Tibor's book on Ayn Rand


Roger Bissell

Recommended Posts

Ayn Rand by Tibor Machan

Peter Lang, 1999, paperback

Kat shows Tibor's book on Ayn Rand as being a biography, but actually it is almost entirely devoted to Rand's philosophical ideas. It's a good read. Check it out!

For those interested, here are the blurbs from the back of the book:

Machan's book explores all the major themes of Ayn Rand's philosophical thought. He shows the frequent strengths and occasional weaknesses of Rand's mature philosophy of Objectivism, drawing on his own, and many others', discussion of this challenging and iconoclastic thinker's ideas. Machan's treatment of Rand is a welcome addition to the growing literature ofserious scholarship on Rand's philosophic work. [publisher]
If Ayn Rand is to have anything beyond a cult following--that is, to have the deepest possible impact on Western culture--I think that two things must happen: (1) bright, talented, academic philosophers must see the merit in her system and generate their own extensions, applications, even corrections to her thought; and (2) wise and well-versed academic philosophers must act as a bridge between the Randian movement and the world of academic philosophy, explaining to academics how the perennial, as well as current tricky issues, can profitably be dealt with using some of her insights and explaining to those in the Randian movement how the system and its credibiity can be enhanced and improved by squarely facing and successfully navigating some of the stiffest challenges from academics. During my thirty-year acquaintance with Machan's work, I have seen him labor mightily in both arenas, but I think that his forte truly is with the latter. He is a communicator, bridge-builder, and, above all, a "field marshall" of ideas." He is erudite as well as eclectic, and knows where to go and whom to utilize in making the best case or effectively exposing a shortcoming in some argument or position, whether in Rand's philosophy or her critics'. This becomes quickly apparent to the thoughtful reader of Machan's chapters on Rand's epistemology and ethics. Academics who want to sweep Rand's system under the rug will not be interested in Machan's book--Randians who prefer a pristine, Crusoe-like isolation ofher system from the rest of Western culture will not like it either. But to those from either arena who want to unify and lift up the culture, Machan's book is an important step forward in the kind of guidance needed. [Roger E. Bissell, Musician and Philosopher]
In the tradition of the OUP Past Masters series, Machan's Ayn Rand provides an important scholarly examination ofone of our most neglected thinkers. He helps to situate Rand in the wide scheme of Western philosophy and grapples with tough issues in Objectivist thought. His book is challenging to both sympathetic and critical Rand readers and is an important addition to the growing academic literature on Objecivism. [Chris Matthew Sciabarra, Author of Ayn Rand: The Russian Radical and Co-editor of Feminist Interpretations of Ayn Rand
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 4 weeks later...

Roger,

Thanks for the reminder of this book. I read the Introduction and the first two chapters while on vacation last July, when I was also deep into some discussions on OL. When I came back to the lab, there was such a pile of work waiting that I never got back to reading it. I found the start of the book interesting and should return to it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now