Here is the pertinent part of Dennis's email (provided with his permission, of course):
In the quote, Rand said her philosophical system was complete, but not finished.
I came across an interesting quote from Ayn Rand in Objectively Speaking: Ayn Rand Interviewed, just published by Lexington Books.
Interview with Garth Ancier of “Focus on Youth,” 1976:
Ancier: Miss Rand, is there anything more to say about your philosophy that you haven’t said already?
AR: I’m glad you are not that acquainted with my philosophy, because if you were, you would know that I haven’t nearly said everything yet. I do have a complete philosophical system, but the elaboration of a system is a job that no philosopher can finish in his lifetime. There is an awful lot of work yet to be done.
Objectively Speaking: Ayn Rand Interviewed
Edited by Marlene Podriske and Peter Schwartz
Here is the relevant passage from Peikoff's "Fact and Value":
"... Kelley states that Ayn Rand’s philosophy, though magnificent, 'is not a closed system.' Yes, it is. Philosophy, as Ayn Rand often observed, deals only with the kinds of issues available to men in any era; it does not change with the growth of human knowledge, since it is the base and precondition of that growth. Every philosophy, by the nature of the subject, is immutable. New implications, applications, integrations can always be discovered; but the essence of the system—its fundamental principles and their consequences in every branch—is laid down once and for all by the philosophy’s author..."
The key word here is "system"--Rand is explicitly stating that no thinker can possibly finish a new philosophical system in a single lifetime. Peikoff clearly wants to distinguish "new implications, applications [and] integrations" from elaborations on Objectivism as a total "system." But Rand is explicitly stating that her system, as such, would in no way be "closed" when she died. I would think that we can now put that matter to rest, once and for all.
I'll take that to mean that the basic principles of the basic categories are complete, but there are other categories and other principles yet to be explored, in addition to Peikoff's "new implications, applications [and] integrations."
Sounds pretty open to me.
I'll even take that to mean that if other principles become discovered that adhere to the fundamental axioms (including verification by direct observation), but show her principles to be incomplete or too broad in scope, they should be altered to become aligned with the fundaments.
Thanks for the observation, Dennis.