Tibor Machan Biography


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Tibor R. Machan Biography

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Tibor R. Machan, Ph.D. (b. 18 March 1939), professor emeritus in the department of philosophy at Auburn University, holds the R. C. Hoiles Professorship of Business Ethics and Free Enterprise at the Argyros School of Business & Economics at Chapman University in Orange, California.

He is a research fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University. Machan is also an adjunct faculty member of the Ludwig von Mises Institute and adjunct scholar at the Cato Institute. Professor Machan is a syndicated and freelance columnist; author of more than one hundred scholarly papers and more than thirty books, most recently Libertarianism Defended, (Ashgate 2006).

He was a visiting professor at the United States Military Academy (West Point) in 1992–1993. Dr. Machan edited Reason for two years and was the editor of Reason Papers, an annual journal of interdisciplinary normative studies, for 25 years. He lectures in Europe, South Africa, New Zealand, India and Latin America on business ethics and political philosophy. Professor Machan lives in Silverado Canyon, Orange County, California. Amusingly, Machan is known to have a penchant for the color orange, and frequently incorporates the color into his daily apparel, often by way of an orange ring, orange socks or orange shoelaces.

Machan's work usually focuses on political philosophy, specifically natural rights theory. He also writes frequently on business ethics, a field in which he deploys a neo-Aristotelian ethical stance whereby commercial and business conduct gain their moral standing by constituting extensions of the virtue of prudence. He also argues that the field presupposes the institution of the right to private property (one cannot trade what one does not own or hasn't been authorized to trade by the owner). (See The Business of Commerce, Examining an Honorable Profession, and A Primer on Business Ethics, both with James Chesher.)

Machan also writes in the field of epistemology where his main focus has been to challenge the conception of human knowledge whereby to know that P amounts to having reached a final, perfect, timeless and finished understanding of P. Instead Machan draws on Ayn Rand's contextual conception of human knowledge (from Rand's Introduction to Objectivist Epistemology) and the insights of J. L. Austin, from his paper "Other Minds", and Gilbert Harman, from his book Thought). (See his book Objectivity [Ashgate, 2004].) Machan is one of the few moral philosophers who has argued against animal rights (in his paper "Do Animals Have Rights?" [1991] and his book Putting Humans First, Why We Are Nature's Favorite [2004]). His full ethical position is developed in his book Classical Individualism: The Supreme Importance of Each Human Being and it is applied in, among other books, Generosity: Virtue in Civil Society (1998).

Machan has also worked on the problem of free will — he has defended a secular, naturalist (not, however, materialist) notion of human initiative (see his books, The Pseudo-Science of B. F. Skinner [1974] and Initiative: Human Agency and Society [2000]).

Machan has also written a memoir, The Man Without a Hobby: Adventures of a Gregarious Egoist (2004).

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