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#41 Stephen Boydstun

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Posted 21 September 2014 - 05:44 AM

The volume referred to here under the projected title Ayn Rand: A Companion to Her Works and Thought will be issued by Blackwell this coming March with the title A Companion to Ayn Rand. I expect it to include a contribution from Harry Binswanger on art and metaphysical values, from Tara Smith on objective law, and from John David Lewis on Rand’s cultural and political commentary. Much more, and more surely, I’ll let you know when its TOC becomes available.



#42 Stephen Boydstun

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Posted Yesterday, 06:29 AM

Neera Badhwar, a past presenter at the Ayn Rand Society, has a new book:

Well-Being: Happiness in a Worthwhile Life

 

Paul Bloomfield, a past commentator at ARS, also has a new book:

The Virtues of Happiness: A Theory of the Good Life

 

On 27 December, ARS will have a session on the topic The Moral Basis of Capitalism: Adam Smith, the Austrians, and Ayn Rand. Presenters will be James Otteson, Peter Boettke, and Yaron Brook. The session will be chaired by James Lennox. The session will be 6:30–9:30 p.m. at the Marriott Philadelphia Downtown. Admission is registration, which unfortunately is steep if you’re not a member of APA.* The papers in this session will join earlier ARS papers in a future ARS book dealing with Rand’s political philosophy.



#43 Merlin Jetton

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Posted Yesterday, 06:45 AM

Hmmm. I used the Look Inside feature on Amazon. Badhwar's book does not mention Rand or Objectivism. Bloomfield's book mentions Rand once -- amid a list of several egoists -- and Objectivism zero times.



#44 Brant Gaede

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Posted Yesterday, 07:10 AM

Hmmm. I used the Look Inside feature on Amazon. Badhwar's book does not mention Rand or Objectivism. Bloomfield's book mentions Rand once -- amid a list of several egoists -- and Objectivism zero times.

 

?--Look Inside only shows a fraction of a book. How did you search the books?

 

--Brant


Rational Individualist, Rational self-interest, Individual Rights--limited government libertarian heavily influenced by Objectivism


#45 Merlin Jetton

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Posted Yesterday, 07:22 AM

 

-Look Inside only shows a fraction of a book. How did you search the books?

 

Like I said, I used Amazon's Look Inside feature. It shows hits, with a brief excerpt, in two ways -- black or blue font for pages you can see online, a lighter color font for pages you can't see online. The index is treated a little differently. So my undertanding of how it works is that any appearence of the search word or phrase in the book will result in a hit.  This is for "print book". Search isn't available for a Kindle book.



#46 Brant Gaede

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Posted Yesterday, 07:30 AM

Thanks for the information.

 

--Brant


Rational Individualist, Rational self-interest, Individual Rights--limited government libertarian heavily influenced by Objectivism


#47 Stephen Boydstun

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Posted Yesterday, 10:51 AM

Prof. Bloomfield was a critic of Irfan’s ARS paper, and Bloomfield canvassed some of his criticisms of Rand’s ethical thought in that critique* (published in the ARS volume Metaethics, Egoism, and Virtue). Both Bloomfield and Prof. Badhwar have in great hand the entire history of ethical theory, including ethical egoism within that history, right up to their own contemporaries. I expect Bloomfield gives Rand the small amount of space he thinks she merits among past and current ethicists as they bear on his own ethical theory presented in this book. The ancient four virtues he adopts, reformed in light of some modern developments, should be interesting to compare to the logical places of those virtues in, or resolutions of those virtues by, Rand’s own. That is not work that is likely to be done by the leading professional moral philosophers, due to the portion of their efforts they think would be warranted for such a project. And any such study by the few professional philosophers subscribing to an ethical theory close to Rand’s is likely to receive attention, or anyway public comment in print, only from the more intellectual quarter of Rand’s own children.

 

I notice that both of these titles include Happiness and Life, but not Egoism. Perhaps that portends a lack of focus on egoism and self-interest in these books. I plan to find out. I notice that in Badhwar’s book she thanks inputs from Fred Miller and from a couple other philosophers friendly towards Rand’s ethics. However, not only is Rand evidently not mentioned, it seems that Tibor Machan is also not mentioned. So I expect his portrayals of the classical egoism of Greece (and its affinities with Rand’s egoism) is far from her own ethical outlook being presented in this book. Badhwar’s presentation at ARS was in 1993, one of three presentations on that occasion concerning The Fountainhead at age 50. I don’t know what she said there, but I imagine she had some reservations about the ethics put forth in that philosophical novel. Two years later, Badhwar delivered a paper at a seminar of the Institute of Objectivist Studies titled “Self-Interest and Altruism.” I had not been present, at least not for the audience Q&A portion, but I gathered talking to her that afternoon, as we waited for David Kelley’s “Benevolence and Civility as Objectivist Virtues,” that the audience criticism had been harsh, really a resounding No! Prof. Badhwar has some expertise in Rand’s philosophy and apparently some continuing interest, as she is a co-contributor of the entry Ayn Rand in the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.* 



#48 Brant Gaede

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Posted Yesterday, 12:49 PM

All philosophy is about supposedly doing the right thing--or nothing. Thus all philosophy is moral philosophy. Morality is about control in a sea of choices. What kind of control and why is the derivative issue but the primary need not be mentioned or acknowledged but will always be inferred. Unfortunately this obscures the "why" of all the verbiage so the words can go way out of the control of relevance save for self-referencing discussions of the academics. I think this is the big reason Rand is hated so much. She's a threat to job security. Ironically, Objectivism itself was self-protecting from the beginning surrounded by moats to true critical thinking. This made there a lot more Objectivism to teach than teaching how to learn through critical thinking would have. But, regardless, morality is right at the heart of the philosophy. Not so libertarianism which pushed out morality in favor of politics leaving only that which you should not do--initiate force--which is actually only one bridge out of ethics to politics and general social interactions. That's negative, hence the idea of negative rights to counter the positing of phony rights--i.e., "positve rights." But positive morality is what kind of person one is and one's positive interactions with others on which libertarianism draws a blank. A pure political philosophy is no real philosophy at all. It beheads the person keeping the head and discarding the body. Philosophy is for the entire person and naturally enough takes in all of the Liberal Arts* (including science) as revealed in anyone's psychology.

 

All I've said is it's not philosophy commonly understood but philosophy-psychology and from one's that flows everything to one's interests, cook, baker, candlestick maker--scientist or politician or humanitarian to artist, mother or scoundrel: whatever rings your bell.

 

--Brant

*all acquired cognitive knowledge


Rational Individualist, Rational self-interest, Individual Rights--limited government libertarian heavily influenced by Objectivism





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