Ellen Stuttle Posted May 3, 2006 Share Posted May 3, 2006 Alright, obviously I haven't made good on my departure, and I don't suppose I'll manage to retire for awhile to much-needed hibernation as long as this Sciabarra thing is raging. I'm really pissed -- really pissed -- at the attempt to defame possibly the best mind (next to Rand's own) which has come out of the (broadly defined) Objectivist world.In one of MSK's posts about "Dialectical Dishonesty" -- I'm sorry, I forget which one -- Michael says something to the effect that the anger against Russian Radical was because of the demonstration of Rand's growing from intellectual roots. That feature of Chris's thesis -- her having an intellectual past in currents of thought she experienced during her early years -- was indeed a major source of the initial outcry against Chris, probably even more than the dialectical stuff as such (though the talk of "dialectics" was important too).It might be hard to believe today -- and much of the change in belief has come from Chris's often-vilified efforts -- the extent to which people then, when they first heard of Chris's thesis, held the "premise" that Rand, just as the Rand mythology told it, had sprung like Minerva from the head of Zeus, with her philosophy already formed in nucleus and having next-to-zero predecessing origins. (This was a "premise" -- I've come to hate the word because of the way it's used in O'ist-ese -- which I had long thought was absurd; thus I was among the people who applauded what Chris was doing from the time of his first presentation, I forget which year, at an IOS seminar. Which is how Chris and I first started corresponding.)To the extent Rand herself acknowledged any origins, she especially denied any Russian origins, given her extreme negativity toward Russian culture in general. But here was Chris, establishing Russian sources. He received flak from the beginning, even from the "open" school of thought.(A side comment, though Chris doesn't go into this much in his work, since he's more focused on philosophic and societal-systems issues: even in her novels I think there's a clear Russian influence, the philosophic novel having been a Russian tradition.)Ironically, as things ended up, Chris was the one who dug up evidence which supported Rand's recollection of taking a course with Lossky. So in the end the ARI folks began, too, to listen to this out-of-the-square thinker in the Objectivist world's midst. They've ended up wanting access to what he learns from his Russian contacts -- while all the while keeping him at a long arm's length. They, too, have come to believe in "Russian origins," while still decrying the scholarship, and the integrity, of the pathbreaker whose research findings they'd like be informed of.EllenPS: ERRATA. I wrote, above, "like Minerva from the head of Zeus." This should have been Athena, which I know perfectly well. Can't quite believe I did that. (Since the sentence has been quoted in other posts, I left the error.)___ Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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
Already have an account? Sign in here.Sign In Now