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John Hospers, 1918-2011


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#1 Chris Baker

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Posted 13 June 2011 - 12:59 PM

http://www.ballot-ac...-the-age-of-93/

Sheldon Richman has also posted this news on his Facebook status.

#2 Chris Baker

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Posted 13 June 2011 - 01:01 PM

http://www.lp.org/ne...inee-dies-at-93

http://reason.com/bl...rs-rip#comments

Edited by Chris Baker, 13 June 2011 - 01:25 PM.


#3 Selene

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Posted 13 June 2011 - 01:36 PM

A great man has passed.

After she made him breakfast the morning he left her apartment to submit his first book, Human Conduct, Ayn, waving him off to his publisher's office, said..."'Good premises!' instead of 'Good -bye,' which deeply touched him, he recalled." 1

Good premises indeed Mr. Hospers! Safe journey.

Adam

1page 330 Ayn Rand and the World She Made by Anne C.Heller

"Extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice..and moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue."

#4 Selene

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Posted 13 June 2011 - 02:00 PM

Here are his memories and conversations about Ayn, from his website Hospers Bio .

Memories of Ayn Rand


Conversations with Ayn Rand: A Memoir -- Part 1

Conversations with Ayn Rand: A Memoir -- Part 2

Edited by Selene, 13 June 2011 - 02:01 PM.

"Extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice..and moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue."

#5 Selene

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Posted 13 June 2011 - 02:02 PM

Posted Image
"Extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice..and moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue."

#6 Jerry Biggers

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Posted 13 June 2011 - 03:15 PM

Truly, one of the most notable philosophers who early signed-on with Rand, participated in a number of events at the Nathaniel Branden Institute, including participating and contributing a lecture to the Basic Principles of Objectivism course (later removed from the course after Rand had a tift over comments that he made from the podium on her presentation at a seminar on esthetics. These comments were apparently not recorded, so we don't know what was actually said [with the exception of Harry Binswanger, who claims that he was there and that Hospers was sarcastic. Sorry, but I do not take seriously recollections of this sort from someone who perpetuates the assertion that Rand was perfect in all with respects {er, except for the Brandens!}].

Anyway, considering Hospers' rather gentle and courteous demeanor, such a response would be out of character for him. Unfortunately, Rand did not share that personality trait, and that caused many of the "breaks" (expulsions) within her inner circle.

But, back to Hospers, he included references to Rand in his textbook, Introduction to Philosophical Analysis, and later included many discussions by contributing philosophers (e.g., Nozick, Machan, etc.) when he was editor of The Personalist.

I fondly recall a presidential campaign address that he gave at Northeastern Illinois University in Chicago in the fall of 1972. It took a lot of guts for him to agree to be the first Presidential candidate of the Libertarian Party, which certainly would have been looked upon disapprovingly by his academic peers. It certainly did not advance his status among fellow academics (although by that time, he was already well-established and was Chairman of the Department of Philosophy at the University of Southern California). He also authored Libertarianism: A Political Philosophy for Tomorrow around that time.

Although he garnered only about a 100,000 votes (including mine) in 1972, he did have the unique distinction of being rewarded with one Presidential electoral vote, cast by Roger MacBride (a relative of Rose Wilder Lane, to my recollection). The Republican Party of Virginia never forgave MacBride for that gesture.

John Hospers. Definitely a gentlemen, a scholar, and a role model that aspiring libertarians and Objectivist would do well to emulate..

Edited by Jerry Biggers, 13 June 2011 - 03:24 PM.


#7 BaalChatzaf

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Posted 13 June 2011 - 03:52 PM

http://www.ballot-ac...-the-age-of-93/

Sheldon Richman has also posted this news on his Facebook status.


Hospers had a good run.

Ba'al Chatzaf



אויב מיין באָבע האט בייצים זי וואָלט זיין מיין זיידע

#8 Selene

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Posted 13 June 2011 - 04:02 PM

Jerry:

He did get the first electoral vote for the Libertarian Party, as well as my vote.

Additionally, according to Heller, Barbara was at the Harvard address where Ayn delivered her twenty minute paper entitled "Art as Sense of Life." [Page 332 Heller Bio.] Moreover, according to Heller, same page,
Barbara said that "...some of his comments were sarcastic, 'probably our of nervousness at [having to criticize] her publicly, while she sat listening.'"

Needless to say, Ayn "...responded to his remarks by lashing out with a coarsely worded attack on Hospers." Hospers was shunned at the party at the hotel after the event and he and Ayn never saw each other again.

Adam
"Extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice..and moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue."

#9 Michael Stuart Kelly

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Posted 13 June 2011 - 04:18 PM

Wow,

This is some really bad news.

I grieve.

Michael

Know thyself...


#10 Michael E. Marotta

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Posted 13 June 2011 - 04:30 PM

I note his passing, also. He was, of course, 93.

Mike M.
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#11 Ninth Doctor

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Posted 13 June 2011 - 08:06 PM

I met him in 97 at an IOS event in DC. He was standing with Robert Bidinotto. He sure had a long life.
Prandium gratis non est

#12 BaalChatzaf

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Posted 13 June 2011 - 08:42 PM

Wow,

This is some really bad news.

I grieve.

Michael


Hospers appeared to have had a long an productive life. That is something to celebrate, not to grieve.

There is something worse than dying after a long full life, and that is not dying and wearing out and dwindling until just a thin husk still lives. That is something to grieve.

Ba'al Chatzaf



אויב מיין באָבע האט בייצים זי וואָלט זיין מיין זיידע

#13 Dennis Edwall

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Posted 13 June 2011 - 08:50 PM

"Hospers appeared to have had a long an productive life. That is something to celebrate, not to grieve.

There is something worse than dying after a long full life, and that is not dying and wearing out and dwindling until just a thin husk still lives. That is something to grieve."

Well said, Ba'al.

#14 Mike Renzulli

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Posted 13 June 2011 - 08:52 PM

Very unfortunate he is gone. He has had an influence in my life. I would have liked to have met him.

#15 Barbara Branden

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Posted 13 June 2011 - 09:52 PM

Jerry Biggers wrote:

"I fondly recall a presidential campaign address that he gave at Northeastern Illinois University in Chicago in the fall of 1972. It took a lot of guts for him to agree to be the first Presidential candidate of the Libertarian Party, which certainly would have been looked upon disapprovingly by his academic peers. It certainly did not advance his status among fellow academics (although by that time, he was already well-established and was Chairman of the Department of Philosophy at the University of Southern California). He also authored Libertarianism: A Political Philosophy for Tomorrow around that time."

Jerry, despite his many accomplishments and his remarkable gifts as a teacher who was beloved by his students, John paid dearly for his espousal of libertarianism. He was forced to retire from USC at the age of 65. There was no question in his mind that his dismissal was the result of his political convictions. (Other teachers of the same age were not compelled to retire.) John loved teaching above all else, and it broke his heart to have to abandon it. It was a pain that never went away, and he would often refer to it as the great tragedy of his life.

But he was not forgotten. James Kilbourne and I hosted a party for John on the occasion of his 90th birthday, and I made it known in advance that words of congratulation could be e-mailed to me, to be read to John at the party. E-mails poured in, not just from friends and colleagues but from John's students from 30, 40, 50 years ago, thanking him for the inestimable value this brilliant and caring man had contributed to their lives.

Barbara

#16 Brant Gaede

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Posted 13 June 2011 - 11:27 PM

He responded to my email, Barbara, which meant he responded to each and every email sent to him. I'm sorry never to have met him.

--Brant

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


#17 Brant Gaede

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Posted 13 June 2011 - 11:32 PM

I understand Jack Wheeler got his PhD in philosophy under John Hospers.

--Brant

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


#18 Brant Gaede

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Posted 13 June 2011 - 11:41 PM

When you pay esteemed professors six figures to grace your campus you don't compel them to retire at 65. So if a tenured prof. is let go at 65 because tenure expires at 65 he is disvalued. When a champion of liberty is disvalued say goodbye to America.

So glad I have no children. Well, if I did they'd be adults by now, probably with their own children. So glad I have no grandchildren. I'm too deep into being an American, but these days i'm supposed to be a United Statesican. Sorry, no joy.

--Brant

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


#19 Selene

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Posted 14 June 2011 - 12:02 AM

When you pay esteemed professors six figures to grace your campus you don't compel them to retire at 65. So if a tenured prof. is let go at 65 because tenure expires at 65 he is disvalued. When a champion of liberty is disvalued say goodbye to America.
--Brant


Francisco explained that:

"I am an alumnus of the great school that employs Dr. Pritchett at present, the Patrick Henry University. But I studied under one of his predecessors—Hugh Akston." "Hugh Akston!" the attractive young woman gasped. "But you couldn't have, Señor d'Anconia! You're not old enough. I thought he was one of those great names of … of the last century."

"Perhaps in spirit, madame. Not in fact."

"But I thought he died years ago."

"Why, no. He's still alive."

"Then why don't we ever hear about him any more?"

"He retired, nine years ago."

"Isn't it odd? When a politician or a movie star retires, we read front page stories about it. But when a philosopher retires, people do not even notice it."

"They do, eventually."

Adam
"Extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice..and moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue."

#20 Greybird

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Posted 14 June 2011 - 04:40 AM

[...] despite his many accomplishments and his remarkable gifts as a teacher who was beloved by his students, John paid dearly for his espousal of libertarianism. He was forced to retire from USC at the age of 65. There was no question in his mind that his dismissal was the result of his political convictions. (Other teachers of the same age were not compelled to retire.) John loved teaching above all else, and it broke his heart to have to abandon it. It was a pain that never went away, and he would often refer to it as the great tragedy of his life.

I never knew this until now. I'm immensely saddened for him, though not at all shocked or surprised.

What makes this a redoubled tragedy is that the University of Southern California — as I still find to not be universally known, among friends and contacts — is not a government institution, but a private one. That this kind of apparent ostracism and group-think extends to private colleges, ones that are widely presumed to be more insulated from them, shows that such philosophic diminution and decay goes far beyond the realm of political funding struggles.

I'm sure Barbara could cite examples of this at New York University, also private, on the other coast. I can testify to it at Northwestern University, between the two in Illinois. Avoiding direct government funding is no guarantee of a campus culture of truly independent thought.




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