Roger Bissell

Who Qualifies as being an Objectivist? (2005)

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As I raised in another topic, the essential of a concept (such as "Objectivism") is not intrinsic. It is context-dependent. If Objectivism is a species within a genus, the essential will differ depending on the genus.

Objectivism can be a species of the following genuses (genii?): Philosophies, Realist Philosophies, Egoist Philosophies, Empiricist Philosophies (by Empiricist I mean the doctrine that all knowlege ultimately derives from experience), Egoist Philosophies, Philosophies founded by women, Philosophies founded by Russians, Philosophies founded by Americans, Philosophies advocating Classical Liberalism, Aristotelian Philosophies, Atheist Philosophies, Pro-Sex Philosophies, etc. etc. etc. There are many more potential genii I am sure.

As such, it is not possible to come up with a list of 'essentials of Objectivism' without mentioning what context is involved. Since the vast majority of 'essentials' lists are formed in the context of Objectivism as a philosophy, then obviously the genus that provides the context will be 'philosophies.' In general, wider contexts are usually favored, since these contexts allow broader identifications (i.e. the definitions and isolated essentials will be more robust over a wider variety of contexts).

Therefore, the correct context within which to identify the essentials of Objectivism is the context of "philosophies." It is possible (if not probable) that all the doctrines of Objectivism can exist within other philosophies (Aristotelianism for metaphysics for example). As such the essential may be the simultaneous presence of certain doctrines (it is also potentially possible, at least in some contexts, for the essential of a class to be the simultaneous presence of certain properties, i.e. the class "eagle" in the context of "animals" requires a number of essentials at once rather than just one essential... I do not think there is any single property of eagles that is totally unique to eagles within that context, correct me if I am wrong). As such the task of identifying the essentials of Objectivism, to determine who is an Objectivist, is not easy to say the least.

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I'm not a philosopher. I never have been and never will be. I've read philosophical writings in the past, including most everything written by Ayn Rand. I've read things ranging from Plato and Aristotle, Locke, Marx, and others. By the above definition I'd qualify as an Objectivist. By my understanding of "orthodox" criteria, I'm not. I consider myself to be Objectivist oriented. Rand's work gave me a foundation for thinking that I found nowhere else. Even when I disagree with her (Ralph Waldo Emerson *is* good), she's a shining light for me and has been since I first discovered her around 15 years ago.

Be that as it may, you know there is an Out There out there and you can know something about it but not everything. You know the difference between In Here and Out There. You do not need to be an Ayn Rand class Objectivist. You don't have to conform to the Objectivist Norm in order to be a sane citizen.

Your credentials are very much like mine. I was an applied mathematicians for many years and then got into commercial software development (mostly databases and data extraction and interpretation). The nature of the trade is such that one is reality oriented.

Ba'al Chatzaf

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I'm coming very late to this thread, which I see goes all the way back to the founding of OL...

Better late than never, maybe? I strongly agree with Dragonfly on the following:

Either the theory is good enough to withstand criticisms, and in that case these can only lead to a better understanding (instead of just uncritically accepting ideas while they're held by "authorities"), or the theory is not good enough, and in that case we wouldn't want to evade that fact, would we? Shouldn't we rock the boat?

In response to Michael Brown, who asked:

Is this attitude that is shown by Rand (and I guess Peikoff et al.) considered normal within the world of philosophy?

That is, that an originator of a philosophy is somehow the sole owner and arbiter of their philosophy, and can determine who does/does not speak for their philosophy?

I think the answer is, "By and large, it is not considered normal."

However, there have been schools of thought in the past where complete agreement with the ideas of the founder was required and any sort of original contribution was frowned upon. I'm currently reading a book about Epicurus and his followers. So far as we know (many texts are now lost), Epicureans well into Roman times always put forward the same positions, using the same jargon as the founder (though it did eventually have to be translated from Greek into Latin). From Epicurus's death (270 BC) until the school died out (somewhere in the 300s AD, I would guess), there was remarkable intellectual conformity.

Epicurus's ideas had their good points, but complete immunity from revision for 6 centuries is not one of them.

And in response to Andrew, the plural of genus is genera. Another ancient language thing.

Robert Campbell

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"An Objectivist is anyone whose essential philosophy is logically consistent with a philosophical system essentially derived from philosophical positions Ayn Rand approved and whose method is essentially characterized by methods deriving from Rand."

Roger, I think you have every right to call yourself an Objectivist for precisely the reasons you gave, despite the fact that Rand (and Peikoff) would disagree. In Peikoff's case, his definition of Objectivism becomes narrower and narrower as time goes by; today he tells us that we are not Objectivists if we vote for Republicans! And Rand, as time went by, in practice if not in the specific writings you quoted, kept narrowing the perimeters of Objectivism. For example, she would certainly say that Robert Tracinski is not an Objectivist because he doesn't accept her theory of history -- a theory, she believed, which is the only interpretation of history derivable from philosophical positions she approved. So Will Thomas' statement does not provide a great deal of guidance.

The problem of deciding what Rand would and would not consider to be Objectivism is trickier than even her requirement for agreement with her on more and more issues, an agreement far beyond what she originally called the basic principles of Objectivism. For instance, you wrote that you accept the ideas of objective reality, reason, rational self-interest, life as the standard of value, rights, and capitalism. But do you agree with precisely Rand's definition of each concept? If there are subtle or not subtle differences, you would be drummed out of Objectivism as not in agreement with its basic principles.

In summary, the essence of the difficulty in saying what is an Objectivist by Rand's definition lies in what she believed was and was not logically derivable from the basic principles of Objectivism she had enunciated -- it lies in what, in effect, came to be smuggled into the statement of Objectivism's basic principles. if you do not agree with her concept of volition, she would say that your concept cannot be derived from principles she approved, and so is not Objectivism and you are not an Objectivist. And I have no doubt that her view of "man as a heroic being" was a view she would say is essential to a fully consistent Objectivism. And certainly she believed that her view of man-woman relationships was necessitated by more basic tenets of Objectivism as well -- that a different view could not be derived from philosophical positions she would approve.

So one cannot be guided by "orthodox Objectivism" in answering the question of who qualifies as being an Objectivist -- not even orhtodoxy of the Ayn Rand variety. We can only be guided by what would be the usual historical definitions, although they are none too precise, of what makes a person an Aristotelean, a Kantian, a Hegelian, a Platonist.

Barbara

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Barbara,

I don't consider myself an Objectivist, because I disagree with substantial chunks of Ayn Rand's epistemology. I'm not a foundationalist (I don't, for instance, view perception as error-proof). I don't accept either her skepticism about evolution or her allied insistence that evolutionary considerations are philosophically irrelevant. I find her armchair developmental psychology grossly at odds with her claim that philosophy owes nothing to the sciences (I think she needed developmental psychology, and would have been much better off not restricting herself to the armchair variety).

I say this even though I agree with her "standing on one foot" summation and am basically in agreement with her other brief rundowns of Objectivism. (Though obviously not if "reason" is precisely what Rand said it was in her epistemology, and so on... ) Meanwhile, I would definitely not qualify as an Objectivist by Will Thomas's standard. If Randian methods include stigmatizing a wide variety of assertions as arbitrary, refusing to respond to them, and concluding that they are worse than false--a method that Leonard Peikoff presented in lectures on which she conferred her seal of approval--then there is at least one Randian method that I emphatically don't practice.

Admittedly, though, I wouldn't much care about who is an Objectivist if there were no Leonard Peikoff Institute or comparable organization around. So long as there is such an organization, I'm inclined to let the ARIans keep the designation "Objectivist" for themselves. Because if being an Objectivist is what they claim it is, it requires the worship of Ayn Rand, the habit of obedience to her self-proclaimed vicar on earth, the willful ignorance of science, and the frequent flaming sacrifice of one's independent rational judgment so as not to incur the disapproval of authority figures or peers. And why should anyone want any of that?

Most disturbing of all is the fact that the ARIans can claim scriptural authority for many of their bad practices. Even if there had never been a Leonard Peikoff Institute, a Randian religion could sprout up at virtually any time, relying on some of Ayn Rand's sayings, writings, and after-the-fact editings for support.

I find it interesting that the statement about access to the Ayn Rand Archives refers to the "essentials" of Objectivism, even though at the Leonard Peikoff Institute agreeing with essentials is equated with accepting an entire system, lock, stock, and barrel. But from what you've said, Rand herself became convinced that the entire system is logically entailed by the essentials, so the ARIans are simply following her own practice as it developed over time.

Of course, if Ayn Rand considered her sexual psychology a straightforward derivation from sound philosophical premises, Dr. Peikoff and his flock would be in big trouble were she somehow able to return and conduct an inspection tour out in Irvine.

But these, I'm inclined to think, are all their problems. People will keep doing good work and coming up with good ideas. Their discoveries won't be Objectivism, because the ARIans have frozen Rand's system in time, preserving nearly every gap and inconsistency. Rather, they will be something else, not yet named.

Robert Campbell

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Barbara,

I don't consider myself an Objectivist, because I disagree with substantial chunks of Ayn Rand's epistemology. I'm not a foundationalist (I don't, for instance, view perception as error-proof). I don't accept either her skepticism about evolution or her allied insistence that evolutionary considerations are philosophically irrelevant. I find her armchair developmental psychology grossly at odds with her claim that philosophy owes nothing to the sciences (I think she needed developmental psychology, and would have been much better off not restricting herself to the armchair variety).

I say this even though I agree with her "standing on one foot" summation and am basically in agreement with her other brief rundowns of Objectivism. (Though obviously not if "reason" is precisely what Rand said it was in her epistemology, and so on... ) Meanwhile, I would definitely not qualify as an Objectivist by Will Thomas's standard. If Randian methods include stigmatizing a wide variety of assertions as arbitrary, refusing to respond to them, and concluding that they are worse than false--a method that Leonard Peikoff presented in lectures on which she conferred her seal of approval--then there is at least one Randian method that I emphatically don't practice.

Admittedly, though, I wouldn't much care about who is an Objectivist if there were no Leonard Peikoff Institute or comparable organization around. So long as there is such an organization, I'm inclined to let the ARIans keep the designation "Objectivist" for themselves. Because if being an Objectivist is what they claim it is, it requires the worship of Ayn Rand, the habit of obedience to her self-proclaimed vicar on earth, the willful ignorance of science, and the frequent flaming sacrifice of one's independent rational judgment so as not to incur the disapproval of authority figures or peers. And why should anyone want any of that?

Most disturbing of all is the fact that the ARIans can claim scriptural authority for many of their bad practices. Even if there had never been a Leonard Peikoff Institute, a Randian religion could sprout up at virtually any time, relying on some of Ayn Rand's sayings, writings, and after-the-fact editings for support.

I find it interesting that the statement about access to the Ayn Rand Archives refers to the "essentials" of Objectivism, even though at the Leonard Peikoff Institute agreeing with essentials is equated with accepting an entire system, lock, stock, and barrel. But from what you've said, Rand herself became convinced that the entire system is logically entailed by the essentials, so the ARIans are simply following her own practice as it developed over time.

Of course, if Ayn Rand considered her sexual psychology a straightforward derivation from sound philosophical premises, Dr. Peikoff and his flock would be in big trouble were she somehow able to return and conduct an inspection tour out in Irvine.

But these, I'm inclined to think, are all their problems. People will keep doing good work and coming up with good ideas. Their discoveries won't be Objectivism, because the ARIans have frozen Rand's system in time, preserving nearly every gap and inconsistency. Rather, they will be something else, not yet named.

Robert Campbell

Terrific post, Robert. Ultimately, Objectivism of the open, reasonable variety holds the most promise because it allows fearless exploration of what cognitive science and neurology have to add to Objectivist epistemology, what evolutionary and developmental psychology have to add to a meta-ethics, Tracinski's theory of history, a robust respect for scientific method and a reasonable exploration of an Objectivist theory of economics.

Ultimately, if ARI wants to choke on the Objectivist label, I say let them. Ultimately, they are and will have to bear the burden of a crabbed, stasis oriented approach to Objectivism that reminds me of how Dr. Siegbert Tarrasch approached the game of chess. Soon they will simply be conveniently ignored and about as current as a Model T.

Jim

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Jim;

Good post!

When will the DIM hypothesis be declared part of Objectivism? Does anyone think it won't?

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And in response to Andrew, the plural of genus is genera. Another ancient language thing.

Thanks for the heads up.

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Roger, in an earlier post on this thread, I wrote -- speaking of the concepts that have been smuggled into Rand's original defnition of the essentials of Objectivism,

"And I have no doubt that her [Rand's] view of 'man as a heroic being' was a view she would say is essential to a fully consistent Objectivism. And certainly she believed that her view of man-woman relationships was necessitated by more basic tenets of Objectivism as well -- that a different view could not be derived from philosophical positions she would approve."

I just came across ARI's blurb for a course offered by Allan Gotthelf, entitled Love and Philosophy. It reads,

"Focusing on the contrasting conceptions of love held by Plato and Aristotle, Dr. Gotthelf maintains that a person's view of love—and his romantic choices—is linked to his metaphysics."

Barbara

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Roger, in an earlier post on this thread, I wrote -- speaking of the concepts that have been smuggled into Rand's original defnition of the essentials of Objectivism,

"And I have no doubt that her [Rand's] view of 'man as a heroic being' was a view she would say is essential to a fully consistent Objectivism. And certainly she believed that her view of man-woman relationships was necessitated by more basic tenets of Objectivism as well -- that a different view could not be derived from philosophical positions she would approve."

I just came across ARI's blurb for a course offered by Allan Gotthelf, entitled Love and Philosophy. It reads,

"Focusing on the contrasting conceptions of love held by Plato and Aristotle, Dr. Gotthelf maintains that a person's view of love—and his romantic choices—is linked to his metaphysics."

Barbara

You can't think your way into love, but you may be able to think your way out of it--destroy it.

If you are saved you will behave morally, but your salvation has nothing to do with good works. If you don't behave in a moral and righteous manner you aren't saved. If you are an heroic being you will end up in bed with one--Objectivist, natch. So if you want people to think you are an Objectivist at least get someone, probably like yourself, who can at least put up a good front for all those other Objectivists many of whom are doing the same thing.

Approaching such issues this way reflects the secondhand-bias built into Objectivism. This is because Ayn Rand never told her readers, really, how do they get from where they are to personal Objectivist heaven--here on earth. What is heroism? How do we live heroic lives? Is that desirable? She preached the form, not the substance. Better that she had concentrated on true individualism instead of Galtian conformity to a higher power which is Objectivism as a top-down personally totalitarian philosophy. Never mind what the philosophy says about government; I'm talking about real people sucked into a bait and switch, usually because they are too young and Rand too awesome for starters.

--Brant

PS (edit): My screed above has more to do where Objectivism ended up in the 60s (continued with the Orthodox today) than with the novels, which don't easily lend themselves to such simplification. Roark was substantially heroic, for instance. Many of Rand's female characters. Kira. Dagny (and Hank before Galt.) Ayn Rand herself, was stupendously heroic when one takes her life as a totality.

Edited by Brant Gaede

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Barbara,

In the pre-ARI days (this would be around 1977), an old friend of mine attended a lecture by Allan Gotthelf on love in Plato and Aristotle. In the question and answer period, she reported, he said that homosexuality was wrong. Partly on account of bad metaphysics and partly on account of "unnaturalness" (roughly in the manner that Dr. Reuben tried to maintain that homosexuality was unnatural).

I haven't heard his ARI talks, so I don't know how different they are from this late 1970s lecture.

The fact that Love and Philosophy was sponsored by ARI indicates that Leonard Peikoff has not entirely eradicated Ayn Rand's sexual psychology.

Which, in turn, makes Jim Valliant's utter obliviousness about Ayn Rand's sexual psychology even harder to understand.

Robert Campbell

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Barbara,

The fact the Love and Philosophy was sponsored by ARI indicates that Leonard Peikoff has not entirely eradicated Ayn Rand's sexual psychology.

Which, in turn, makes Jim Valliant's utter obliviousness about Ayn Rand's sexual psychology even harder to understand.

Robert Campbell

Robert, it makes Valliant's obliviousness harder to understand only on the assmption that an understanding of Rand's sexual psycnology was his goal.

Barbara

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Regarding Rand's sexual psychology, I dont think that the core thesis of the theory is wrong (i.e. one is attracted to those that embody one's values... Ive certainly found that true in my own experience) but I do think Rand's injection of anti-homosexuality and gender essentialism are false. Luckily these points have been more or less acknowleged as inessential, even by some members of the orthodoxy.

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Sometimes opposites do attract, join and live happily ever after. I have seen some cases where a person would have to turn into a logical pretzel to keep them in alignment with the Objectivist theory of sex.

Thats true. However, at least in my case, my 'opposite' would be the embodiment of everything I consider evil. So although I will refrain from universalizing my context, I certainly find the basic contention that one loves those that embody ones values to be correct in my experience. I certainly have never liked people who did not possess at least some traits I consider good.

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Andrew,

Of course there has to be some attraction points in a relationship. But that is another theory. What we are judging here is the truth of the Objectivist theory of sex. I consider this to be one weakest parts of Objectivism, but I still find a grain of truth in it if we remove the all-inclusive scope.

Just to give an example or two of people who are exceptions, I don't know if your have had any contact with codependency in a relationship. It makes a person clingy so there is an element of neurosis, but there is also deep love (at least in cases I have seen). Then there is the love a young whore feels for her pimp while despising herself for it. There is the Hollywood cliche of the couple who bickers like cats and dogs, but if you take one side against the other, they both come after you. I have known people like that and there is deep love there.

On the other end, you have perhaps the greatest failure of all in Objectivism: Barbara's initial lack of total romantic love of Nathaniel that both she and Nathaniel covered in their books, and Nathaniel's attitude toward her by agreeing to an affair while recently married. By all reason based on Objectivism, these two had to have been deeply in love without reservation or conflict. In reality, at the best of times, Barbara had difficulty responding to Nathaniel and Nathaniel had an affair.

Irrespective of the Brandens, Objectivism has had an extremely poor track record of successful marriages over the years. Much, much worse than religion.

The theory of sex as presented is a recipe for heartache. It needs to be tempered by common sense and some values obtained outside of Objectivism in order to work.

Michael

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In the pre-ARI days (this would be around 1977), an old friend of mine attended a lecture by Allan Gotthelf on love in Plato and Aristotle. In the question and answer period, she reported, he said that homosexuality was wrong. Partly on account of bad metaphysics and partly on account of "unnaturalness" (roughly in the manner that Dr. Reuben tried to maintain that homosexuality was unnatural).

I haven't heard his ARI talks, so I don't know how different they are from this late 1970s lecture.

The fact the Love and Philosophy was sponsored by ARI indicates that Leonard Peikoff has not entirely eradicated Ayn Rand's sexual psychology.

Bob,

I attended Allan's reading of this lecture on 21 May 1978 at Northwestern University. He was speaking under Rand's auspice. This was something of a follow-up really for the new Peikoff tape lectures The Philosophy of Objectivism, which had been played the preceding autumn at that location.

There was nothing in the lecture concerning homosexuality. After the reading of the lecture, there was an extended Q&A. This was a chance for those of us who had attended the PO tape lectures to ask our own questions. The PO tape lectures had included extensive Q&A for Peikoff and Rand from the live audience in New York (autumn 1976). Now we could ask any further question we might have, on any topic concerning the philosophy of Objectivism.

The audience was about sixty, so about three times the number who had attended the tape lectures. Someone asked whether Plato or Aristotle were homosexual. Plato yes, Aristotle maybe, but definitely he was also married to a woman. Someone asked what was the Objectivist position on the gay lifestyle, meaning in contemporary society. Allan replied that Rand had not written on the topic, that there was no official Objectivist position on the issue, but that, speaking only for himself, he would tell us what he thought. Something negative.

Allan's response incensed me, as I was a gay person myself. (A gay person is a homosexual who thinks it is OK to be that way.) So I raised the heat in the room by asking a follow-on question. Did he think that same-sex couples should be given the legal power to form marriages? He was still just speaking for himself, not for Rand, but he thought no. He stressed that homosexuals should have the right to dispose of their property as they pleased by contract and will. He noted that it was understandable that homosexuals in an ongoing relationship would develop a serious affection for each other.

Well, that incensed me all the more. He wasn't going to call it romantic love---just like Branden writing in Rand's journals in the preceding decade.

It was clear, however, that a strategic decision had been taken by Rand and some of her associates to try to disconnect Objectivism as a philosophy from any particular attitude towards homosexuality, other than respect for their individual rights. I should perhaps mention for some of the younger readers here that in the last forty years there has been a cultural revolution in the developed world on this issue. Things were very different back in the late sixties when I discovered Rand and my first love.

PS

Allan became a subscriber to my journal Objectivity at its inception in 1990. We corresponded about the episode and a bit of epistemology. He renewed for the second volume. We are square.

Edited by Stephen Boydstun

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This is from the "Who is an Objectivist?" talk at the 2006 Summer Seminar by Will Thomas of the Atlas Society/Objectivist Center.
"An Objectivist is anyone whose essential philosophy is logically consistent with a philosophical system essentially derived from philosophical positions Ayn Rand approved and whose method is essentially characterized by methods deriving from Rand."

But do I get a secret decoder ring?

Mike Lee

Who is an optometrist?

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Hi Mike!

:)

I have your secret decoder ring all locked up under a spell, believe it or not. We're gonna have to cut the head off of some poor goat for a Brazilian-African deity, set out a bottle of cachaça and some candles at a crossroads, throw seven coins into the brush, open our hearts and chakras and simply hope for the best.

It could be worse, though. If somebody has taken your name, sewn it into the belly of a frog and buried the thing under your doorstep, I shudder to think...

Er... we do Objectivism a bit differently over here...

We'll do our best to get that ring to you right away...

Michael

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Graham, I hope you're still here. I'm responding to a post of yours that's several months old, but I just discovered it on this thread.

What happens is that I figure it out myself in an otherwise empty environment, based mostly on those elements of Objectivism above. Then I act on my conclusions, sometimes erroneously.

Graham, that, essentially, is what all of us do -- and should do -- whether we are philosophers or mathematicians or coal miners. It's surely the safest way to function.

But yes, I agree with your statement that: "Objectivist philosophers today should be providing that guiding light. Mostly I don't see it happening, at least in the general public. Take any issue in the news today. What does it mean? Is it good? Is it bad? What are its component "blacks and whites" of the issue? What are the short and long term implications of various actions and inactions? Tell me what you think and I'll consider your ideas.""

Let me suggest two excellent sources for discussion of issues in the news today. The first is The Atlas Society monthly magazine, The New Individualist, edited by Robert Bidinotto. It's aimed at the general public, and discusses issues from an Objectivist perspective. The second is Robert Tracinski's newletter, The Intellectual Activist, a daily discussion from an Objectivist perspective and aimed at Objectivists. You will find each of these immensely helpful in doing exactly what you are looking for: they tell you what they think and why, and allow you to consider their ideas. The URLs for these are:

The New Individualist: http://www.objectivismstore.com/c-48-the-n...ividualist.aspx

The Intellectual Activist: http://www.intellectualactivist.com/

For a discussion of current events, I also recommend Robert Bidinotto's blog:

http://www.bidinotto.journalspace.com

Barbara

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Dear Barbara,

Just saw your kind words here. Thank you so very much. I'm glad you enjoy the magazine.

Upcoming in the September issue: Heroes: who they are; why we need them; who hates them.

Upcoming in October: special 50th anniversary tributes to Atlas Shrugged.

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Who Qualifies as being an Objectivist

by Roger E. Bissell

The real irony is that, even if I were accepted as an Objectivist, my philosophizing would not be accepted as part of Objectivism--even if it were compatible with Objectivism! I don't know how any ARI intellectual with a shred of self-esteem can swallow this notion, that the philosophizing of an Objectivist philosopher is nonetheless not Objectivism. I certainly can't. That is why I am completely opposed to the "Closed System" approach of ARI. Their attitude is more appropriate to the care and feeding of hothouse flowers than to a living, growing philosophy. Perhaps that is why they are so hesitant to publish anything other than 30 year old lectures and all the miscellanous items that Rand never intended for publication.

No, I am too independent for that. I will continue to regard myself as a rational individualist and as a neo-Randian, in the same sense that some contemporary philosophers regard themselves as neo-Aristotelians--not accepting all of Aristotle's (or Rand's) doctrines, but essentially in agreement with them.

Bravo! The "received text" emphasis is so strange. One almost expects to hear references to Rand's books and articles plus the Objectivist Newsletter, The Objectivist and The Ayn Rand Letter as "Scripture." Presumably the Branden writings would be deemed the "Satanic verses."

Alfonso (smiling - it's a joke!)

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Presumably the Branden writings would be deemed the "Satanic verses."

Afonso,

If only that would all go away as if by magic, Objectivism would spread far and wide, war would end, poverty would disappear, people would be happy and there would be milk and honey for everybody.

:)

Michael

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Presumably the Branden writings would be deemed the "Satanic verses."

Afonso,

If only that would all go away as if by magic, Objectivism would spread far and wide, war would end, poverty would disappear, people would be happy and there would be milk and honey for everybody.

:)

Michael

Which reminds me of a story. These two communists are having a discussion while sitting in Union Square in NYC. Communist A says: Comes the Revolution we will all have cream with our strawberries. Communist B says: But comrade, I done like cream with my strawberries. Communist A: responds: Comes the revolution you -will- like cream with your strawberries!

Ba'al Chatzaf

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