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What will happen to Objectivism when the only people who are left alive are those who knew not Rand?

Will it undergo changes similar to changes in religions after the founders have passed from the scene?

Ba'al Chatzaf

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What will happen to Objectivism when the only people who are left alive are those who knew not Rand?

Will it undergo changes similar to changes in religions after the founders have passed from the scene?

Ba'al Chatzaf

Interesting question. I've said before, I sometimes feel like I'm, hanging out on the harbour at Galilee and getting the latest news from Peter's grandchildren and hearing weird rumours about this crazy Gentile Saul.

Edited by daunce lynam

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What will happen to Objectivism when the only people who are left alive are those who knew not Rand?

Will it undergo changes similar to changes in religions after the founders have passed from the scene?

Ba'al Chatzaf

What will happen? It's already happened. Objectivism is dead as a unified movement, religious or otherwise. It's an artifact to study and get what things of value you can from it. I fully expect ARI to wither away. Not that I'd bet money on it, but it's doing all the right things to insure that happens. And without ARI, there is no Objectivism, since per Ayn Rand, Objectivism is either official Objectivism or it's not Objectivism.

Shayne

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What will happen to Objectivism when the only people who are left alive are those who knew not Rand?

Will it undergo changes similar to changes in religions after the founders have passed from the scene?

Ba'al Chatzaf

What will happen? It's already happened. Objectivism is dead as a unified movement, religious or otherwise. It's an artifact to study and get what things of value you can from it. I fully expect ARI to wither away. Not that I'd bet money on it, but it's doing all the right things to insure that happens. And without ARI, there is no Objectivism, since per Ayn Rand, Objectivism is either official Objectivism or it's not Objectivism.

Shayne

Going on 43 years now. It blew up in 1968. Then it became dead man walking.

--Brant

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Objectivism is dead?

Long live neo-Objectivism.

Ba'al Chatzaf

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Bob K,

I agree with Shayne here.

Rand's ideas will remain as a source of influence and an area of study.

But Objectivism, so called, will not outlast the Ayn Rand Institute.

Robert C

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Contrary to the insinuation of Bob Kolker’s root to this thread, Objectivism is a philosophy, not a religion. I do not know how it will go for the philosophy in, say, the next 50 years. Will it continue to have more or fewer scholars of the philosophy turning out new work (pro and con) as there are such scholars today? Will it have significant successor philosophies, such as happened in the philosophies Reinhold and Fichte developed beyond Kant? Will it come under decades of criticism and decline such as happened to Kant’s critical idealism? If so, will some sort of Neo-Objectivists appear, reviving Rand’s philosophy as the Neo-Kantians did for Kant’s?

I do know that Objectivism as a philosophy, theoretical and practical, is not dependent for its continuation on the existence of institutions such as ARI or David Kelley’s institution. Scholars, writers, and readers of Objectivism are the essentials, and that part of the culture may flourish without those institutions. Wealthy people can fund chairs in philosophy without those institutions.

As for the continuation of ARI beyond the lives of old-timers such as Peikoff, Binswanger, Berliner, and Bernstein, it looks to be in good shape. ARI has funding and wonderful programs that are not critically dependent on those individuals.

The Ayn Rand Society (in the American Philosophical Association), too, is likely to continue beyond the lives of Gotthelf and Lennox.

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Contrary to the insinuation of Bob Kolker's root to this thread, Objectivism is a philosophy, not a religion. I do not know how it will go for the philosophy in, say, the next 50 years. Will it continue to have more or fewer scholars of the philosophy turning out new work (pro and con) as there are such scholars today? Will it have significant successor philosophies, such as happened in the philosophies Reinhold and Fichte developed beyond Kant? Will it come under decades of criticism and decline such as happened to Kant's critical idealism? If so, will some sort of Neo-Objectivists appear, reviving Rand's philosophy as the Neo-Kantians did for Kant's?

I do know that Objectivism as a philosophy, theoretical and practical, is not dependent for its continuation on the existence of institutions such as ARI or David Kelley's institution. Scholars, writers, and readers of Objectivism are the essentials, and that part of the culture may flourish without those institutions. Wealthy people can fund chairs in philosophy without those institutions.

As for the continuation of ARI beyond the lives of old-timers such as Peikoff, Binswanger, Berliner, and Bernstein, it looks to be in good shape. ARI has funding and wonderful programs that are not critically dependent on those individuals.

The Ayn Rand Society (in the American Philosophical Association), too, is likely to continue beyond the lives of Gotthelf and Lennox.

I insinuated nothing of the kind. I mere queried whether Objectivism which was a Movement (no denying that) would undergo the same or similar kinds of changes that Religions undergo when the Founder and his/her closest associates die off. All things age. Inevitably Objectivism (or whatever it becomes) will have only memory and tradition and no living link to its founders or foundation. That is the way the world goes. We are mortal.

The one point of similarity between Objectivism and some religions are that some new followers are grabbed up by Enthusiasm. Enthusiasm, unfortunately, militates against calm, quiet and mature grasp of the principles of the Movement (or Religion). Also Objectivsm is a Movement based on objection to and denial of the status quo. In short, it is a kind of struggle movement and perhaps a revolution. On balance Enthusiasm is bad. It makes some people bat-shit crazy. My main empirical data points there early histories of Judaism, Christianity and Islam. Also the Communist movement. It eventually spawned tyranny and death. Enthusiasm produces a Jihad-like mentality (hopefully without the strap on explosives). Enthusiasm is the enemy of Reason.

Be calm, be reasonable, be reflective but never be Enthusiastic, it is bad for one's digestion.

Ba'al Chatzaf

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Objectivism is a philosophy, not a religion.

Stephen,

It should be a philosophy and not a religion.

But the term "Objectivism" is now virtually reserved by those who demand its acceptance in toto, refuse to acknowledge significant gaps and failings in the "closed system," move around the boundary between what's philosophical and what's not to suit their current prejudices, rewrite Rand's unpublished work to meet the requirements of their present leadership, and are constantly policing for "enemies of Objectivism."

Ayn Rand's ideas form a philosophy. Objectivism has become a religion.

And religions generally need institutional support and embodiment; hence "Objectivism" will remain dependent on the Ayn Rand Institute.

ARI, in its turn, is too interwoven with the Estate of Ayn Rand and too dependent on the Papal role accorded to Leonard Peikoff to be able to survive his death in anything like its current form.

Those now at ARI who are doing good work will find other places to do it.

Those now at ARI who aren't doing good work won't be missed.

And the Ayn Rand Society is now under the control of a few senior and a few junior ARIans. Barring significant turnover in membership and leadership, its fortunes will decline with ARI's.

Robert Campbell

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Bob K,

I agree with Shayne here.

Rand's ideas will remain as a source of influence and an area of study.

But Objectivism, so called, will not outlast the Ayn Rand Institute.

Robert C

Objectivism may be dead. So long live neo-Objectivism. What is good and useful will survive and perhaps even flourish.

I will not live to see the day, but perhaps a day is coming when we can throw off the smothering cloak of altruism. Like all bad habits, altruism is hard to get rid off.

Ba'al Chatzaf

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... But the term "Objectivism" is now virtually reserved by those who demand its acceptance in toto, refuse to acknowledge ...

I have no problem identifying myself as an Objectivist; and I deviate from the accepted doctrine on several (I claim) minor points, such as the nature of government. I also identify myself and Ayn Rand as objectivists (small-o), i.e., rational-empiricists for whom truth is at once of necessity logically consistent and empirically verifiable. See, as discussed here on MSK's OL Gregory Browne's book, Necessay Factual Truths, for which, my blog is named.

Stephen is right: Objectivism (and I insist "objectivism") is not going to disappear any more than did scholasticism, hegelianism, logical positivism, or (unfortunately) post modernism.

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Contrary to the insinuation of Bob Kolker's root to this thread, Objectivism is a philosophy, not a religion. I do not know how it will go for the philosophy in, say, the next 50 years. Will it continue to have more or fewer scholars of the philosophy turning out new work (pro and con) as there are such scholars today? Will it have significant successor philosophies, such as happened in the philosophies Reinhold and Fichte developed beyond Kant? Will it come under decades of criticism and decline such as happened to Kant's critical idealism? If so, will some sort of Neo-Objectivists appear, reviving Rand's philosophy as the Neo-Kantians did for Kant's?

I do know that Objectivism as a philosophy, theoretical and practical, is not dependent for its continuation on the existence of institutions such as ARI or David Kelley's institution. Scholars, writers, and readers of Objectivism are the essentials, and that part of the culture may flourish without those institutions. Wealthy people can fund chairs in philosophy without those institutions.

As for the continuation of ARI beyond the lives of old-timers such as Peikoff, Binswanger, Berliner, and Bernstein, it looks to be in good shape. ARI has funding and wonderful programs that are not critically dependent on those individuals.

The Ayn Rand Society (in the American Philosophical Association), too, is likely to continue beyond the lives of Gotthelf and Lennox.

I insinuated nothing of the kind. I mere queried whether Objectivism which was a Movement (no denying that) would undergo the same or similar kinds of changes that Religions undergo when the Founder and his/her closest associates die off. All things age. Inevitably Objectivism (or whatever it becomes) will have only memory and tradition and no living link to its founders or foundation. That is the way the world goes. We are mortal.

The one point of similarity between Objectivism and some religions are that some new followers are grabbed up by Enthusiasm. Enthusiasm, unfortunately, militates against calm, quiet and mature grasp of the principles of the Movement (or Religion). Also Objectivsm is a Movement based on objection to and denial of the status quo. In short, it is a kind of struggle movement and perhaps a revolution. On balance Enthusiasm is bad. It makes some people bat-shit crazy. My main empirical data points there early histories of Judaism, Christianity and Islam. Also the Communist movement. It eventually spawned tyranny and death. Enthusiasm produces a Jihad-like mentality (hopefully without the strap on explosives). Enthusiasm is the enemy of Reason.

Be calm, be reasonable, be reflective but never be Enthusiastic, it is bad for one's digestion.

Ba'al Chatzaf

Ba'al, I can't ~imagine~ enjoying Objectivism or Libertarianism or philosophy in general without being enthusiastic. Worse: being ~un~enthusiastic.

I can't imagine going through my intellectual life being divorced from a ~passion~ for the truth, both in factual form and in valid principles.

"Enthusiasm" means: a god within. When I get an inspiration or an insight, being "calm" and "reasonable" and "reflective" is the furthest thing from my mind!

What is bad for ~my~ digestion is reading or listening to people who don't have a clue what they are talking about -- or who ~do~ know it, but can't convey it passionately.

Personal confession: one of the most calm, reasonable, and reflective Objectivists I know, Peter Schwartz, puts me to sleep. He is a freakin' dead fish. The antithesis of enthusiasm.

To me, there seems to be some sort of reason-emotion conflict going on, when someone says that being "objective" means you have to set aside your feelings and "curb your enthusiasm."

Being a passionate intellectual is not an aberration of Objectivism. Aristotle spoke of rational desire. He would have counseled us not to abandon our excitement about ideas, but to channel that excitement in the pursuit of truth. (He would have heckled Schwartz.)

Passion guided by reason is important, as is reason fueled by passion. Reason need not be "the cold hand that kills" (or puts to sleep, as does a Peter Schwartz lecture!), unless you personally stifle the best within you, which includes your lust for ideas and truth.

REB

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I insinuated nothing of the kind. I mere queried whether Objectivism which was a Movement (no denying that) would undergo the same or similar kinds of changes that Religions undergo when the Founder and his/her closest associates die off. All things age. Inevitably Objectivism (or whatever it becomes) will have only memory and tradition and no living link to its founders or foundation. That is the way the world goes. We are mortal.

All movements (philosopical, political, religious, whatever) undergo changes. There is no exception. The cosmic principle of permanent transformation encompasses everything there is.

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Ba'al, I can't ~imagine~ enjoying Objectivism or Libertarianism or philosophy in general without being enthusiastic. Worse: being ~un~enthusiastic.

[...]

REB

Roger,

A great post.

I agree, passionately.

(Thanks for the words to my feelings.)

Tony

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Contrary to the insinuation of Bob Kolker's root to this thread, Objectivism is a philosophy, not a religion. I do not know how it will go for the philosophy in, say, the next 50 years. Will it continue to have more or fewer scholars of the philosophy turning out new work (pro and con) as there are such scholars today? Will it have significant successor philosophies, such as happened in the philosophies Reinhold and Fichte developed beyond Kant? Will it come under decades of criticism and decline such as happened to Kant's critical idealism? If so, will some sort of Neo-Objectivists appear, reviving Rand's philosophy as the Neo-Kantians did for Kant's?

I do know that Objectivism as a philosophy, theoretical and practical, is not dependent for its continuation on the existence of institutions such as ARI or David Kelley's institution. Scholars, writers, and readers of Objectivism are the essentials, and that part of the culture may flourish without those institutions. Wealthy people can fund chairs in philosophy without those institutions.

As for the continuation of ARI beyond the lives of old-timers such as Peikoff, Binswanger, Berliner, and Bernstein, it looks to be in good shape. ARI has funding and wonderful programs that are not critically dependent on those individuals.

The Ayn Rand Society (in the American Philosophical Association), too, is likely to continue beyond the lives of Gotthelf and Lennox.

I insinuated nothing of the kind. I mere queried whether Objectivism which was a Movement (no denying that) would undergo the same or similar kinds of changes that Religions undergo when the Founder and his/her closest associates die off. All things age. Inevitably Objectivism (or whatever it becomes) will have only memory and tradition and no living link to its founders or foundation. That is the way the world goes. We are mortal.

The one point of similarity between Objectivism and some religions are that some new followers are grabbed up by Enthusiasm. Enthusiasm, unfortunately, militates against calm, quiet and mature grasp of the principles of the Movement (or Religion). Also Objectivsm is a Movement based on objection to and denial of the status quo. In short, it is a kind of struggle movement and perhaps a revolution. On balance Enthusiasm is bad. It makes some people bat-shit crazy. My main empirical data points there early histories of Judaism, Christianity and Islam. Also the Communist movement. It eventually spawned tyranny and death. Enthusiasm produces a Jihad-like mentality (hopefully without the strap on explosives). Enthusiasm is the enemy of Reason.

Be calm, be reasonable, be reflective but never be Enthusiastic, it is bad for one's digestion.

Ba'al Chatzaf

Ba'al, I can't ~imagine~ enjoying Objectivism or Libertarianism or philosophy in general without being enthusiastic. Worse: being ~un~enthusiastic.

I can't imagine going through my intellectual life being divorced from a ~passion~ for the truth, both in factual form and in valid principles.

"Enthusiasm" means: a god within. When I get an inspiration or an insight, being "calm" and "reasonable" and "reflective" is the furthest thing from my mind!

What is bad for ~my~ digestion is reading or listening to people who don't have a clue what they are talking about -- or who ~do~ know it, but can't convey it passionately.

Personal confession: one of the most calm, reasonable, and reflective Objectivists I know, Peter Schwartz, puts me to sleep. He is a freakin' dead fish. The antithesis of enthusiasm.

To me, there seems to be some sort of reason-emotion conflict going on, when someone says that being "objective" means you have to set aside your feelings and "curb your enthusiasm."

Being a passionate intellectual is not an aberration of Objectivism. Aristotle spoke of rational desire. He would have counseled us not to abandon our excitement about ideas, but to channel that excitement in the pursuit of truth. (He would have heckled Schwartz.)

Passion guided by reason is important, as is reason fueled by passion. Reason need not be "the cold hand that kills" (or puts to sleep, as does a Peter Schwartz lecture!), unless you personally stifle the best within you, which includes your lust for ideas and truth.

REB

Enthusiasts become martyrs or do violent things if properly "set up" or conditioned. Look at the Islamic enthusiasts for example. Or the Japanese Kamikazes. Or the Hashishin, or the Persian Immortals, or the Spartans.

Enthusiasm is at odds with Apollonian detatchment and reasoning.

I am not saying one should not enjoy him or her self. I am saying one should not lose control or become blind to alternatives. Some of the objectivist enthusiasts I have read on other groups are monomoniacal in their attachment to the ideas and closed to other ideas. A closed mind gathers no concepts.

Ba'al Chatzaf

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What will happen to Objectivism when the only people who are left alive are those who knew not Rand?

Will it undergo changes similar to changes in religions after the founders have passed from the scene?

Ba'al Chatzaf

What will happen? It's already happened. Objectivism is dead as a unified movement, religious or otherwise. It's an artifact to study and get what things of value you can from it. I fully expect ARI to wither away. Not that I'd bet money on it, but it's doing all the right things to insure that happens. And without ARI, there is no Objectivism, since per Ayn Rand, Objectivism is either official Objectivism or it's not Objectivism.

Shayne

Well yeah, but I'll never be sure about that last part.

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What will happen to Objectivism when the only people who are left alive are those who knew not Rand?

Will it undergo changes similar to changes in religions after the founders have passed from the scene?

Ba'al Chatzaf

What will happen? It's already happened. Objectivism is dead as a unified movement, religious or otherwise. It's an artifact to study and get what things of value you can from it. I fully expect ARI to wither away. Not that I'd bet money on it, but it's doing all the right things to insure that happens. And without ARI, there is no Objectivism, since per Ayn Rand, Objectivism is either official Objectivism or it's not Objectivism.

Shayne

Well yeah, but I'll never be sure about that last part.

Me neither.

All this is too 'institutionalized' for my taste. I think it would be great if ARI kept going - and I have certainty that as an organization it will adapt to new realities in future - but it's demise would not end Objectivism in individuals. That's where it belongs, imo, with less of the authority figures, more independent academics, and more ordinary Joes like myself.

Tony

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Contrary to the insinuation of Bob Kolker's root to this thread, Objectivism is a philosophy, not a religion. I do not know how it will go for the philosophy in, say, the next 50 years. Will it continue to have more or fewer scholars of the philosophy turning out new work (pro and con) as there are such scholars today? Will it have significant successor philosophies, such as happened in the philosophies Reinhold and Fichte developed beyond Kant? Will it come under decades of criticism and decline such as happened to Kant's critical idealism? If so, will some sort of Neo-Objectivists appear, reviving Rand's philosophy as the Neo-Kantians did for Kant's?

I do know that Objectivism as a philosophy, theoretical and practical, is not dependent for its continuation on the existence of institutions such as ARI or David Kelley's institution. Scholars, writers, and readers of Objectivism are the essentials, and that part of the culture may flourish without those institutions. Wealthy people can fund chairs in philosophy without those institutions.

As for the continuation of ARI beyond the lives of old-timers such as Peikoff, Binswanger, Berliner, and Bernstein, it looks to be in good shape. ARI has funding and wonderful programs that are not critically dependent on those individuals.

The Ayn Rand Society (in the American Philosophical Association), too, is likely to continue beyond the lives of Gotthelf and Lennox.

I insinuated nothing of the kind. I mere queried whether Objectivism which was a Movement (no denying that) would undergo the same or similar kinds of changes that Religions undergo when the Founder and his/her closest associates die off. All things age. Inevitably Objectivism (or whatever it becomes) will have only memory and tradition and no living link to its founders or foundation. That is the way the world goes. We are mortal.

The one point of similarity between Objectivism and some religions are that some new followers are grabbed up by Enthusiasm. Enthusiasm, unfortunately, militates against calm, quiet and mature grasp of the principles of the Movement (or Religion). Also Objectivsm is a Movement based on objection to and denial of the status quo. In short, it is a kind of struggle movement and perhaps a revolution. On balance Enthusiasm is bad. It makes some people bat-shit crazy. My main empirical data points there early histories of Judaism, Christianity and Islam. Also the Communist movement. It eventually spawned tyranny and death. Enthusiasm produces a Jihad-like mentality (hopefully without the strap on explosives). Enthusiasm is the enemy of Reason.

Be calm, be reasonable, be reflective but never be Enthusiastic, it is bad for one's digestion.

Ba'al Chatzaf

Ba'al, I can't ~imagine~ enjoying Objectivism or Libertarianism or philosophy in general without being enthusiastic. Worse: being ~un~enthusiastic.

I can't imagine going through my intellectual life being divorced from a ~passion~ for the truth, both in factual form and in valid principles.

"Enthusiasm" means: a god within. When I get an inspiration or an insight, being "calm" and "reasonable" and "reflective" is the furthest thing from my mind!

What is bad for ~my~ digestion is reading or listening to people who don't have a clue what they are talking about -- or who ~do~ know it, but can't convey it passionately.

Personal confession: one of the most calm, reasonable, and reflective Objectivists I know, Peter Schwartz, puts me to sleep. He is a freakin' dead fish. The antithesis of enthusiasm.

To me, there seems to be some sort of reason-emotion conflict going on, when someone says that being "objective" means you have to set aside your feelings and "curb your enthusiasm."

Being a passionate intellectual is not an aberration of Objectivism. Aristotle spoke of rational desire. He would have counseled us not to abandon our excitement about ideas, but to channel that excitement in the pursuit of truth. (He would have heckled Schwartz.)

Passion guided by reason is important, as is reason fueled by passion. Reason need not be "the cold hand that kills" (or puts to sleep, as does a Peter Schwartz lecture!), unless you personally stifle the best within you, which includes your lust for ideas and truth.

REB

Enthusiasts become martyrs or do violent things if properly "set up" or conditioned. Look at the Islamic enthusiasts for example. Or the Japanese Kamikazes. Or the Hashishin, or the Persian Immortals, or the Spartans.

Enthusiasm is at odds with Apollonian detatchment and reasoning.

I am not saying one should not enjoy him or her self. I am saying one should not lose control or become blind to alternatives. Some of the objectivist enthusiasts I have read on other groups are monomoniacal in their attachment to the ideas and closed to other ideas. A closed mind gathers no concepts.

Ba'al Chatzaf

A mind that is passionately, enthusiastically closed to facts is not passionately, enthusiastically open to the truth. Fanatics are not objective.

I think it is a mistake to equate objectivity with detachment -- and a mistake to equate enthusiasm with non-objectivity.

And I think it's a gross insult to equate Apollo with calm, detached reasoning. He was as enthusiastic as Dionysus, only (usually) on a more spiritual plane.

The challenge is to balance Apollo, Dionysus, Prometheus, and Epimetheus -- to give all one's cognitive and emotional functions their due -- while remaining focused on reality.

The fact that some people are unable to do so and instead lapse into one or another form of irrationality does not mean one should abandon the challenge, any more than one should abandon wine, because some people have behavioral or medical problems using it.

REB

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On balance Enthusiasm is bad. It makes some people bat-shit crazy. My main empirical data points there early histories of Judaism, Christianity and Islam. Also the Communist movement. It eventually spawned tyranny and death. Enthusiasm produces a Jihad-like mentality (hopefully without the strap on explosives). Enthusiasm is the enemy of Reason.

Be calm, be reasonable, be reflective but never be Enthusiastic, it is bad for one's digestion.

If there's one thing in philosophy that will invariably land people in a cognitive dead-end street, it is the too undifferentiated thinking in black-and-white.

Believing for example that being enthusiastic about an issue must automaticlly mean that one is irrational and unreflected about it is a fallacy.

You also seem to wrongly equate enthusiasm with fanatism.

A closed mind gathers no concepts.

I don't think the concept issue is at the root of the problem here. Imo the root of the problem is that that people with closed minds often have a distorted view of reality. And this in turn shows in the way they use (or create their own) concepts. Just think of the abominable neologism "Rassenschande" ('racial defilement') coined around 1920 by German racists.

Edited by Xray

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I do know that Objectivism as a philosophy, theoretical and practical, is not dependent for its continuation on the existence of institutions such as ARI or David Kelley’s institution. Scholars, writers, and readers of Objectivism are the essentials, and that part of the culture may flourish without those institutions. Wealthy people can fund chairs in philosophy without those institutions.

It important to separate between Objectivism the philosphy and Objectivism the movement.

As for the Objectivist movement, it suffered two severe blows: the first was the break between Ayn Rand and Nathaniel Branden. The second severe blow was the Peikoff-Kelley split.

I don't think the Objectivist movement ever recovered from these two major blows.

As for the Objectivist philosophy and its potential for survival: any claims as to Objectivism making sense only if regarded as a closed sytem will set the stage for the ultimate burial of the philosophy. Why? Because several of Objectivism's premises have turned out to be false, which is why, given the current state of scientific research, one simply cannot rationally defend them anymore.

For example, does anyone really believe one can still rationally defend the Objectivist "man is tabula rasa" tenet today? Of course this can't work, but then how does one deal with the 'closed system' principle which the very founder of the philosophy, Ayn Rand herself, emphasized? ("It's all or nothing" she said).

Bottom line: what does one do after discovering some wrong premises in a system declared as closed by its founder?

Edited by Xray

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... will set the stage for the ultimate burial of the philosophy.

Well, don't start dancing on its grave just yet.

Objectivism will outlive us all.

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For example, does anyone really believe one can still rationally defend the Objectivist "man is tabula rasa" tenet today? Of course this can't work, but then how does one deal with the closed system principle which the very founder of the philosophy, Ayn Rand herself, emphasized? "It all or nothing" she said.

Bottom line: what does one do after discovering some wrong premises in a system declared as closed by its founder?

Interesting point. I suppose it depends on how important the premise is, in terms of how many other premises depend on it. "tabula rasa" isn't what you'd call an axiom of objectivism, is it?

Surely a philosophy shouldn't be dependent to such an extent on empirical evidence, otherwise, doesn't it become a science?

Edited by Davy

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... will set the stage for the ultimate burial of the philosophy.

Well, don't start dancing on its grave just yet.

Objectivism will outlive us all.

The word "zealot" will outlive us all too.

The interesting question isn't about Objectivism's burial, it's about the revival of reason in the best spirit of the Renaissance.

Shayne

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Surely a philosophy shouldn't be dependent to such an extent on empirical evidence, otherwise, doesn't it become a science?

But suppose a philosophy of our time disregards empirical evidence and scientific data, how can it claim to be convincing?

Interesting point. I suppose it depends on how important the premise is, in terms of how many other premises depend on it. "tabula rasa" isn't what you'd call an axiom of objectivism, is it?

What complicates issues here is Rand's "all or nothing" claim, which sees Objectivism as an integrated whole from which one cannot discard any elements:

Nathaniel Branden: http://nathanielbranden.com/catalog/articles_essays/benefits_and_hazards.html

"Ayn always insisted that her philosophy was an integrated whole, that it was entirely self-consistent, and that one could not reasonably pick elements of her philosophy and discard others. In effect, she declared, “It’s all or nothing.” Now this is a rather curious view, if you think about it. What she was saying, translated into simple English, is: Everything I have to say in the field of philosophy is true, absolutely true, and therefore any departure necessarily leads you into error. Don’t try to mix your irrational fantasies with my immutable truths."

Edited by Xray

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The interesting question isn't about Objectivism's burial, it's about the revival of reason in the best spirit of the Renaissance.

I don't think reason has to be 'revived' - it was never really in danger of drawing its last breath.

But reason will rise even more in the future, I have no doubt as to that.

Edited by Xray

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