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PhilosophyGround >> Ayn Rand Makes Inroads in colleges


7/13/07 10:17 PM
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oblongo
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Edited: 13-Jul-07
Member Since: 04/20/2002
Posts: 2450
 
Chronicle of Higher Education has several articles on Rand. Unfortunately, none are available online without a subscription. One, called Advocates of Objectivism Make New Inroads, talks about how her ideas are getting discussed. It also talks about the role of the Ayn Rand Institute, which seems to be doing about as much good as bad to spread her ideas. Some excerpts: It used to be the kiss of death to your career to say that you liked Ayn Rand," says Jurgis Brakas, an associate professor of philosophy at Marist College, whose work is not supported by any Rand-affiliated foundation. He suggests that a much broader revival of interest in Aristotle -- whose realist and rationalist theories of cognition harmonize with Rand's -- is partly responsible for the recent uptick in scholarly interest in objectivism. Before about 1975, Aristotle "was studied as an antiquarian thinker," says Allan Gotthelf, a visiting professor of the philosophy of science at Pittsburgh. "But then people began to return to his work, and more attention was given to his theories of essences and virtues." That interest in Aristotelian epistemology and ethics, he says, has opened the door for scholars to appreciate Rand's variations on Aristotle's models. Mr. (Geoffrey) Sayre-McCord (UNC- Chapel hill) has recently traveled to Pittsburgh and to Claremont College for workshops designed to bring together objectivists and nonobjectivists who work on parallel problems in metaphysics and ethics. While he remains unpersuaded by objectivism as a philosophical framework, he says that he has strongly benefited from confronting the work of Rand's followers: "I found both conferences engaging and interesting. It seemed like ordinary high-powered philosophy."
10/9/07 1:49 PM
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Lofland
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Edited: 09-Oct-07
Member Since: 01/01/2001
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there was an interesting passage about Ayn Rand nuthuggers (poonhuggers?) in the book, Why People Believe Weird Things.
11/23/07 12:20 AM
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baxter stockman
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Edited: 23-Nov-07
Member Since: 10/17/2007
Posts: 428
"randroid" and objectivism isn't a philosophy, rand wasn't a philosopher
11/29/07 6:06 PM
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smichal
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Edited: 29-Nov-07
Member Since: 10/20/2007
Posts: 231
"Objectivism IS a philosophy and Ayn Rand was in fact a philosopher." Just not good enough to be seriously considered.
3/6/08 12:51 AM
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baxter stockman
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Edited: 06-Mar-08
Member Since: 10/17/2007
Posts: 1889
no matter how much people who like rand and the post-facto term "objectivism", it's not a philosophy. it's an attitude justified with cobbled-together anti-communist ideology, a disjunct cannibalization of ancient philosophy, and a campaign of intellectual obfuscation in the tradition of religion and pseudo philosophy at large. just the way objectivism deals with the notion of honesty is ridiculous enough to flatly reject it as a system of thought.
3/9/08 5:28 PM
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baxter stockman
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Edited: 09-Mar-08 05:42 PM
Member Since: 10/17/2007
Posts: 1979
because a body of philosophy must "hang together" on its own merits as a system. something like, say, logical atomism or pragmatism aim to answer questions and then try to work out a system of thought, a mechanism of mind experimentation to answer those questions. objectivism lacks a discernible objective. essentially, the body of work of objectivism is a long illustration of an attitude with particular justifications culled from a number influences -- some deliberate, some accidental. i should qualify this and my original statement, though... objectivism has been turned, through the efforts of its followers, into a complete system. the problem is, the source material isn't fit for what's being done with it and has required followers to fill in far too many gaps to make it complete. the result is less a philosophy than a proto-wiki enculturation.
3/15/08 5:51 AM
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Revolver of Reason
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Edited: 15-Mar-08
Member Since: 01/01/2001
Posts: 41283
Objectivism is certainly a philosophy. whether it's a quality philosophy or worthy of academic study is another question.

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