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.
The rejection of the label "libertarian" by Rand and subsequent Objectivists is often met with incredulity.
This is more of a literary post than a philosophical one, but I think it may interest some readers and it gives me an occasion to explain why we chose the cover image we did for this blog.
The image of sunlight filtering through green leaves figures in a number of significant passages from Rand's novels.
I learned of an interesting and inspiring historical episode last week, when reading Brent Staples' New York Times review of Ethan Michaeli's book The Defender (about the Baltimore newspaper of the same name, which was one the most prominent of the black newspapers in the mid-20th Century).
As Staples tells the story, John Sengstacke, who was The Defender's publisher and the president of the Negro Newspaper Publishers Association, had a meeting in 1942 with Francis Biddle, Franklin Roosevelt's Attorney General.
In a comment on Ben Bayer's recent post about the NDPR review of Sanford's Before Virtue, an anonymous person asks about the distinction between the consequentialist and teleological ethics.
In Ben's response, he mentions how I differentiated Rand's ethics from consequentialism in Ch. 6 of A Companion to Ayn Rand. I thought I'd take this opportunity to quote from that discussion:
Under the heading of “egoistic consequentialists,” I include Epicurus, Hobbes, and Chernyshevsky.
On behalf of the steering committee of the Ayn Rand Society, I am happy to announce a new initiative, in addition to our meetings at conferences of The American Philosophical Association conferences, and our book series, we will now be operating a blog named for Rand's principle piece of methodological advice: Check Your Premises.
The blog will feature posts by society members on topics pertaining to Rand's philosophy, Objectivism, especially as it relates to philosophy as it relates to philosophical issues currently being discussed within the philosophy profession. There may also be guest posts by non-members.