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2007


TABLE OF CONTENTS

Volume 9, No. 1 - Fall 2007 Issue #17

TO THINK OR NOT: A STRUCTURAL RESOLUTION TO THE MIND-BODY AND FREE WILL-DETERMINISM PROBLEM, pp. 1-51

NEIL K. GOODELL

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

ROGER E. BISSELL

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

ANDREW SCHWARTZ

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

SUSAN LOVE BROWN

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

TIMOTHY SANDEFUR

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.

REVIEWS


SELF-DIRECTEDNESS AND THE HUMAN GOOD, pp. 163-74

PETER E. VEDDER

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

PETER SAINT-ANDRE

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.

DISCUSSION

REPLY TO FRED SEDDON: ON BEHALF OF ETHICAL INTUITIONISM, pp. 181-84

MICHAEL HUEMER

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

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.

Volume 8, No. 2 - Spring 2007 Issue #16

GOD AND OBJECTIVISM: A CRITIQUE OF OBJECTIVIST PHILOSOPHY OF RELIGION, pp. 169-210

STEPHEN E. PARRISH

Objectivism is committed to atheism. However, Objectivists have done little work in Philosophy of Religion. This article argues that much of the work that they have done is fallacious. In particular, the critique of God that Peikoff gives in Objectivism: The Philosophy of Ayn Rand is deeply flawed. If they want to justify their atheism, Objectivists need to rework and revise their arguments; in the final analysis, however, it is doubtful that their efforts will succeed.

OBJECTIVIST ATHEOLOGY, pp. 211- 35

PATRICK TONER

Objectivists insist on the primacy of existence—the axiom that existence exists. This axiom is taken to entail that the universe exists independent of any consciousness, human or divine. Objectivists hold that a straightforward consequence of this axiom is that God does not exist. The central argument of this paper is that the Objectivist atheological argument based on the primacy of existence fails. Atheological arguments based on the alleged incoherence of the Divine attributes are at best inconclusive. Theism has not been shown to be incompatible with Objectivism.

MERELY METAPHORICAL? AYN RAND, ISABEL PATERSON, AND THE LANGUAGE OF THEORY, pp. 237-60

STEPHEN COX

Admirers of Isabel Paterson's political and historical theory have often been critical of her use of imagery drawn from various branches of engineering. An examination of Ayn Rand's comments on this issue introduces important questions about the use of imagistic language in theory and description, the role of imagery in Paterson's theories, and the difficulties that Rand encountered in assessing those theories..

REVIEWS

ISABEL PATERSON AND THE IDEA OF AMERICA, pp. 261-69

DAVID T. BEITO

Stephen Cox's book, The Woman and the Dynamo: Isabel Paterson and the Idea of America, is a well-written, thoughtful, and exhaustively researched biography of a key pioneer in the libertarian movement. Isabel Paterson, who was a mentor to and close friend of Ayn Rand, had an accomplished career in her own right. From the 1920s to 1940s, she was a nationally respected, and sometimes feared, literary critic and best-selling novelist. Her masterwork, The God of the Machine, appeared in the same year as The Fountainhead and The Discovery of Freedom by Rose Wilder Lane.

RECENT WRITINGS ON ETHICS, pp. 271-84

FRED SEDDON

This essay reviews three books in the ethics literature of interest to contemporary Rand scholars: Ayn Rand's Normative Ethics by Tara Smith; Ethical Intuitionism by Michael Huemer; and Is Virtue Only a Means to Happiness? by Neera Badhwar.

UNILATERAL TRANSFERS AND A REINTERPRETATION OF OBJECTIVIST ETHICS, pp. 285-90

EREN OZGEN

Kathleen Touchstone's Then Athena Said: Unilateral Transfers and the Transformation of Objectivist Ethics is an intriguing book on unilateral transfers within the context of Objectivism. Touchstone examines Rand's primary social ethic, the Trader Principle—the bilateral exchange of value between independent equals. In reconsidering Rand's thoughts, she raises many arguments and provides thought-provoking insights especially on charity, reproductivity, retaliation and rights. Touchstone reinterprets Objectivism through the prism of economics, applying economic tools such as consumer theory, capital theory, game theory, and decision-making under uncertainty to address the questions she raises.

DISCUSSION

REPLY TO TIBOR R. MACHAN, ERIC MACK, AND DOUGLAS B. RASMUSSEN: OBJECTIVITY AND THE PROOF OF EGOISM, pp. 291-303

ROBERT HARTFORD

Tibor R. Machan, Eric Mack, and Douglas B. Rasmussen present three differing analyses of Rand's view that the "choice to live" serves as the foundation of her ethical system. Hartford criticizes Machan's view that the choice is a "fundamental commitment." Hartford concludes that Rasmussen's assertion—that individual self-perfection is the natural end of human choice— cannot validate the choice to live. Hartford claims that Mack's analysis of the "function of valuing" as a bridge of the factual-normative gap can be strengthened. Hartford argues that carefully defining the meaning of "the choice to live" allows proof of its validity.

REJOINDER TO ROBERT HARTFORD: A BRIEF COMMENT ON HARTFORD, pp. 305-6

TIBOR R. MACHAN

In response to Robert Hartford's criticisms of his Spring 2006 Journal of Ayn Rand Studies essay, "Rand and Choice," Machan reiterates the main point: Prior to the choice to live/think, a human being cannot be aware of any principle of ethics. So the choice to live/think cannot rest on such a principle. Only once that choice has been made—however incrementally, gradually, by fits and starts—can one be rationally expected to live a principled life.

REJOINDER TO ROBERT HARTFORD RAND'S METAETHICS, pp. 307-16

DOUGLAS B. RASMUSSEN

In response to Robert Hartford's criticisms of his Spring 2006 Journal of Ayn Rand Studies essay, "Regarding Choice and the Foundations of Morality," Rasmussen argues against "the official" interpretation of Rand's ethics as resting on a basic "choice to live." Drawing from his work with Douglas Den Uyl, Rasmussen argues that Rand's metaethics is best understood in "biocentric," neo-Aristotelian terms: that human choice does not set the context in which it operates and that "man's life qua man" is the natural end of human life.

REPLY TO DAVID GRAHAM AND NATHAN NOBIS: PUTTING HUMANS FIRST? YES!, pp. 317-30

JOHN ALTICK

In "Putting Humans First?" David Graham and Nathan Nobis question Tibor Machan's critique of the idea of "animal rights." They suggest that Machan does not adequately respond to arguments about the impact of "marginal cases" on theories such as his, which claim that natural rights stem from the manner in which human beings as a species interact with the world. Altick argues that Graham and Nobis' critique is misdirected and that it misses Machan's underlying argument, thus leaving his defense of distinctly human natural rights relatively untarnished.

REJOINDER TO JOHN ALTICK: ANIMALS AND RIGHTS, pp. 331-39

DAVID GRAHAM AND NATHAN NOBIS

In his reply to the Nobis-Graham review of Tibor Machan's book, Putting Humans First, John Altick defends Machan's and Rand's theories of moral rights, specifically as they relate to the rights of non-human animals and non-rational human beings. Nobis and Graham argue that Altick's defense fails and that it would be wrong to eat, wear, and experiment on non-rational -yet conscious and sentient -human beings. Since morally relevant differences between these kinds of humans and animals have not been identified to justify a difference in treatment or consideration, it is wrong to harm animals for these purposes also.



2007


CONTRIBUTOR BIOGRAPHIES

Volume 9, No. 1 - Fall 2007 Issue #17

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, Bulletin of the Association for Psychological Type, 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. 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 8, No. 2 - Spring 2007 Issue #16

JOHN ALTICK

is a Ph.D. graduate student at the University of California, Irvine. He studies political theory, focusing on rights theory, theories of justice, and democratic theory.

DAVID T. BEITO

Associate Professor at the University of Alabama, is the author of Taxpayers in Revolt: Tax Resistance during the Great Depression (1989) and From Mutual Aid to the Welfare State: Fraternal Societies and Social Services, 1890-1967 (2000). He edited The Voluntary City: Choice, Community, and Civil Society (2002). He has received fellowships from the Earhart Foundation, the Olin Foundation, and the Institute for Humane Studies. He is currently writing (with his coauthor, Professor Linda Royster Beito of Stillman College) a biography of Dr. T. R. M. Howard, a black civil rights pioneer, entrepreneur and mutual aid leader. He belongs to the Liberty and Power Group Blog at the History News Network.

STEPHEN COX

Professor of Literature and Director of the Humanities Program at the University of California, San Diego, 9500 Gilman Drive, La Jolla, California 92093-0306, is the author of, among other books, The Woman and the Dynamo: Isabel Paterson and the Idea of America (Transaction Publishers).

DAVID GRAHAM

is an independent scholar living in Sacramento, California. He graduated summa cum laude from California State University, Sacramento, with degrees in English and philosophy. His writing, which focuses on libertarianism and animal rights, has been published on iFeminists.com and Strike-the-Root.com.

ROBERT HARTFORD

received his Ph.D. in physics from the University of Pennsylvania in 1971 and is a software developer. His interests include the foundations of ethics and application of epistemology and ethics to promote a culture of self-responsibility and political freedom.

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. His most recent book is The Morality of Business: A Profession of Wealthcare (Springer, 2007).

NATHAN NOBIS, Ph.D.

Department of Philosophy and Religion, Morehouse College, Atlanta, Georgia; has teaching and research interests that include ethical theory, epistemology, critical thinking and practical ethics, especially ethics and animals.

EREN OZGEN

Assistant Professor of Management in Sorrell College of Business at Troy University, Dothan, has a Ph.D. (2003) in management from the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, New York. She is the author or coauthor of numerous journal and conference publications.

STEPHEN E. PARRISH, Ph.D.

is 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.

DOUGLAS B. RASMUSSEN

Professor of Philosophy, Department of Philosophy, St. John's University, 8000 Utopia Parkway, Jamaica, New York 11439, is coauthor (with Douglas J. Den Uyl) of Norms of Liberty: A Perfectionist Basis for Non-Perfectionist Politics (Pennsylvania State University Press, 2005).

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.

PATRICK TONER

Department of Philosophy, Wake Forest University, Winston-Salem, North Carolina 27100, email: , 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.