Peikoff’s latest howler


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His insistence on the closed system is that not everything Rand wrote on or discussed is part of the Objectivist system.

I know he's stated before he thinks that Rand's convictions on sex were ones based in psychology, that had philosophic consequences, much like her view of homosexuality.

I'm interested in studying the primary source. Could you (or others) please provide a link to Peikoff's precise statements on that. TIA.

I don't know of the precise source that PJM refers to.

Here he is asked if he disagrees with Ayn Rand, and he says: “I’m not really certain. I think I disagree.”

Do you disagree with Ayn Rand on pornography?

But his disagreement is simply to do with whether or not it’s okay to use pornography as a sexual stimulant. Later he says that he certainly does not disagree with her on a “philosophical” level in regard to sex.

If you listen to other answers he gives on the issue of sex, he does seem to push the envelope quite a bit. Here is one example, where he states that it is debatable if prostitution is inherently immoral.

Are some professions inherently immoral?

He disagrees, but he doesn't really disagree. Me thinks white man speak with forked tongue.

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Dennis:

I believe that we are better than what we condemn. I am no fan of Peikoff, I never liked him when we traveled in the same educational circles in the 60's. However, his wife should not be part of this.

And, believe me, I can be guilty of this excess as much as anyone, but this is just not necessary.

Adam

Adam,

You're no fun at all.

Dennis

Dennis:

Lol...you have no idea how difficult that was for me to write.

Adam

Truth be told: He's almost 78. I'm guessing she's probably less than half his age. She may not be gorgeous enough to get a pictorial lay-out in Playboy, but I'll bet she has plenty of "deep spiritual values" to offer. He probably couldn't care less what anyone says. I sure wouldn't, if I were him.

Playboy doesn't matter if he reads it for the articles.

--Brant

I read it for the photo re-touching techniques

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I recall now the latest I heard from Peikoff was from an email correspondence he had with an acquaintance, not an answer he gives on his show. However, I figured I would search something out on his website, since I knew I'd heard his position before.

http://www.peikoff.com/podcasts/page/5/?sort=popular#list

The relevant audio is number 1 in the list "Is homosexuality immoral?".

Rand once stated that her only position on sex, philosophically, was that it's good.

The email correspondence I refer to goes more into Peikoff's objection to hero worship. I'll try to get that and see if it's okay to post it here.

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I regard the whole notion of "closed Objectivism" to be ridiculous. Giving Peikoff this kind of pass on psychology-related issues helps him make this "closed Objectivism" silliness look plausible.

Exactly.

Robert Campbell

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I think Francisco’s speech is terribly oversimplified and psychologically naive and could only have been written by a woman. No reasonable male would ever argue that he could only be sexually attracted to a woman who shared his sense of life or philosophy of life. It’s utterly absurd.

I see your point but I must partially dissent. I think the speech argues people will generally be attracted towards those that embody their values. This isn't necessarily the same thing as sharing the same conscious convictions.

I agree Rand (and many Randians) apply the theory in a rationalistic, simplistic manner which focuses on conscious convictions excessively. The result, as most of us know, hasn't been pretty. Certainly, one can't assume that just because another person has the same set of philosophical beliefs, they'd be good marriage material.

But when I think of the people I've been attracted to, I realize that in some way they all embody at least some of my values. Additionally, they've often expressed convictions which seem to be at least 'in the general area' of pro-reason, pro-individuality Enlightenment ideals. Certainly, if someone turns out to be a devout collectivist of sorts, I become incapable of finding them attractive.

Also, 'sense of life' is a lot more broad and subtle than conscious philosophical conviction (at least as I understand it). Indeed, I'd consider it more important than conscious philosophical convictions. There are plenty more factors that influence people's character than their ideas; if ideas were the only factor then all Objectivists would have the same personality (and they quite clearly do not).

That said, I agree with you to a significant extent. Applying the Objectivist theory of desire in a simplistic, rationalistic fashion that reduces all desire-to-screw to conscious philosophical agreement is absolutely fallacious and potentially very dangerous.

On the other hand, in our desire to avoid falling into rationalism and regurgitating Rand's mistakes uncritically, there may be a risk of throwing out the baby with the bathwater at times. I think in the case of the theory of sexual desire, she recognized an important piece of the puzzle.

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Sure. Let's refrain from saying anything negative about Peikoff for his choice of a mate. Let's be benevolent and give him every benefit of the doubt. He surely deserves it.

Then again, based on the Objectivist view of sex and romantic love, what type of mate does Peikoff deserve? What has he earned?

He's not especially bright, original or productive. Like a lot of Orthodox Objectivists, he doesn't appear to be living in the real world, but seems to see things through the distorted lens of frantic Objectivist zealotry. He's always saying or doing one really dumb thing or another, trying to come off as an authority while actually totally fucking up. He really hasn't achieved much of anything on his own, but has lived off of his association with Rand.

I mean seriously, I can't imagine, say, an accomplished business woman in the real world -- a real life Dagny if you will, but who has earned all of her own wealth -- believing that Peikoff would be a great catch. Can you?

So, depending on how productive and effective a housekeeper was at her job, she might even be above Peikoff in real accomplishments and effectiveness as an individual, and therefore maybe she has settled for something beneath herself on the Objectivist Romantic Partner Worthiness Charts.

J

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Ayn Rand clearly intended Francisco's speech on "The Meaning of Sex" to be part of Objectivism or she would not have included it in her first nonfiction work, For The New Intellectual. As I have said many times before on this forum, I think Francisco's speech is terribly oversimplified and psychologically naive and could only have been written by a woman. No reasonable male would ever argue that he could only be sexually attracted to a woman who shared his sense of life or philosophy of life. It's utterly absurd.

It is also absurd to give up Dagny and women generally and go on strike to save the world even if you have a great stash of pornography, which I'm sure he didn't. Playing marbles? Playing second fiddle to John Galt? The psychological artificiality of the novel was necessary to make the whole thing go and I wouldn't rewrite it even if I could make it a little better here and there without collapsing the structure and otherwise ruining it like George Lucas almost did putting new scenes into his first Star Wars. The reason is Atlas is just as much about Ayn Rand as it is about Atlas addressing the world trying to save it, for which it failed--it failed the world, not the reader who didn't get sucked into a "collective" with a leader he never got out of.

--Brant

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Then she’s not just a laundress. Housekeeping involves far more intelligence, and a much wider skill set. For instance, one must be able to clean a clock.

In light of what he's done to use, abuse, and eviscerate Rand's intellectual estate, I'd say Lenny's morally deserved to have his clock cleaned for about thirty years now.

Unfortunately, the abusive and government-granted "intellectual property" monopoly regime means than any substantial repair for such damage will soon be up to Kira Peikoff — and for most of the rest of this century. She hasn't evinced much interest as yet in such matters, and probably will just sit back and cash the royalty checks.

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Sure. Let's refrain from saying anything negative about Peikoff for his choice of a mate. Let's be benevolent and give him every benefit of the doubt. He surely deserves it.

Then again, based on the Objectivist view of sex and romantic love, what type of mate does Peikoff deserve? What has he earned?

He's not especially bright, original or productive. Like a lot of Orthodox Objectivists, he doesn't appear to be living in the real world, but seems to see things through the distorted lens of frantic Objectivist zealotry. He's always saying or doing one really dumb thing or another, trying to come off as an authority while actually totally fucking up. He really hasn't achieved much of anything on his own, but has lived off of his association with Rand.

I mean seriously, I can't imagine, say, an accomplished business woman in the real world -- a real life Dagny if you will, but who has earned all of her own wealth -- believing that Peikoff would be a great catch. Can you?

So, depending on how productive and effective a housekeeper was at her job, she might even be above Peikoff in real accomplishments and effectiveness as an individual, and therefore maybe she has settled for something beneath herself on the Objectivist Romantic Partner Worthiness Charts.

J

He was quite productive, younger, and smarter, younger, and brighter, younger--just the facts. Original? Not even originally, unless you think DIM is original. Unfortunately, someone should take away the keys to his podcast before he really hurts himself. It's gone beyond embarrassment.

--Brant

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[...] So, depending on how productive and effective a housekeeper was at her job, she might even be above Peikoff in real accomplishments and effectiveness as an individual, and therefore maybe she has settled for something beneath herself on the Objectivist Romantic Partner Worthiness Charts.

Are those available on Amazon.com? Or just at the ARI's bookstore?

{grin}

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Sure. Let's refrain from saying anything negative about Peikoff for his choice of a mate. Let's be benevolent and give him every benefit of the doubt. He surely deserves it.

Then again, based on the Objectivist view of sex and romantic love, what type of mate does Peikoff deserve? What has he earned?

He's not especially bright, original or productive. Like a lot of Orthodox Objectivists, he doesn't appear to be living in the real world, but seems to see things through the distorted lens of frantic Objectivist zealotry. He's always saying or doing one really dumb thing or another, trying to come off as an authority while actually totally fucking up. He really hasn't achieved much of anything on his own, but has lived off of his association with Rand.

I mean seriously, I can't imagine, say, an accomplished business woman in the real world -- a real life Dagny if you will, but who has earned all of her own wealth -- believing that Peikoff would be a great catch. Can you?

So, depending on how productive and effective a housekeeper was at her job, she might even be above Peikoff in real accomplishments and effectiveness as an individual, and therefore maybe she has settled for something beneath herself on the Objectivist Romantic Partner Worthiness Charts.

J

I didn't know he had re-married. I don't begrudge him that. Everybody should have somebody.

--Brant

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He was quite productive, younger, and smarter, younger, and brighter, younger--just the facts. Original? Not even originally, unless you think DIM is original. Unfortunately, someone should take away the keys to his podcast before he really hurts himself. It's gone beyond embarrassment.

--Brant

Agree with you 360, especially the podcast. No matter how much punishment er, some of us , put him on, it gets to that inhumane feeling that can start to happen. There's painfully funny, then there is just pain. He's making me wince once in awhile, and that is no way to do business.

I have all this mad production gear and it would have been just another training exercise to grab some voice samples, and then and then and then. . . And I really thought about that, until hearing the last couple of his deals. I will say that they even translate quite well to print--Oh yeah, baby, yeah they do. He's really doing fine on his own, there's not much more any of us can do to enhance perfection.

At this point, a lot of things would be better--he could hike up to the North Pole and sit there, or something.

rde

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Unfortunately, someone should take away the keys to his podcast before he really hurts himself. It's gone beyond embarrassment.

I think that after Leonard Peikoff is gone, his last few defenders will attribute his 4th marriage to dementia.

If they are really bold, they may end up saying the same of selected podcast content.

Robert Campbell

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Unfortunately, someone should take away the keys to his podcast before he really hurts himself. It's gone beyond embarrassment.

I think that after Leonard Peikoff is gone, his last few defenders will attribute his 4th marriage to dementia.

If they are really bold, they may end up saying the same of selected podcast content.

Robert Campbell

Robert:

I expect more creativity. I think they officially state that his behavior "...was directly caused by the paint thinner fumes that he inhaled while closely inspecting the bottles found in Frank's closet that were faithfully preserved in the ARI archives."

So much more heroic, don't you think?

Adam

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At this point, a lot of things would be better--he could hike up to the North Pole and sit there, or something.

Isn't that what Superman did to regain his super powers? I'm afraid he'll just freeze to death.

--Brant

you got a worse idea?

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At this point, a lot of things would be better--he could hike up to the North Pole and sit there, or something.

Isn't that what Superman did to regain his super powers? I'm afraid he'll just freeze to death.

--Brant

you got a worse idea?

I was thinking more like the ending of Frankenstein.

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I think that after Leonard Peikoff is gone <...>

Who is the hottest candidate as his successor?

If a top secret project funded by ARI proves successful, there will be no successor. . .

barin_in_a_vat_(en)_v2.png

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I think that after Leonard Peikoff is gone <...>

Who is the hottest candidate as his successor?

If a top secret project funded by ARI proves successful, there will be no successor. . .

barin_in_a_vat_(en)_v2.png

Don't be coy DH. We know who's the dark horse in this race....

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I think that after Leonard Peikoff is gone <...>

Who is the hottest candidate as his successor?

If a top secret project funded by ARI proves successful, there will be no successor. . .

barin_in_a_vat_(en)_v2.png

Don't be coy DH. We know who's the dark horse in this race....

The abduction and fusion of Hsieh/Peikoff:

51K46CSZTDL._SL500_AA300_.jpg

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I think that after Leonard Peikoff is gone <...>

Who is the hottest candidate as his successor?

If a top secret project funded by ARI proves successful, there will be no successor. . .

Don't be coy DH. We know who's the dark horse in this race....

Such a delightfully quaint sense-of-humor you have. . .

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The spectacle of Peikoff, even glimpsed second-hand and sideways, would inspire anyone to quaintness. Wouldn't it be gloriously integrated full-circle if the housekeeper is actually an immigrant intellectual of hitherto unrecognized genius, who springs full-grown from the forehead of Objectivism when revealed to be the standard-bearer?

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Don't be coy DH. We know who's the dark horse in this race....

dhlogo.png

<<<<Dennis is a Negro! Nah

I wish I could find the Eddie Murphy scene from Trading Places when he is in the bathroom and he overhears the Dukes talking about him and one of the Dukes says, "Now, Mortimer, do you think I would ever let a nigger run Duke Enterprises!"

Can anyone imagine a black entrepreneur taking over for Peikoff?

Adam

Edited by Selene
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The spectacle of Peikoff, even glimpsed second-hand and sideways, would inspire anyone to quaintness. Wouldn't it be gloriously integrated full-circle if the housekeeper is actually an immigrant intellectual of hitherto unrecognized genius, who springs full-grown from the forehead of Objectivism when revealed to be the standard-bearer?

There would be an irony. Or, maybe he knows a loyal diaper-changer when he sees one. Planning for the future.

Regardless, putting down the microphone would surely be in his best interest. But he won't.

rde

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