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Neil Parille

New Interview of Rand biographer Shoshana Milgram

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3 hours ago, Jonathan said:

French?

There's an English translation:

https://objectivismefr.files.wordpress.com/2018/12/ShoshanaMilgramInterview.pdf

Scroll down to page 15 and there's discussion of her reading of Kant.  Evidently she didn't leave behind any annotated books from/about him, a shame for those of us who'd like to know what aspect of the Critique of Judgement she regarded as being the genesis of modern art (meaning the bad stuff).  I suppose we'll have continue to settle for analyses by recognized experts:

https://atlassociety.org/commentary/commentary-blog/6225-making-sense-of-kant-s-senseless-sublime?highlight=WyJuZXdiZXJyeSIsImthbnQiLCJrYW50J3MiLCIna2FudCJd

https://atlassociety.org/about-us/staff/16-michael-newberry

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9th - I doubt she read the Critique of Judgment.  I think there are O'ists who think this shows Kant corrupted aesthetics, but I don't have any reason to think she read the book.  My guess is that she read some of the Critique of Pure Reason and some of Critique of Practical Reason (or the shortened version of it).

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2 hours ago, 9thdoctor said:

There's an English translation:

https://objectivismefr.files.wordpress.com/2018/12/ShoshanaMilgramInterview.pdf

Scroll down to page 15 and there's discussion of her reading of Kant.  Evidently she didn't leave behind any annotated books from/about him, a shame for those of us who'd like to know what aspect of the Critique of Judgement she regarded as being the genesis of modern art (meaning the bad stuff).  I suppose we'll have continue to settle for analyses by recognized experts:

https://atlassociety.org/commentary/commentary-blog/6225-making-sense-of-kant-s-senseless-sublime?highlight=WyJuZXdiZXJyeSIsImthbnQiLCJrYW50J3MiLCIna2FudCJd

https://atlassociety.org/about-us/staff/16-michael-newberry

Heh.

I do love it when zealots tie their reputations to the unscholarly opinions of idiots. It's been fun watching them absorb and promote Newbsie's stupidity while bringing absolutely zero critical thinking to his little articles. They don't know, and don't care to know. They haven't read the material or put in any effort whatsoever to inform themselves of history. They just decide to trust Newbsie because they believe that he is, like them, devoutly dedicated to St. Ayn.

It makes sense, though, since Rand employed a similar method -- she also had no knowledge of Kant's aesthetics, or the concept of the Sublime and its history, but just decided to trust wrongheaded opinions of those in her circle of admirers whose tainted views of Kant came from misreading him through the distorted lenses that Rand had given them.

Its one big, hilariously incestuous circle jerk of the blind and obedient following the blind and obedient.

J

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54 minutes ago, Jonathan said:

It makes sense, though, since Rand employed a similar method -- she also had no knowledge of Kant's aesthetics, or the concept of the Sublime and its history, but just decided to trust wrongheaded opinions of those in her circle of admirers whose tainted views of Kant came from misreading him through the distorted lenses that Rand had given them.

Yeah, probably.  But wouldn't it be great if she left behind a marginal note in a book on Kant, reading "here's where modern art came from"?  At least then we'd know if her claim had anything to do with his concept of the Sublime.  Maybe it had to do with something else altogether.  How about here:

If we wish to discern whether anything is beautiful or not, we do not refer the representation of it to the object
by means of understanding with a view to cognition, but by means of the imagination (acting perhaps in
conjunction with understanding) we refer the representation to the subject and its feeling of pleasure or
displeasure. The judgement of taste, therefore, is not a cognitive judgement, and so not logical, but is
aesthetic−which means that it is one whose determining ground cannot be other than subjective.

With the letters BS double underlined in Rand's hand in the margin.  And BASTARD at the bottom of the page.  If only.

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2 hours ago, Neil Parille said:

9th - I doubt she read the Critique of Judgment.

You're probably already aware, but in one of her essays there's a throwaway line directing the reader to consult CoJ for the foundation of modern (bad) art.  She leaves the reader to figure out what element of the book she means.  But maybe she did read it, I'd say there's much better than a zero probability.  

BTW I have CoJ as a PDF file, I opened it and hit page down a bunch of times and the first thing my eye landed on was the paragraph above.  Which basically says that aesthetic judgements are always subjective.  Not logical.  Maybe that's what she objected to.  Though Kant certainly wasn't the first thinker to say that.  Still, this makes better sense than anything Newberry has written on the Sublime. 

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9 hours ago, 9thdoctor said:

There's an English translation:

https://objectivismefr.files.wordpress.com/2018/12/ShoshanaMilgramInterview.pdf

Scroll down to page 15 and there's discussion of her reading of Kant.  Evidently she didn't leave behind any annotated books from/about him, a shame for those of us who'd like to know what aspect of the Critique of Judgement she regarded as being the genesis of modern art (meaning the bad stuff).  I suppose we'll have continue to settle for analyses by recognized experts:

https://atlassociety.org/commentary/commentary-blog/6225-making-sense-of-kant-s-senseless-sublime?highlight=WyJuZXdiZXJyeSIsImthbnQiLCJrYW50J3MiLCIna2FudCJd

https://atlassociety.org/about-us/staff/16-michael-newberry

Thanks for the plug 9th doc. BTW, I like this comment of yours: "With the letters BS double underlined in Rand's hand in the margin.  And BASTARD at the bottom of the page.  If only." That was funny. About Kant stuff? Regardless, it is 100% my own take, hahah, love it.  BTW, 9th, I don't think you have, or don't recall you actually debating anything about postmodern art, Kant, or the sublime with me. But I wondered if this your way of reaching out for a discussion? But I also wondered if you just aren't very knowledgeable in this area? J has some good insights about art but a wonky epistemology, like asking trap questions as fake news reporters do. lol.

 

 

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3 hours ago, Newberry said:

Thanks for the plug 9th doc. BTW, I like this comment of yours: "With the letters BS double underlined in Rand's hand in the margin.  And BASTARD at the bottom of the page.  If only." That was funny. About Kant stuff? Regardless, it is 100% my own take, hahah, love it.  BTW, 9th, I don't think you have, or don't recall you actually debating anything about postmodern art, Kant, or the sublime with me. But I wondered if this your way of reaching out for a discussion? But I also wondered if you just aren't very knowledgeable in this area? J has some good insights about art but a wonky epistemology, like asking trap questions as fake news reporters do. lol.

Heh. Yes, if one corrects Newbsie's falsehoods, especially with overwhelming evidence, then one therefore has intellectual deficiencies, is asking nasty "trap questions" and behaving just like fake news reporters!

As I've often said, Newbsie is used to getting a free pass from his pals who uncritically publish his unscholarly slop, and he expects the same from everyone. To him, an informed, intellectually rigorous response to his "own take" is mean and unfair.

Now he's asking if Ninth has debated him in the past on Kant.

And he's suggesting that Ninth isn't knowledgeable. Ha. Um, isn't that a "trap question"?

Heh. I don't recall seeing Newbsie actually debate anyone. Rather, when confronted with evidence which refutes his falsehoods, I've seen him whine, dodge and evade, throw hissy fits and flounce. Heh. Remember the time that he pouted and demanded that his section here at OL be taken down? That showed the big poopy meanies!

Perhaps this time we might see him attempt a real grownup debate?

J

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5 hours ago, Newberry said:

Thanks for the plug 9th doc.

That was sarcasm.

5 hours ago, Newberry said:

BTW, I like this comment of yours: "With the letters BS double underlined in Rand's hand in the margin.  And BASTARD at the bottom of the page.  If only." That was funny. About Kant stuff?

If you're familiar with her Marginalia you know this is par for the course.  Though usually there's more content.  E.g. here, from C.S. Lewis' Abolition of Man:

So in the pre-science age, there was no power of majorities over minorities – and the Middle Ages were a period of love and equality, and the oppression began only in the U.S.A. (!!!) The abysmal bastard!

5 hours ago, Newberry said:

BTW, 9th, I don't think you have, or don't recall you actually debating anything about postmodern art, Kant, or the sublime with me. But I wondered if this your way of reaching out for a discussion?

I don't think you could call our previous interactions a debate.  Here are the first things I was able to find using the search tool:

 

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I think she read some Kant, but there isn't any evidence she did.   I don't think Milgram quotes Rand as saying she read Kant.

But if you have only passing knowledge of someone it seems a little irresponsible to call him the most evil man in history.

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9th, Thanks for the reply, yeah, I don’t think we’ve every had a meaningful interaction. Why doesn’t Duchamp urinal work for you? What hypothesis do you have for postmodern art? Pick any artwork and talk to us about it? It seems you are triggered and I have no idea why? Really. 

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1 hour ago, Jonathan said:

Newbsie is used to getting a free pass

Lol and I shit ice cream. I don’t think you know how the pass works. But the same  as to 9th where do you think the phenomenon of PM art comes from? I don’t recall you talking about it. 

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24 minutes ago, Neil Parille said:

I think she read some Kant, but there isn't any evidence she did.   I don't think Milgram quotes Rand as saying she read Kant.

But if you have only passing knowledge of someone it seems a little irresponsible to call him the most evil man in history.

Very, very old news. There is a queer style of old ARI’ans Peikoff and Binswanger of being proud they haven’t read things, yet insist on passing judgment, their Roark moments. Apparently they picked that up from Rand. I have an hypothesis about Romantic Manifesto was Rand’s answer to Kant’s CofJ, but it’s unprovable, and pure speculation based on reading both many times, there is a kind of similarity in their questions about art and the ultimate (Sublime for Kant, and love of existence for Rand).

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42 minutes ago, Newberry said:

Lol and I shit ice cream. I don’t think you know how the pass works.

I've seen it in action. The people and organizations which publish or repost your goofball opinions do so uncritically. They have no knowledge of Kant's views on aesthetics, nor of art history, and they don't care to know. They're not interested. They trust you because they recognize you as a fellow zealot who is dedicated to Rand above all else, most especially above reality.

 

47 minutes ago, Newberry said:

But the same  as to 9th where do you think the phenomenon of PM art comes from? I don’t recall you talking about it. 

You're already dodging the issue. The discussion at hand is Rand's unfounded accusation that Kant was the father of modern art, and your false opinion that Rand was not only correct, but that Kant was also the father of postmodernism, specifically his comments on the Sublime, which you have failed to understand due to reading them through Objecti-goggles™. You prefer to dodge and evade all of that and to turn the discussion to one on the subject of where we think postmodernism comes from.

You're dodging because you don't have the intellectual honesty or scrupulousness for such discussions. Your position on Kant's ideas on the Sublime is stupid. We've been through this many times. It always ends with you flouncing after we've presented you with overwhelming evidence of the falsehood of your position. You deny reality, dig your heels in deeper, and repeat your lies.

J

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14 hours ago, 9thdoctor said:

BTW I have CoJ as a PDF file, I opened it and hit page down a bunch of times and the first thing my eye landed on was the paragraph above.  Which basically says that aesthetic judgements are always subjective.  Not logical.  Maybe that's what she objected to.  Though Kant certainly wasn't the first thinker to say that.  Still, this makes better sense than anything Newberry has written on the Sublime. 

It really could be anything. Over the years, I’ve seen countless Rand-followers give the nuttiest interpretations of Kant’s aesthetics. Just like Newbsie, they go into it looking for confirmation of his evil, they then misinterpret what he wrote, ignore history and what he was responding to, and they conclude what they were going to conclude regardless of what they found. They report their findings, just as Newbsie has, and they'll even quote Kant saying the opposite of what they mistake him to mean. It’s as if they can’t see and comprehend the words right in front of them. They don’t want to understand.

With that kind of mindset, it really could be anything in Kant’s writings that they focus on to misinterpret.

Since Rand never narrowed it down, I think our only chance of learning what she thought that she meant would be from one of the idiot acolytes in her circle who likely was the one who misinformed her of Kant’s aesthetics in the first place.

Anyway, it’s worth noting that despite Rand’s having been triggered by whatever triggered her, and despite all of her huffing and puffing, she never provided the alleged “objective” means of making aesthetic judgments. She merely asserted that aesthetic judgments must be objective. The actual argument and evidence to back that up, though, remained “outside the scope of the discussion.” And none of her followers has filled in that gaping hole. It’s all still nothing but huffing and puffing.

J
 

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2 hours ago, Newberry said:

9th, Thanks for the reply, yeah, I don’t think we’ve every had a meaningful interaction. Why doesn’t Duchamp urinal work for you? What hypothesis do you have for postmodern art? Pick any artwork and talk to us about it? It seems you are triggered and I have no idea why? Really. 

It’s not incumbent on me to enunciate a hypothesis about the roots of postmodern art in order to critique your claims about Kant.  Any more than a climate change “denier” has to come up with a theory that predicts next years sea ice levels before saying that Al Gore is full of shit and that his past predictions have been falsified.  Or an atheist has to explain the origin of the universe to dismiss the claim that the Flying Spaghetti Monster created it via his noodly appendage.  Not that I have no thoughts on the matter, but for our purposes here it suffices to say “I don’t know and neither do you”. 

Triggered?  It appears that my most recent comment on your work is about 8 months old, and the one before that is 3 years old.  Sounds like you needn’t worry, the evidence doesn’t show you’ve been triggering me.  Your name only came up here because I was pointing Jonathan to the part of the interview about Kant.  We have a long running (mild) disagreement about whether Rand had an idea that she simply never wrote about, or was talking through her hat when she referenced COJ.  I grant the former a higher probability than he does.  The material in this latest interview doesn't strengthen my case.   

I think your writings on Kant’s esthetics are an embarrassment to Objectivism, but we’ve been living with Peter Schwartz’s Libertarianism: The Perversion of Liberty far longer.  That’s been far more consequential, IMO. 

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Thanks for the replies J and 9th. Not much to go on that’s inspiring, haha more like a warm gray muddy color that is not even finger doodled into a smiley face. 

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9 minutes ago, Newberry said:

Thanks for the replies J and 9th. Not much to go on that’s inspiring, haha more like a warm gray muddy color that is not even finger doodled into a smiley face. 

That's a good description of your analyses of Kant. Uninspired and uninspiring. Childish. Cultish.

You should stick with painting instead of trying to pretend to be an intellectual.

J

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I've read the interview with Milgram, and my conclusion is that her Rand biography will be another hagiography. For anything that might be seen as a criticism of Rand she has a ready excuse. If Rand was often angry, there was according to Milgram always a good reason, it was just the consequence of her sense of justice. And if that didn't seem to be so, there must have been somewhere some misunderstanding, the idea that Rand might in some cases also have been unreasonably angry is simply not considered.

When people object that Rand didn't read Kant herself, Milgram's answer is "you cannot prove that Rand didn't read Kant! (just like the religionist who says "you can't prove that God doesn't exist!"). "If she hadn't read Kant, she surely would have told us, just as she told us that she hadn't read Rawls' Theory of Justice" when she criticized that book (of course pretending that she'd read that book would have been a bit too obvious then). If there is any doubt about some particular aspect of Rand, we can be sure that this always will be interpreted by Milgram to Rand's advantage, she just can't be wrong. Not an interesting biography, I'm afraid.

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42 minutes ago, Max said:

I've read the interview with Milgram, and my conclusion is that her Rand biography will be another hagiography.

Another hagiography?  There hasn't been one yet.  I'm looking forward to Milgram's book.  She's had access to the archives, unlike Barbara Branden and Anne Heller.  I expect at least a few bombshells.  And lots of firecrackers.  Previously unknown factual stuff.  It sounds like she's put a lot of investigative work into it.

We can all judge editorializing for what it is. 

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3 hours ago, 9thdoctor said:

Another hagiography?  There hasn't been one yet.  I'm looking forward to Milgram's book.  She's had access to the archives, unlike Barbara Branden and Anne Heller.  I expect at least a few bombshells.  And lots of firecrackers.  Previously unknown factual stuff.  It sounds like she's put a lot of investigative work into it.

We can all judge editorializing for what it is. 

Wouldn't you call PARC a hagiography? It certainly demonized the Brandens and her various other Judases and Pontius Pilates.

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48 minutes ago, caroljane said:

Wouldn't you call PARC a hagiography? It certainly demonized the Brandens and her various other Judases and Pontius Pilates.

A hagiography is a type of biography.  PARC wasn't a biography. 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hagiography

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On page 5, she says that she had thought some facts had been thoroughly documented but found they had not, and this is partly why  it has taken so long to write... interesting

 

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