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About seddon

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  • Full Name
    Fred Seddon
  • Articles
    Book Review: Essays on Ayn Rand's We the Living, edited by Robert Mayhew Review of Ayn Rand Contra Human Nature

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  • Location
    Pittsburgh, PA
  • Interests
    Philosophy, Music, Sex. In short, PMS
  1. Summer vacation with Leonard Peikoff by Fred Seddon What did I do on my summer vacation you ask. I went to Galt’s Gulch, i.e., Ouray, Colorado. Since I drove, that means I had to find a way to use 36 hours of driving time for something more than watching white lines go by. So I took my IPod, filled with more music than I could listen to in two weeks, but, I also took Leonard Peikoff with me. Specifically, Volume Two of his The History of Philosophy, Kant to the Present. I got both volumes about 11 years ago and although I have listened to all 48 tapes at least twice, it has been a while
  2. Michael, You wrote, "Congratulations on a magnificent review." Dragonfly wrote, "it is a rather poor review." I agree with Michael and thank him. How's that for dispassion. Tee hee. Fred
  3. tndbay I would like to point out an equivocation in your reply. You wrote that "there is absolutely no such thing as an absolute..." whereas I wrote that there is no absolutely certain "theoretical" knowledge--A much smaller domain. There may very well be absolutes in other areas (I would of course need your definition of "absolute") even if there were no absolutes in the area of theoretical knowledge. Fred
  4. Dragonfly, You wrote, “Nyquist is not talking about sentence refutations,” It’s hard to tell if you’re dropping, ignoring or misremembering the context but I Never said or accused Nyquist of talking about sentence refutations. That was my point; a point against his claim that the ONLY time you can be certain is when you have a refutation of a theory. So maybe we finally found something to agree upon, “Nyquist is not talking about sentence refutations.” If that is one of your points, then I agree. He’s not. But of course I was. Let me stop here with this tiny little point to see if w
  5. Dragonfly, 1. You’re still missing my point, which is quite a simple one. Nyquist claims that utopians blame the environment rather than the individual for the evil that exists. I claim that Rand doesn’t do that. Do you have anything to say about my actual claim? 2. “I don't know if he is a Popperian positivist.” In addition to many statements throughout the book, see pp xx. 3. “I could have formulated my objection like this: you can't be sure, as there is always the possibility (even if it's highly unlikely) that you're hallucinating.” Well, I’m unimpressed. I simply what to know w
  6. Dragonfly, 1. I check the original in JARS and there is an in passing reference to Torres and Kamhi. It reads, “I would send the interested reader to Torres and Kamhi’s WHAT ART IS (2001), . . .” 2. “But that's obviously not a definition!” [of “utopian”] Well, that seems to be Nyquist’s problem, not mine. He doesn’t give your definition. I responded to what he wrote, not to what you think he should have written. How could I have done otherwise? And your reference to the Introduction is no help. The point I was making was to deny to Rand what he says is characteristic of all utopians, to
  7. Dragonfly, Thanks for reading and responding to my review. Let me respond briefly as follows. 1. I don’t recall making any cuts from the body of the review. 2. “After all the definition of an utopian is: someone who proposes ideal schemes that can't realized in practice. With that meaning in mind, his argument does make sense, even if it is formulated in a somewhat confusing way.” That may be your definition of “utopian” but it is not Nyquist. He gives the definition I quote, “The utopian blames evil, not on man, but on environmental factors, such as unjust social conditions, abusive par
  8. Ayn Rand Contra Human Nature by Fred Seddon (first published as "Nyquist Contra Rand," The Journal of Ayn Rand Studies 4, no. 2 (Spring 2003): 361 72.) Ayn Rand Contra Human Nature Greg S. Nyquist New York, Writers Club Press xi + 374 pp., bibliography, no index Let me begin by announcing what a treat it was to read this work. The author, who is described on the back cover as a freelance writer, has a clear and engaging style that made this book a page turner for me. If fact, it has a narcotic quality about it. I keep turning the pages instead of thinking critically. It required a real
  9. Essays on Ayn Rand's We the Living, edited by Robert Mayhew Book review by Fred Seddon I liked this book. How much? Let me count the ways. I bought it a while back, read the whole book, made copious notes in the margins and then, hold on to your hats, lost the book. So I bought another copy just so I could write this review. (And I wanted it on my shelf for future reference.) It is a collection of essays edited by Robert Mayhew, who also contributed the preface and two essays. All the essays except one rate at least an “A” or “A+” from this old teacher. I shall not mention the name of the onl
  10. John, I saw this painting in person. My daughter, Ayn, and I were in Amsterdam for a week and we took a day trip to the Hague just to see this painting (and view the outside of the house Spinoza wrote the Ethics in). Your poem is a worthy addition to my enjoyment of this work. As is the movie, which I own.
  11. This is a great idea. A great painting poetized by John Enright. Talk about "milking" one's value. Thank you John and thank you Salvador.
  12. I agree with Phil about seeing Winged Victory in person. YOu can approach it by ascending a long staircase, which forces one's head to be thrown back (a favorite Rand expression) and predisposes one to feelings of exaultation. [in a similar view, the best approach to the David is through the comparitively dark corridor which features a group of unfinished work by the man himself. A photo doesn't do Winged Victory justice, but then, why should it? I'm reminded of a remark that Jacob Bronowski made in the ASCENT OF MAN which I will now paraphrase. The photo does not so much FIX the object a