Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Ayn Rand and Averro√ęs

An article suggesting a link (scroll down).

Monday, May 29, 2006

Brangelina

On an unrelated issue, I find it particularly annoying how the media uses "cutesy" expressions such as "Brangelina." It is almost as annoying as "diva" being used for female celebrities, when the term refers to female opera singers.

Books on Liberty

David Gordon has an excellent list of Books on Liberty. He puts Atlas Shrugged and The Fountainhead on the list because of the "sense of life" advocated in these books, but not Rand's non-fiction. I've always been a bigger fan of Rand's non-fiction than her fiction.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Spring 2006 Journal of Ayn Rand Studies

Has been published. The articles on Rand's ethics look particularly intersting. Robert Campell's discussion of altruism in Comte looks interesting as well.

Monday, May 22, 2006

Reason Papers

Reason Papers is now on-line. This journal contains many articles of interest to Objectivists. For example, there is a defense of Rand's ethics against J. Charles King's critique in The Philosophy of Ayn Rand.

Friday, May 19, 2006

Ayn Rand Answers: The Best of Her Q & A (Review by Roger Donway)

A good review by Mr. Roger Donway. He draws attention to Rand's claim about raising people's IQs. (It jumped out at me when I read the book as well.)

"I'd prefer that people raise their IQ from 110 to 150. It can be done."

Rand was rather anti-egalitarian, but on this issue she seems to have have a very optimistic view of human nature common to the Left.

As Mr. Donway also notes, Robert Mayhew incorrectly attributed the essay "Counterfeit Individualism" to Rand rather than Nathaniel Branden. It appears that Prof. Mayhew isn't always the most careful writer (see here and here).

The New Individualist, January - February 2006

Is on-line. Looks like there are some interesting articles.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

John Robbins: The Philosophy of Ayn Rand Refuted

I'm not a big fan of John Robbins' books on Ayn Rand, but given that there isn't much free audio concerning Rand on the web, I will link to this lecture.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Search Tara Smith's New Book

At amazon.com.

Walter Block's Reply to Peter Schwartz's Critique of Libertarianism

Walter Block's reply to Peter Schwartz's critique of libertarianism in on the web. I can't understand why Schwarz's piece is held in such high esteem by Objectivists.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Ayn Rand, Ludwig von Mises & Kant

Ayn Rand is often villified for her belief that Kant was "the most evil man in history." Interestingly, Ludwig von Mises (a Kantian of sorts) said the following about Kant's ethics --

"Engels called the German Labour Movement the heir to the German classical philosophy. It would be more correct to say that German (not only Marxian) Socialism represents the decadence of the school of idealist philosophy. Socialism owes the dominion it won over the German mind to the idea of society as conceived by the great German thinkers. Out of Kant's mysticism of duty and Hegel's deification of the State it is easy to trace the development of socialist thought; Fichte is already a socialist."

"In recent decades the revival of Kantian criticism, that much praised achievement of German philosophy, has benefited Socialism also. The Neo-Kantians, especially Friedrich Albert Lange and Hermann Cohen, have declared themselves socialists. Simultaneously Marxians have tried to reconcile Marxism with the New Criticism. Ever since the philosophical foundations of Marxism have shown signs of cracking, attempts to find in critical philosophy support for socialist ideas have multiplied."

"The weakest part of Kant's system is his ethics. Although they are vitalized by his mighty intellect, the grandeur of individual concepts does not blind us to the fact that his starting-point is unfortunately chosen and his fundamental conception a mistaken one. His desperate attempt to uproot Eudaemonism has failed. In ethics, Bentham, Mill, and Feuerbach triumph over Kant. The social philosophy of his contemporaries, Ferguson and Adam Smith, left him untouched. Economics remained foreign to him. All his perception of social problems suffers from these deficiencies."

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Ayn Rand and the Curse of Kant

A good discussion of the Objectivist view of history by David Ramsay Steele. I think an Objectivist might plausibly argue that it may take a long time for certain ideas to work themselves out in history, so the turn to free market economics doesn't necessarily contradict the claim that philosophical ideas in the long run are determinent.

Friday, May 05, 2006

Ayn Rand and Immigration

Does anyone know what Ayn Rand's views on immigration were? ARI type Objectivists are generally supportive of open borders (see the editorials of Tracinski and Binswanger). On the other hand, Rand would speak of "national self interest," which might justify restrictions on immigration.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Ayn Rand

A summary of her life and work by Stephen R.C. Hicks.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

The Only Path to Tomorrow

A 1944 article by Ayn Rand in Readers Digest.

Monday, May 01, 2006

John Kenneth Galbraith, R.I.P.

Apparently it isn't only Austrian economists who live to an old age. Tibor Machan reminds us that Galbraith was a socialist.