Volume 22, No. 1 – July 2022 (Issue #43)
TABLE OF CONTENTS
THE EMPRICIST’S NEW CLOTHES: DAVID HUME AND THE THEFT OF PHILOSOPHY, pp. 1-92
David Hume’s attacks on causality and induction along with his celebrated is-ought dichotomy dealt a blow to the human mind from which Western civilization has never fully recovered. Centuries after his death, Hume remains immensely popular among academic philosophers, which only bolsters the myth that his skeptical arguments are unanswerable. In fact, his arguments are seriously flawed. The first part of this paper clarifies the basics of Hume’s philosophy, focusing on the epistemology in the Treatise and Enquiry. The second part exposes the mistaken premises and assumptions in Hume’s arguments, demonstrating how Objectivism redeems the validity of human knowledge.
GLIMPSES OF THE MYSTICAL DIMENSION OF AYN RAND’S THOUGHT, pp. 93-135
This article presents ideas long considered to be almost exclusively Rand’s, in connection to their expression in the literature of mysticism. The author argues that these ideas, far from being unique to Rand, are hallmarks of mysticism.
SHOULD “THE METAPHYSICS OF MAN” BE A SIXTH BRANCH OF OBJECTIVIST PHILOSOPHY?, pp. 136-64
The author proposes to convert Ayn Rand’s theory of man into a sixth branch of her Objectivist philosophy called the metaphysics of man (more widely referred to by names such as philosophical anthropology). This branch would be distinct from both the metaphysics of reality (more generally called ontology) and epistemology. Along with consolidating all the axioms about the fundamental nature of man (and thus eliminating the various bridge theories, including the bridge theory of man, the anteroom to epistemology, and metaphysical value-judgments about man), this new framework will simplify and clarify the structure of Objectivism.
Philippe Chamy is a diplomatic conference interpreter and translator. He earned a BA in political economy at Tulane University, where he studied with Eric Mack, who introduced him to libertarian philosophy. He obtained an MA in religious studies (comparative mysticism track) at Florida International University. He translated Anthem into French, and lives in Hollywood, Florida. He has published previously in the Journal des Economistes et des Etudes Humaines.
Dennis Hardin is an Objectivist writer and psychotherapist. From 1987 to 1990, he was the co-leader of a popular Los Angeles discussion group, the Forum for the New Intellectual. In 2002, he created and presented his own self-help seminar, “The Ethics of Personal Achievement.” He has contributed several previous articles to The Journal of Ayn Rand Studies and is also the author of The Living Image, a novel about the sanctity of human happiness. He and his wife live in Pompano Beach, Florida.
David Tyson is a retired teacher of philosophy in college and science in high school. He majored in philosophy at Williams College and then Columbia’s School of General Studies for a BS in 1965. He received an MA in philosophy from New York University, finishing with an ABD toward his PhD in philosophy around 1970. He also received an MA in science education from Columbia Teachers College in 1972. In retirement, he has spent much time researching and writing a book about the hierarchy of knowledge: What Comes First?
Volume 22, No. 2 – December 2022 (Issue #44)
TABLE OF CONTENTS
INTRODUCTION, pp. v –vi
In the coming year, 2023, The Journal of Ayn Rand Studies will publish a double issue that will conclude its twenty-three-year history as the only nonpartisan, interdisciplinary, double-blind, peer-reviewed, biannual periodical devoted to the study of Ayn Rand and her times.
ARCHIVAL DISCOVERIES RELATED TO AYN RAND’S RESIDENCES IN SAINT PETERSBURG (PETROGRAD/LENINGRAD), pp. 165-88
MIKHAIL KRAVTSOV AND MIKHAIL KIZILOV
This article provides new information about Ayn Rand’s residences in Saint Petersburg (Petrograd/Leningrad). The authors, who based the article on hitherto unknown archival documents, discovered new information regarding the exact location of the apartments where the Rosenbaums lived in the city from 1904 through the 1930s. Furthermore, the article provides information about where Rand’s grandparents, Berko (Boris) Kaplan and his wife Sarah, had been living. Additionally, it offers English translations and Russian originals of archival documents related to the aforementioned locations.
OBJECTIVISM AND LIBERTARIAN POLITICAL THOUGHT: A COMPARATIVE INTRODUCTION, pp. 189-205
The purpose of the present article is to provide a comparative introduction to Ayn Rand’s philosophy of Objectivism by exploring her most significant intellectual interactions with some of the leading figures of the libertarian movement. While revolving around Ludwig von Mises, Friedrich Hayek, Murray Rothbard, and Robert Nozick, it nevertheless pays attention to Rand’s and Objectivism’s relationship, affinities, and differences with additional authors belonging to this tradition.
CHOSEN OR PROVEN ETHICS?, pp. 206-13
A true philosophical system requires a true ethical theory. This paper proposes a premise-based approach to the truth of the foundational principle—the requirement to take actions to benefit one’s life. Ayn Rand’s choice-based foundation as “the single choice: to live” has equivalent consequences for ethical theory, but the premise-based approach and proof firmly anchor the foundation of ethics to the facts of reality. This article demonstrates that in order to be true and consistent, a particular set of premises requires the taking of beneficial action for one’s life, and that provides proof of the truth of the Objectivist ethics.
ERROR, FREE WILL, AND FREEDOM, 214-50
This essay examines error and both external freedom and internal freedom. There is no external freedom (the latitude to choose) without internal freedom (the capacity to choose). Concerning external freedom, it suggests that errors serve as a derivative basis for natural rights. Concerning internal freedom, it overviews four groundbreaking papers from the 1990s by Stephen Boydstun, who suggested that there is no external freedom without internal indeterminism—specifically that associated with quantum probabilities related to neuronal control processes. Also reviewed is work by Elio Conte and by Andrei Khrennikov. Experiments involving a quantum-like model of cognition are discussed.
WHERE THERE’S WILL, THERE’S A “WHY?” PART 2: IMPLICATIONS OF VALUE DETERMINISM FOR THE OBJECTIVIST CONCEPTS OF “VALUE,” “SACRIFICE,” “VIRTUE,” “OBLIGATION,” AND “RESPONSIBILITY”, pp. 251-317
The author continues his challenge to the “official” Objectivist view of free will by addressing the implications of his value-determinism/conditional-volition model for various Objectivist moral concepts including value, sacrifice, virtue, obligation, and moral and legal responsibility and accountability. He argues that based on Rand’s definitions, the conventional understandings of sacrifice or betrayal of values, lapses in virtue, and breaches in morality need considerable reconceptualizing. The author gives special attention to Rand and Kant with regard to lying, use of force, and acts of generosity, finding not nearly as much difference between them as is commonly believed.
AYN RAND, NIHILIST?, pp. 318-24
The author disagrees with Aaron Weinacht’s contention in his book, Nikolai Chernyshevskii and Ayn Rand: Russian Nihilism Travels to America, that Ayn Rand brought nihilism to America. Rand wrote about issues that concerned nihilist thinkers such as Nikolai Chernyshevskii, but she reacted in a profoundly different way to those issues. The differences are not merely political—insofar as the nihilists were socialist and Rand was a capitalist; they were much deeper.
ATLAS SHRUGGED EXPLORED, pp. 324-28
In Exploring “Atlas Shrugged”: Ayn Rand’s Magnum Opus, Edward W. Younkins examines Rand’s 1957 novel as philosophy, literature, political economy, and business-education text. The book is constituted mostly by previously published essays. Despite some interpretive difficulties throughout, the introduction and appendix represent worthwhile additions to this collection.
Elizabeth Bissell is a piano instructor and retired schoolteacher living in Dickson, Tennessee. She received a bachelor of music degree in 1974 from the University of Nebraska at Omaha and earned elementary school certification in 2004 from California State University, Fullerton, upon which she taught seventh grade language arts and social studies for four years in Hawthorne, California. She was one of the founders of the Libertarian Party of Nebraska and actively campaigned for John Hospers and Roger Lea MacBride.
Roger E. Bissell is an independent scholar living in Dickson, Tennessee. A research associate with the Molinari Institute and the Associate Editor of The Journal of Ayn Rand Studies, he has edited no fewer than ten books and is the author of more than three dozen scholarly essays in philosophy and psychology, as well as four books, including How the Martians Discovered Algebra: Explorations in Induction and the Philosophy of Mathematics and What’s in Your File Folder? The Nature and Logic of Propositions. A lifelong professional musician, he has an MA in music performance and literature (University of Iowa) and a BS in music theory and composition (Iowa State University). He has written extensively on aesthetics and logic and dialectical method and applies this unusual background in an essay on the Great American Songbook, published in The Dialectics of Liberty: Exploring the Context of Human Freedom, a volume that he co-edited with Chris Matthew Sciabarra and Edward W. Younkins (2019).
Robert Hartford is a physicist and software developer with a half century of interest in understanding, advocating, and strengthening Objectivism. He has presented talks at several Objectivist conferences and has three previous publications in The Journal of Ayn Rand Studies: “Objectivity and the Proof of Egoism” (Spring 2007), “A Political Standard for Absolute Political Freedom” (July 2011), and “Ultimate Value: Self-Contradictory” (July 2017).
Mikhail Kizilov has a DPhil in modern history from the University of Oxford (2007) and is a Janos Bak fellow at the Central European University in Budapest. Author of more than one hundred publications on various aspects of Russian, Karaite, Crimean, Khazar, and Jewish history, he published the first academic biography (with Ludmila Nikiforova) of Ayn Rand in the series “Lives of Remarkable People” (volume 2013, Moscow, 2020; in Russian).
Mikhail Kravtsov is the head of the Ayn Rand Fund in Saint Petersburg.
Luca Moratal Roméu is a Professor of Philosophy of Law at Universalized del Atlántico Medio (Spain). He received a PhD in Law from Università di Bologna (Italy) in 2021.
Chris Matthew Sciabarra received his Ph.D., with distinction, in political theory, philosophy, and methodology from New York University. He was a Visiting Scholar in the NYU Department of Politics from 1989 to 2009. He is the author of the “Dialectics and Liberty Trilogy,” which includes Marx, Hayek, and Utopia (State University of New York Press, 1995), Ayn Rand: The Russian Radical (Pennsylvania State University Press, 1995; expanded second edition, 2013), and Total Freedom: Toward a Dialectical Libertarianism (Pennsylvania State University Press, 2000). He is coeditor, with Mimi Reisel Gladstein, of Feminist Interpretations of Ayn Rand (Pennsylvania State University Press, 1999), coeditor, with Roger E. Bissell and Edward W. Younkins of The Dialectics of Liberty: Exploring the Context of Human Freedom (Lexington Books, 2019), and a founding coeditor of The Journal of Ayn Rand Studies (1999-present). He has written over a dozen encyclopedia entries dealing with Objectivism and libertarianism, given over 50 interviews published in such periodicals as The Chronicle of Higher Education, The Boston Globe, The Philadelphia Inquirer, The Village Voice, and The Economist, and published over 150 essays, which have appeared in publications as diverse as Critical Review, Reason Papers, Liberty, Reason, The New York Daily News, Film Score Monthly, Jazz Times, Just Jazz Guitar, and Billboard.
Fred Seddon is a retired adjunct professor at Pennsylvania State University, Altoona. He was president of the West Virginia Philosophical Society from 1988 to 2010 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.
Kathleen Touchstone is a former educator and author of Freedom, Eudaemonia, and Risk (2020) and Then Athena Said: Unilateral Transfers and the Transformation of Objectivist Ethics (2006) as well as several scholarly articles.