Greg Salmieri

Ayn Rand Society session on Integrity at the January meeting of the APA in New York City on January 9

On Wednesday January 9th from 7:00 to 10:00pm, the Ayn Rand Society will have a session in New York City as part of the American Philosophical Society's (APA) Eastern Division Meeting.

This year our topic is the virtue of integrity, and the panel is built around a new paper by Carrie-Ann Biondi (Marymount Manhattan College) on “Being Integrated: A Labor of Self-Love.”

The paper will be followed by comments by Christian Miller (Wake Forest University) and me.

Comments on Rand’s Moral Philosophy for a Danish Journalist

I gather that there is a scandal in Denmark concerning some private parties took advantage of some provisions in the Danish tax codes that enabled them to somehow reap tax revenues and these parties cited Ayn Rand's moral philosophy as justifying their actions. I recently had a brief correspondence with a Danish journalist writing about the case, and was quoted in his story about it. Since I don't read Danish, I'm not in a position to comment on the story itself.

New Article on Rand’s view of Self-Interest

Stephen Hicks has a new piece in the Encyclopedia of Concise Concepts by Women Philosophers titled "Self-interest in Ayn Rand." The Encyclopedia, which seems to be in its early days, is part of a project at Paterborn University called History of Women Philosophers and Scientists.

It is nice to see both that Rand is being included in projects on the history of philosophy, and that the editors of this project found someone knowledgeable about Rand to write the piece.

How should philosophy professors approach Ayn Rand?

Skye Cleary (with whom I've had a few brief and pleasant interactions in her capacity as the editor of the APA's blog) recently wrote a piece at Aeon encouraging philosophers who are disturbed by what they take to be the "pernicious" effects of Rand's ideas to "treat the Ayn Rand phenomenon seriously," because "ignoring it won't make it go away."

Vilifying Rand without reading the detail, or demonising her without taking the trouble to refute her, is clearly the wrong approach.

I couldn't agree more.

Report on Author Meets Critics session on Tara Smith’s Judicial Review in an Objective Legal System

Two weeks ago at the American Philosophical Association's Eastern Division Meeting, the Ayn Rand Society held an "Author Meets Critics" session on Tara Smith's 2015 book Judicial Review in an Objective Legal System.

Dr. Smith's critics were Timothy Sandefur (of the Goldwater Institute), Onkar Ghate (of the Ayn Rand Institute), and Mark Graber (of the University of Maryland's School of Law).

Mr.

Another Critic Who Doesn’t Care What Rand Thought or Why She Thought It, Only That She’s Wrong

One function of this blog is to address comments made by academics and public intellectuals on Rand's philosophy. Several weeks ago, research psychologist Denise Cummins wrote a piece on a PBS blog about what happens when people attempt to put Rand's ideas into practice. Her aim there was not to engage with Rand's ideas per se, but to discuss what happens when certain ideas are put into practice, and then to explain why these ideas lead to these results.

A Mostly Bibliographic Note on the Objectivist View of the Arbitrary

In his recent post on epistemic possibility, Ben Bayer attributed to Rand the view that "it is evidence that gives claims their cognitive content, such that without it, there is no claim to be assessed: such 'arbitrary' claims are neither true nor false." This is an idea that often raises a lot of questions and putative counter-examples, some of which have come up in the comments on Ben's post. If there's interest I may address these questions in a future post, but my aim here is different.

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