Volume 9, No. 1 – Fall 2007 (Issue #17)
TABLE OF CONTENTS
TO THINK OR NOT: A STRUCTURAL RESOLUTION TO THE MIND-BODY AND FREE WILL-DETERMINISM PROBLEM, pp. 1-51
The mind-body and free will-determinism problem is presented as an instance of the more general top-down versus bottom-up process model. The construct of a metaphysical hierarchy consisting of 3 levels (matter, life and mind) is introduced, with each level governed by emergent, non-overlapping fundamental causal forces. Rand’s theories of epistemology, language, and volition are shown to be inherently circular and impossible to be true. The concepts of metaphysical identity and epistemological identity are introduced. Metaphysics and epistemology are recharacterized in exclusively bottom-up terms informed by recent advances in the natural sciences, along with theories for perception, similarity, language, and volition.
AYN RAND AND “THE OBJECTIVE”: A CLOSER LOOK AT THE INTRINSIC-OBJECTIVE-SUBJECTIVE TRICHOTOMY, pp. 53-92
This essay offers a new interpretation and clarification of Rand’s intrinsic-objective-subjective trichotomy, arguing that although her writings show the objective as having both epistemological and metaphysical aspects, the latter has been drastically downplayed, much to the detriment of the further development of Objectivism. The article traces the historical roots of the concept of the “objective,” as well as the confusion and errors that led to the scope of Rand’s trichotomy being radically curtailed by its two chief proponents, and it explains how the common view of the objective as “mind-independent” is a pitfall to be avoided.
SELF-AS-ORGANISM AND SENSE OF SELF: TOWARD A DIFFERENTIAL CONCEPTION, pp. 93-111
This article proposes that Rand’s identification of self with mind is at odds with an approach to self that would optimally recognize and honor the integrated nature of mind and body. The article seeks to demonstrate the logic and value of identifying the self with the whole organism, and proposes that differentiating the self from the sense of self is crucial to developing objectivity of self-understanding and a skillful lifestyle.
SOCIETY: TOWARD AN OBJECTIVE VIEW, pp. 113-38
This article seeks to clarify the nature of human society by reclaiming sociality as an attribute of human nature. Sociality — the need for human beings to connect physically and psychologically with other human beings — contributes to the development of the rational faculty, affecting the processes of identity formation, socialization, and enculturation. Following F. G. Bailey’s model of political structures as a foundation, the article posits that social structures and their institutions derive from nine domains of human action: the social, economic, political, legal, educational, medical, spiritual, artistic, and sportive.
A CRITIQUE OF AYN RAND’S THEORY OF INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY RIGHTS, pp. 139-61
Ayn Rand viewed copyrights and patents as natural rights that were secured by legislation, rather than as monopoly privileges that were created by the state. Other Objectivist writers have followed suit. This article disputes this thesis on the grounds that it fails to recognize the distinction between the right to use and the right to exclude, the latter of which cannot be justified with regard to intellectual property on Objectivist premises. In addition, the article discusses three significant objections to the natural-rights interpretation of copyright that Objectivist authors have failed so far adequately to address.
SELF-DIRECTEDNESS AND THE HUMAN GOOD, pp. 163-74
This review of Norms of Liberty by Douglas Rasmussen and Douglas Den Uyl seeks to outline the authors’ attempts to provide a foundation for liberalism. Their solution emerges from a synthesis of the liberty implied in acts of deliberative choice and norms rooted in knowledge of human nature. This synthesis, however, proves to be unstable. Deliberative choice must be conditioned and determined by knowledge of human nature, but free choice must be unconditioned and autonomous. The attempt to square this circle through the notion of individualistic perfectionism conceals rather than solves the difficulty.
AYN RAND, NOVELIST, pp. 175-79
This review provides a precis of The Literary Art of Ayn Rand, edited by William Thomas, a recent volume of essays that delve into the often-neglected literary aspects of Rand’s major novels. After summarizing work on Rand’s style, characterization, plots, and themes, the reviewer also raises issues that remain to be explored regarding Rand’s imaginative writing.
REPLY TO FRED SEDDON: ON BEHALF OF ETHICAL INTUITIONISM, pp. 181-84
This is a response by the author of Ethical Intuitionism to criticisms raised by Fred Seddon (JARS, Spring 2007). Among other things, Huemer observes that his attack on ethical reductionism does not depend upon excluding relational properties from consideration at the start; that he does not claim that all philosophers are intuitionists; and that Objectivism is susceptible to the general arguments he discusses against the possibility of deriving an “ought” from an “is”.
REJOINDER TO MICHAEL HUEMER:NEGLECTING RAND’S METAETHICS, pp. 185-86
Fred Seddon answers Michael Huemer’s reply, focusing on two central issues in ethics: foundationalism and relativism. On the latter, he argues that Huemer neglects Rand’s metaethics and her relational notion of the good.
Roger E. Bissell is a professional musician and a writer on psychology and philosophy. His work has appeared in a number of other publications, including Reason Papers, Objectivity, Journal of Consciousness Studies, Vera Lex, and ART Ideas. Information about jazz CDs released in December 2003 and July 2006 featuring Roger’s trombone playing can be accessed at CD Baby and Side Street Strutters.
Susan Love Brown is the Interim Director of the Ph.D. program in Comparative Studies at Florida Atlantic University, Director of the Public Intellectuals Program, and an Associate Professor of Anthropology. She is a political and psychological anthropologist with special interests in cultural studies, social evolution, ethnic and gender studies, intentional community, and the origins of ideologies.
Neil K. Goodell is a retired R&D engineer and manager, holds an M.A. in experimental psychology, and is a prior moderator of the OWL (Objectivism, WeTheLiving) online discussion group. Recent research has focused on how the brain learns to perceive, both empirically and as a theoretical model.
Michael Huemer received his Ph.D. from Rutgers University in 1998 and is presently associate professor of philosophy at the University of Colorado at Boulder. He is the author of Skepticism and the Veil of Perception and Ethical Intuitionism, as well as numerous academic articles in ethics, epistemology, and other areas.
Peter Saint-Andre received a B.A. in Philosophy and Classics from Columbia University in 1989. For the last ten years, he has worked on Internet technologies including real-time communication, digital identity, and information security. He is also the author of many essays, poems, translations, and musical compositions.
Timothy Sandefur is a senior staff attorney at the Pacific Legal Foundation, and a contributing editor to Liberty magazine. He is the author of Cornerstone of Liberty: Property Rights in 21st Century America (Cato Institute, 2006).
Andrew Schwartz is a personal coach and workshop leader residing in Los Angeles. He has been working in the personal development field since 2000, integrating into his coaching a variety of influences, from Gestalt and Ericksonian to Reichian and Brandenian approaches to treatment. His psychotherapy vignettes have appeared on the Atlasphere.
Fred Seddon currently holds adjunct professorships at three universities in South Western Pennsylvania. He has been president of the West Virginia Philosophical Society since 1988 and is an associate member of the Center for the Philosophy of Science at the University of Pittsburgh. He is an international scholar and the author of over 150 books, articles, book reviews and speeches, including such works as Ayn Rand, Objectivists and the History of Philosophy, An Introduction to the Philosophical Works of F. S. C. Northrop, and Aristotle and Lukasiewicz on the Principle of Contradiction.
Peter E. Vedder is an independent scholar of the history of philosophy with a concentration in seventeenth-century philosophy. He is presently preparing an interpretation of the problem of reason and nature in Descartes’Meditations on First Philosophy.
Volume 9, No. 2 – Spring 2008 (Issue #18)
TABLE OF CONTENTS
COMPLETING THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION: THE SIGNIFICANCE OF AYN RAND’S ATLAS SHRUGGED AT ITS FIFTIETH ANNIVERSARY, pp. 191-219
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
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
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: THE CONNECTION BETWEEN ADVERTISING AND OBJECTIVIST EPISTEMOLOGY, pp. 351-55
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: ADVERTISING, CAPITALISM, AND CHRISTIANITY, pp. 357-60
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: NOT EVEN FALSE: A COMMENTARY ON PARRISH AND TONER, pp. 361-94
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 Paulin “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: WHAT’S GOOD FOR THE GOOSE AND RELATED MATTERS, pp. 395-415
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: GOD-TALK AND THE ARBITRARY, pp. 417-21
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.
Ron Beadle is a Principal Lecturer in Organisation and Human Resource Management, Newcastle Business School, University of Northumbria, City Campus East, Newcastle upon Tyne England NE1 8ST. He has written on Ayn Rand and Elliott Jaques with Martyn Dyer-Smith in The Journal of Ayn Rand Studies (vol. 3, no. 1) and published book chapters and journal articles on undertaking empirics using MacIntyre’s ‘goods, virtues, practices, institutions’ framework in Organisation Studies (with Geoff Moore), Philosophy of Management, Tamara (Post-Modern Journal of Critical Organisation Science), and Culture and Organisation (with David Konyot).
Juliusz Jablecki is a graduate student at the Faculty of Economic Sciences, Warsaw University, Poland, and a board member with the Polish Ludwig von Mises Institute.
Jerry Kirkpatrick is a professor of international business and marketing at California State Polytechnic University, Pomona. His latest work is Montessori, Dewey, and Capitalism: Educational Theory for a Free Market in Education. Kirkpatrick holds a B.A. degree in philosophy from the University of Denver and M.B.A. and Ph.D. degrees in marketing from Baruch College of the City University of New York. His research interests focus on the philosophic, economic, and psychological foundations of marketing, advertising, and education. He posts essays monthly on his blog.
Tibor R. Machan holds the R. C. Hoiles Chair in Business Ethics and Free Enterprise at the Argyros School of Business & Economics, Chapman University, Orange, California 29866. He is also a research fellow of the Hoover Institution, Stanford University, California. His most recent book is The Morality of Business: A Profession for Human Wealthcare (Springer, 2007).
David N. Mayer is a professor of law and history at Capital University in Columbus, Ohio. He received his Ph.D. in history from the University of Virginia in 1988 and a J.D. from the University of Michigan in 1980. He is the author of The Constitutional Thought of Thomas Jefferson (University of Virginia Press, 1994) as well as numerous articles published in history, law, and political science journals.
Stephen E. Parrish is an associate professor of philosophy and librarian at Concordia University in Ann Arbor. He is the author of God and Necessity (University Press of America, 2001), and the coauthor of See the gods Fall (College Press, 1997) and The Mormon Concept of God (Edwin Mellen, 1991). He is writing (very slowly) a book on the mind-body problem.
Adam Reed is a Professor of Information Systems, California State University, Los Angeles, California 90032-8123. He studied electrical engineering, computer science and neurophysiology as an undergraduate and graduate student at MIT. He completed his doctorate in mathematical psychology at the University of Oregon and did postdoctoral research in neural networks at Rockefeller University. Before joining the faculty of Cal State LA, he spent 18 years at Bell Labs, working in artificial intelligence and in software engineering. He is the author of more than 20 research articles, book chapters and patents in electronics, computer science, neurophysiology, mathematical and cognitive psychology, economics, scientific methodology and epistemology, politics, political history and the history of ideas.
Larry J. Sechrest is a Professor of Economics and Director of the Free Enterprise Institute at Sul Ross State University in Alpine, Texas. He is a Foundation Scholar with the Foundation for the Advancement of Monetary Education in New York City, a Research Fellow with The Independent Institute in Oakland, California, and an Adjunct Scholar with the Ludwig von Mises Institute in Auburn, Alabama. He serves as a member of the Editorial Boards of the Quarterly Journal of Austrian Economics, The Journal of Ayn Rand Studies, and the ICFAI Journal of Public Finance. Furthermore, Sechrest is the author of Free Banking: Theory, History, and a Laissez-Faire Model (1993) as well as numerous articles in periodical publications such as the Cato Journal, the Quarterly Journal of Austrian Economics, the Journal of Economics, The Journal of Ayn Rand Studies, the South African Journal of Economic and Management Sciences, Advances in Austrian Economics, The Independent Review, the Review of Austrian Economics, Reason Papers, the ICFAI Journal of Public Finance, The Freeman, Ideas on Liberty, The Free Radical, Liberty, the Review of Business, the Journal of Services Marketing, and in reference works such as: The Myth of National Defense; Fifteen Great Austrian Economists; Philosophers of Capitalism: Menger, Mises, Rand, and Beyond; Ayn Rand’s “Atlas Shrugged”: A Philosophical and Literary Companion; and Magill’s Survey of Social Science: Economics.
Patrick Toner, Department of Philosophy, Wake Forest University, Winston-Salem, North Carolina 27100, works in metaphysics and philosophy of religion, and has published previously in journals such as Philosophical Studies, The Philosophical Quarterly, and Faith and Philosophy. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Virginia, and was a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Notre Dame’s Center for Philosophy of Religion before coming to Wake Forest.
Edward W. Younkins, Professor, Department of Business, Wheeling Jesuit University, 316 Washington Avenue, Wheeling, West Virginia, 26003, is the author of numerous articles in accounting and business journals. In addition, his many free-market-oriented articles and reviews have appeared in a variety of publications. He is the author of Capitalism and Commerce: Conceptual Foundations of Free Enterprise (Lexington Books, 2002). He is the editor of Ayn Rand’s “Atlas Shrugged”: A Philosophical and Literary Companion (Ashgate, 2007). His newest book is Champions of a Free Society: Ideas of Capitalism’s Philosophers and Economists (Lexington Books, 2008).