pointing to that as an example where TOS differs from LP.

Of course the nature of TOS is not the focus on the TIA article linked, and one can disagree with that a a few other such side issues without disagreeing with the main thesis.

I meant it means nothing with respect to the potentiality that Tracinski's quoted claim may be in err simply because Biddle departed to some extent from Peikoff's view on that matter.

I was merely pointing out that one of the examples Mr. Tracinski used for his argument is not consistent. If TOS was completely overseen by ARI, and ARI didn't make a move that Peikoff didn't approve of, it is doubtful that the article by Biddle would have been published. Unless, of course, Peikoff was aware of this sort of criticism against him and allowed it. This is all based on the assumption that Peikoff has a hand in what ARI does, and that ARI has a hand in what TOS publishes, like the article implied.

The implication seems to be that it essentially follows in footstep with ARI, which it very much does, and that any deviations are not great enough in substance to really take notice of, which I would agree with after having read Biddle's article and comparing it to all of his others. Half of the essays in Winning an Unwinnable War were first published in TOS for example, I have not seen any foreign policy works that go against the views espoused in those articles, including Biddles counter-argument, which is merely a deviation but follows the same general flow, as can be seen by many of his own, other articles. A single article does not invalidate this among the tens and tens and tens of others.

At any rate, there has clearly been some poor journalism with respect to some of these foreign policy articles, as Tracinski has pointed out regarding Just War theory and the Bush administration, and that in itself should be a bit of a concern. Personally, as a military man I find the suggestion that the Bush administration's views on foreign policy are a result of Just War theory to be incorrect and do not hold up to Just War theories structure nor do these claims hold up to the facts at hand during deliberation on intervention in Iraq pre-invasion.

Edited by TJ46
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ARI then vigorously supported the creation of a better-funded competitor to TIA, The Objective Standard, which has reliably served as a de facto "house organ" for ARI, expressing views on war and politics that are in line with the approved positions there.

As far as I know The Objective Standard is autonomous. It is not run under the direction of ARI.

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As far as I know The Objective Standard is autonomous. It is not run under the direction of ARI.

But... ARI figures have been published in TOS repeatedly. I have always viewed TOS as a de facto ARI organization.
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Mr. Tracinski makes a compelling presentation for identifying an authoritarian and dogmatic arrogance that arose during the Kelly/Peikoff rift years ago. A radio personality in the Detroit area had the opportunity to interview Kelly, and extended the invitation to Peikoff who had declined, apparently because Mark Scott had interviewed David Kelly.

The analogy the Robert draws between these two appear to be easily drawn. What is more difficult is to check some of the technical difficulties in an arena that is not your field of specialty. Robert points out he enjoys the political analysis. Mr. McCaskey has a historical framework to draw upon. Dr. Harriman's forte has been physics. And Peikoff certainly demonstrates mastery of Objectivism through many of his works I have experienced.

As a layman, I only have a brushing familiarity with these various branches - and a development over the years of appreciation for the specialization that the division of labor provides. In a row such as this, my initial reaction is disappointment that the issues cannot appear to be concluded in a manner that avoids coming across as somewhat derisive.

I have read Dr. Harriman book. Thomas Miovas stated that the content is dense. I would also consider Ayn Rand's writing style dense. I consider this a virtue on both their behalf's.

Mr. McCaskey has not appeared on my reading list at this point. Dr. Peikoff's style is more verbose, and provides a plethora of illustrations to concretize the points.

One of the proper roles a government provides is a court system to arbitrate legitimate differences between men. Here we need not a jury of individual with blindfolds of ignorance in the fields under discussion, rather, individuals ensure that the proper datums are referenced, and the call-outs to the various features are laid out systematically and in a legal manner. I would have to excuse myself from the jury at this juncture in my life.

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As far as I know The Objective Standard is autonomous. It is not run under the direction of ARI.

He did not say it was not autonomous in that article. He seems to claim it is a separate in actuality, as an entity, but not so much regarding actual content. I have always viewed TOS as a de-facto ARI mouthpiece as well, just through a different form of publication. Things like TIA and The Undercurrent, along with several other media sources of this nature I have not had that impression of.

Mr. McCaskey has not appeared on my reading list at this point. Dr. Peikoff's style is more verbose, and provides a plethora of illustrations to concretize the points.

I am not aware if he has written any actual books...all I can seem to find is that he has a Phd. in the History of Science from Stanford in '06 and that he has a phenomenal professor rating on ratemyprofessor: http://www.ratemyprofessors.com/ShowRatings.jsp?tid=363648

That is saying something considering his easiness rating is 2.6. I hardly ever have seen ratings this good. Not that it says anything about this event however.

Edited by TJ46
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He did not say it was not autonomous in that article.

True,

ARI then vigorously supported the creation of a better-funded competitor to TIA, The Objective Standard, which has reliably served as a de facto "house organ" for ARI, expressing views on war and politics that are in line with the approved positions there.

Supported, by what means? Better-funded, by whom? De facto "house organ", return on investment?

Where these just carefully chosen words, a product of an earlier jilted relationship, or a recognition that helps to illuminate the veneer of a facade by an astute individual?

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I read his entire article with interest, and in general I can usually find some interesting things in Tracinski's work. My thoughts on this are not completely sorted out, but I have a number of immediate points where I disagree or think he is misguided.

-He keeps referring to what happened as another "crisis" for Objectivism and I've heard this from other people before. But I don't think that personal disputes and disagreements make for anything approaching a "crisis". It's just something those individuals will need to deal with and sort out amongst themselves. And the rest of us are just basically left to make up our own minds about the outcome.

-His citation of what amounts to Journo/Brook/Epstein's towing the line seems shaky and unfounded as far as anyone can tell from what he points to. There could be any number of reasons why they think and come to the conclusions they do.

-Remarking that scientists might be better off at philosophy than philosophers is just silly, especially now more than ever seeing as how science today is inundated with determinism.

-Stating that Objectivists should branch out on their own independently of ARI is nothing earth shattering or dramatic. It's pretty much what everyone has acknowledged for a few years. (And naturally that would give them intellectual independence from ARI if they wished).

Despite all this, the issue of McCasky's resignation still does seem very up in the air with Peikoff coming off seeming unjustified. Unless more information is presented, I don't know what else to conclude. However at the same time I'm unsure if such personal conflicts require public explanation. Perhaps an explanation would be justified in consideration of ARI's donors.

I do think that the administration at ARI has every rightful reason to see to quality control of its members. e.g. They wouldn't want someone writing about supporting Holocaust denial, or anarchy, etc. Nevertheless, this didn't seem to constitute something like that, and as it stands I don't see why McCasky was dismissed.

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-Remarking that scientists might be better off at philosophy than philosophers is just silly, especially now more than ever seeing as how science today is inundated with determinism.

Well, perhaps some things like psychology or neuroscience or something like that are overly determinist. But the whole point of physics is prediction of the future from a given set of circumstances (it's how we know how to manipulate the physical world after all), so you can't blame it for having determinist theories (actually, they are roughly speaking stochastic, i.e. random, on the quantum level; they just limit to deterministic ones for very large systems).

As for Anthemgate proper, I'm not surprised. I've listened to a number of Peikoff's podcasts, read "Fact and Value" (which while pretty good philosophically I think, was not written in a professional manner and had the air of authoritarianism to it, especially what I see as an overzealous application of its point to almost anyone who disagrees on even small things). And now with this, it simply solidifies in my mind that Piekoff, while having made a big contributions to Objectivism, has definitely become intolerant of any criticism whatsoever.

OPAR was great, and I would love to really be able to dig into his work on rationalism, so I respect Peikoff. This behavior seen in his letter is almost laughably bad though.

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I do think that the administration at ARI has every rightful reason to see to quality control of its members. e.g. They wouldn't want someone writing about supporting Holocaust denial, or anarchy, etc. Nevertheless, this didn't seem to constitute something like that, and as it stands I don't see why McCasky was dismissed.

A minor point: McCaskey wasn't dismissed. He resigned in the face of Peikoff's ultimatum.

Peikoff placed ARI in the position of having to choose between his continued support and McCaskey's continued service on the board of directors, writing that "someone has to go, and someone will go. It is your [ARI's] prerogative to decide whom." McCaskey responded to this by resigning, writing that he "believe[d] it would be damaging to the Institute if the Institute acted either way, either acceding to his demand or rejecting it. So I decided to resign from the Board of Directors of the Ayn Rand Institute and of the Anthem Foundation for Objectivist Scholarship." As far as I know the administration at ARI did not make the decision one way or the other, McCaskey did.

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A minor point: McCaskey wasn't dismissed. He resigned in the face of Peikoff's ultimatum.
Well, this is not the typical resignation. That would a case where McCaskey does not like something ARI is doing, or resigns for some personal reason. I'm not sure which concept applies best here: resignation or firing. The folks that run ARI must obviously have a viewpoint on the issue, and must have some judgement about which side Peikoff or McCaskey is right. If they think Peikoff is right (or "more right"), then I would classify this parting as being closer to a firing (in the sub-category -- resignation in the face of imminent firing); if they think McCaskey is "more right" then I would classify it as closer to a resignation. I hope it is the latter. Edited by softwareNerd
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