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Volume 9, No. 2 - Spring 2008
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Completing the American Revolution: The Significance of Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged at its Fiftieth Anniversary, pp. 191–219
David N. Mayer
In 1961, Ayn Rand called for "a moral revolution to sanction and complete the political achievement of the American Revolution." Through her novel Atlas Shrugged and the philosophy it presents, Rand shows what must be done to complete the unfinished American Revolution. This essay, written to commemorate the book’s fiftieth anniversary, discusses the historical background necessary to understand how Atlas Shrugged accomplishes this purpose. It explains how and why the Revolution was incomplete—focusing on the law’s failure to fully protect the rights of businessmen—and suggests how to achieve the "moral revolution" needed to complete the Founders’ work.
Rand and MacIntyre on Moral Agency, pp. 221–43
This paper contrasts the work of Ayn Rand and Alasdair MacIntyre on moral agency. Both argue that moral agency requires the application of a consistent moral code across relationships with others and that such consistency is rarely evident in the modern social order. However, while MacIntyre holds this failure to be a defining feature of the modern social order, Rand holds this to be a failure of individuals and a marker of a wider cultural confusion. While Rand sees selfishness and capitalism as the means to overcome individual and institutional "mixed premises," MacIntyre condemns both.
Rand on Hume's Moral Skepticism, pp. 245–51
Tibor R. Machan
This brief discussion argues that Ayn Rand misconstrued David Hume's famous "is/ought" gap, just as innumerable others have. Hume objected to deducing ought claims (or judgments or statements) from is claims and not to deriving the former from the latter. He was silent about this but his own work in ethics and politics suggests that he would agree that one can infer ethical, moral or political beliefs from an understanding of facts (such as those of history).
Toward the Development of a Paradigm of Human Flourishing in a Free Society, pp. 253–304
Edward W. Younkins
This essay presents a skeleton of a potential conceptual framework for human flourishing in a free society. Its aim is to present a diagram that illustrates the ways in which its topics relate to one another and why they do. It argues for a plan of conceptualization rather than for the topics themselves. It emphasizes the interconnections among the components of the schema presented. It sees an essential interconnection between objective concepts, arguing that all of the disciplines of human action can be integrated into a paradigm of human flourishing based on the nature of man and the world.
Missing the Mark: Salsman's Review of the Great Depression, pp. 305–39
Objectivist Richard Salsman has recently offered a provocative commentary on business cycles in general and on the Great Depression in particular. The present paper closely examines Salsman’s essay, with special attention given to his condemnation of Austrian business cycle theory. It demonstrates that Salsman’s account of the Great Depression is confused and inadequate, because it is riddled with both factual errors and misunderstandings. Moreover, his attack on Austrian economists is indefensible. Indeed, he is not even reliably able to recognize their theory when it is laid before him.
REVIEWS AND DISCUSSION
Defending Advertising, pp. 341–49
Jerry Kirkpatrick’s book, In Defense of Advertising, is an intellectually stimulating and enjoyable read that combines a Randian philosophical framework with Misesian economics to provide a solid defense of advertising as an essential element of free market economy.
Reply to Juliusz Jablecki:
Kirkpatrick responds to "minor shortcomings" discussed in Juliusz Jablecki’s review of In Defense of Advertising ("Defending Advertising"). The main issue is the need to delve deeply into the Objectivist ethics and epistemology in order to defend the very applied and concrete discipline of advertising. Kirkpatrick expands on this need and then briefly addresses additional minor complaints mentioned in the generally positive review.
Rejoinder to Jerry Kirkpatrick:
Jerry Kirkpatrick’s reply ("The Connection between Advertising and Objectivist Epistemology") to Juliusz Jablecki’s review of his book, In Defense of Advertising, does address most of the criticisms raised therein. Nevertheless, Kirkpatrick’s account of the views of Ludwig von Mises, and his own opinion of the relationship between Christianity and capitalism, remain one-sided and incomplete.
Reply to stephen e. parrish and PATRICK TONER:
In Ayn Rand’s philosophical perspective, and in the working epistemology of science, claims, about which there is no knowledge originating in the evidence of the senses, are considered—in the words of physicist Wolfgang Pauli—"not even false." Theistic arguments presented in The Journal of Ayn Rand Studies by Parrish and Toner are in this category. Various claims to which Parrish and Toner refer are shown to come from misuse of intuition, middle-school fallacies about probability, and attempts to deduce the existence of a god from temporary (and for the most part already closed) gaps in scientific knowledge.
Rejoinder to Adam Reed:
Stephen E. Parrish
This is a response to Adam Reed’s critique ("Not Even False," The Journal of Ayn Rand Studies, Spring 2008) of Parrish’s essay, "God and Objectivism" (The Journal of Ayn Rand Studies, Spring 2007). Parrish argues that Reed ignores most of his critical points with regard to Objectivism, while committing several fallacies and embracing his own arbitrary positions.
Rejoinder to Adam Reed:
In this brief note, Toner discusses Adam Reed’s reply ("Not Even False," The Journal of Ayn Rand Studies, Spring 2008) to his earlier paper, "Objectivist Atheology" (The Journal of Ayn Rand Studies, Spring 2007). He argues that Reed’s criticisms do not hold up under scrutiny.
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