ABSTRACT Timothy Sandefur’s book, Freedom’s Furies, discusses the profound impact on libertarian thought of the work of Isabel Paterson, Rose Wilder Lane, and Ayn Rand. The book is essential reading for any person interested in the origins of modern libertarianism.
ABSTRACT The author endeavors to show how dialectical methods can reveal and clarify Ayn Rand’s philosophy from the two vital perspectives of the lives of individual human beings in relation to the world and in relation to other people and the social institutions under which they live. In so doing, he applies Chris Matthew Sciabarra’s Tri-Level Analysis model of social relations (derived from Rand’s social commentaries) and relates Rand’s metaphysical value-judgments to the cardinal values and virtues of her ethics.
ABSTRACT Due to a widespread belief in mechano-reductionism, most intellectuals reject the idea that nonconscious living beings act toward goals. Proposing otherwise is mostly rejected as unscientific anthropomorphizing or necessitating appeals to a supernatural power. This false dichotomy has stymied biology and its related sciences. Herein, I present a new naturalistic gestalt on the nature of life—one based on facts and evidence. It incorporates Ludwig von Bertalanffy’s and Arthur Koestler’s theories of systems and hierarchies with the ideas of Aristotle, Hans (...) Jonas, and Ayn Rand, to identify fundamental formulations on the nature of life, consciousness, free will, and meaning. (shrink)
ABSTRACT This essay offers a detailed analysis of archival documents from the Stoyunin Gymnasium Foundation. The young Ayn Rand (born Alissa Rosenbaum) was a pupil of this gymnasium (1914–18). A range of documents published for the first time include lists of the first and second grades (1914–15 and 1915–16), a fragment of the class register (1915–16), member lists of the Stoyunin gymnasium pedagogical council and of class trips (1915–16), and a table of school hours allocation. This essay also discloses the (...) names of Alissaʼs teachers and the Russian philology lessons taught at the gymnasium. (shrink)
ABSTRACT Neil Cocks’s collection Questioning Ayn Rand: Subjectivity, Political Economy, and the Arts engages Rand’s ideas from a standpoint that is philosophically postmodernist and politically adversarial; while the contributors occasionally make illuminating connections, their obscurantist style, their superfi cial engagement with Rand, and an impatience borne of hostility render the result disappointing. Claudia Brühwiler’s Out of a Gray Fog: Ayn Rand’s Europe, by contrast, provides a fascinating look at Rand’s European connections, her complex attitudes toward European culture, and the European (...) reception of her ideas, which serves as a useful corrective to the conventional narrative of Rand’s hostility to Europe and Europe’s hostility to Rand. (shrink)
ABSTRACT The author argues Ayn Rand made a genuinely novel, but often overlooked and underappreciated, contribution in her synthesis of Aristotelianism and liberalism. Aristotelianism, a philosophy of flourishing, and liberalism, a politics of freedom, have been viewed throughout history as largely incompatible doctrines, often understandably so. The author discusses the history of these concepts, especially their tensions, as a backdrop to further explore and contextualize the work of Rand, who argued that Aristotelian ideas about flourishing and liberal ideas about freedom (...) are natural allies, and in fact strengthen each other. Rand’s “Aristotelian liberalism” is a fruitful synthesis. (shrink)
ABSTRACT Ayn Rand’s Objectivist epistemology is the foundation of an impressive, comprehensive, and integrated system of political philosophy, psychology, art, and literature. Friedrich Hayek’s operational system of epistemology and his analysis of the psychology of perception (presented primarily in The Sensory Order) is not as clearly integrated with his economics and political philosophy—and many have debated their consistency with one another. This paper engages in a comparative analysis of Rand’s and Hayek’s epistemology.
ABSTRACT In Retaking College Hill: The Adults Are Back, Walter Donway takes us on a tour of a university that has been consumed by low standards and cancel culture. The dean is attempting to protect the university’s standards but is being opposed at every turn, and there is a plot to fi re him. A small group of his supporters try to help him. They face opposition of multiple types, including violence, each step of the way and must skillfully manage (...) the situation. This is a novel of ideas—showing us how philosophy got the university into this mess, and how clear thinking and powerful ideas—such as those of Ayn Rand—can help reverse the trend. (shrink)
ABSTRACT Benjamin Lipscomb (The Women Are Up to Something) and Clare Mac Cumhaill and Rachel Wiseman (Metaphysical Animals) have written books discussing the same four women philosophers—Elizabeth Anscombe, Philippa Foot, Mary Midgley, and Iris Murdoch—and their rise to prominence in the almost exclusively male-dominated academies of Oxford and Cambridge universities. This review focuses on these philosophers’ intellectual contributions, with special attention given to the Aristotelian character of their views in the face of an opposing philosophical regimen. We conclude with a (...) brief reflection on Ayn Rand’s moral philosophy in light of the contributions made by these four women philosophers. (shrink)
ABSTRACT This article reviews the book Ayn Rand e il fascismo eterno. Una narrazione distopica, by Diana Thermes. This is the first Italian book specifically devoted to Rand’s thought and novels. Thermes has conducted her study in a remarkably original way, profusely interrelating Rand’s fiction works with the long-standing tradition of dystopian literature and her analysis of collectivism with the most significant contributions on the nature and causes of totalitarianism, as well as illustrating the relevance of Rand’s ideas in the (...) face of present-day challenges. (shrink)
ABSTRACT The Journal of Ayn Rand Studies concludes its twenty-three-year journey with a grand finale that celebrates its history as the only interdisciplinary, scholarly, double-blind peer-reviewed periodical devoted to the critical discussion of Ayn Rand and her times.
ABSTRACT This essay sheds additional light on the biographies and fates of Ayn Rand’s closest relatives in the Soviet Union and abroad after young Alissa Rosenbaum left the “country of workers and peasants” in 1926 for the pursuit of a new life in the United States. Previously unknown facets of her relatives’ lives were intertwined with the complex and often tragic historical events of the first half of the twentieth century. Among these relatives are victims of the German blockade of (...) Leningrad, a music teacher, a European bacteriologist, a doctor who was twice a refugee, and a Soviet Medical Service Corps officer. (shrink)
ABSTRACT Ayn Rand’s Objectivism holds a foundationalist view of knowledge—that knowledge is hierarchical, with the less basic supported by inference from the more basic, which is known directly. But two very different forms of foundationalism (deductive and presuppositional) are observable in Objectivism, and vestiges of deductivism, which Rand explicitly rejected, can be found in attempts to systematize her philosophy. This article attempts to resolve conflicts between the two approaches. It endorses presuppositional foundationalism and suggests that Rand’s view be modified accordingly.
ABSTRACT Ayn Rand and the Russian Intelligentsia, by Derek Off ord, deals with both the origins and the influence of Rand’s thought. On the former, Off ord places Rand squarely and persuasively within the Russian intelligentsia tradition. On the latter, and less convincingly, the author discusses Rand as an “icon” of an American “Right” that remains largely undefined.