A Symposium: Tenth Anniversary Celebration, Part I

This symposium is ....



Volume 10, No. 1 - Fall 2008 Issue #19

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Preface: Our Tenth Anniversary Year - Chris Matthew Sciabarra, p. 1

MIND, INTROSPECTION, AND "THE OBJECTIVE", pp. 3-84<

ROGER E. BISSELL

In this sequel to his essay "Ayn Rand and 'The Objective'" (JARS, Fall 2007), the author warns against "the seduction of 'the basic'" and uses ideas by Efron, Peikoff, and Aristotle to argue that introspection and mental data (including mind) are objective and that causal efficacy of mind and mind-body interaction only make sense if mind is conceived of not as an attribute, but as an entity (viz., the conscious human brain). None of this, however, implies Epiphenomenalism or that consciousness is irrelevant to human history.

HE PEIKOVIAN DOCTRINE OF THE ARBITRARY ASSERTION, pp. 85-170

ROBERT L. CAMPBELL

The doctrine of the arbitrary assertion is a key part of Objectivist epistemology as elaborated by Leonard Peikoff. For Peikoff, assertions unsupported by evidence are neither true nor false; they have no context or place in the hierarchy of conceptual knowledge; they are meaningless and paralyze rational cognition; their production is proof of irrationality. A thorough examination of the doctrine reveals worrisomely unclear standards of evidence and a jumble of contradictory claims about which assertions are arbitrary, when they are arbitrary, and what ought to be done about them when they are. A wholesale rejection of the doctrine is recommended.

ECONOMIC DECISION-MAKING AND ETHICAL CHOICE, pp. 171-91

KATHLEEN TOUCHSTONE

Some economists, notably Gary Becker, claim that economic analysis is applicable to any decision, ethical or otherwise. Ethical principles within Objectivist Ethics are based on long-range success life being the measure of success. This paper examines these different approaches to decision-making. Decision theory and Rand's Benevolent Universe Premise form the basis for the analysis.

REVIEWS

RE-READING ATLAS SHRUGGED, pp. 193-205

J. H. HUEBERT

Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged: A Philosophical and Literary Companion, a new book edited by Edward W. Younkins, provides a reminder of how much Rand's great novel has to say on a broad range of subjects and of what a joy the book has been for so many to read. This review summarizes and comments on the book's essays.

PLATO, ARISTOTLE, RAND, AND SEXUALITY, pp. 207-17

FRED SEDDON

This essay offers a critical review of Robert Mayhew's translation of Plato: Laws 10, Chris Matthew Sciabarra's monograph, Ayn Rand, Homosexuality, and Human Liberation, and Roderick T. Long's monograph, Reason and Value: Aristotle versus Rand. Seddon finds especially questionable Long's treatment of Plato.

DISCUSSION


REPLY TO FRED SEDDON INTERPRETING PLATO'S DIALOGUES: ARISTOTLE VERSUS SEDDON, pp. 219-29

RODERICK T. LONG

In reply to Seddon's charge that Long's analysis in Reason and Value rests on a mistaken reading of Plato, Long both defends his interpretation of Plato and argues that nothing in Reason and Value depends on Plato interpretation in any case.


REJOINDER TO RODERICK T. LONG - LONG ON INTERPRETATION, pp. 231-33

FRED SEDDON

In this essay, Seddon provides a brief rejoinder to Long's reply to his review of the monograph Reason and Value: Aristotle versus Rand. Despite his criticisms, Seddon maintains that reading Long's monograph will pay rewards for all those interested in the history of philosophy as it impacts Ayn Rand's thought.

REPLY TO PETER E. VEDDER, "SELF-DIRECTEDNESS AND THE HUMAN GOOD" (FALL 2007) DEFENDING NORMS OF LIBERTY, pp. 235-38

DOUGLAS J. DEN UYL AND DOUGLAS B. RASMUSSEN

This essay is a response to Peter E. Vedder's Fall 2007 review of the authors' book, Norms of Liberty: A Perfectionist Basis for Non-Perfectionist Politics. Vedder argues that the authors 1) have a Kantian notion of self-directedness, and 2) are inconsistent in the application of their philosophical anthropology to their view of political liberty. In denying both claims, the authors assert that Vedder both fails to define certain terms and holds them to positions they do not accept.

REJOINDER TO DOUGLAS J. DEN UYL AND DOUGLAS B. RASMUSSEN DIFFICULTIES IN NORMS OF LIBERTY, pp. 239-42

PETER E. VEDDER

This rejoinder is a reply to the authors' criticisms of Vedder's original review of Norms of Liberty that seeks to clarify why the difficulties present in their attempt to establish the modern right to liberty on the foundation of Greek nobility and Aristotelian eudaemonism are insuperable.

CONTRIBUTOR BIOGRAPHIES

A Symposium: Tenth Anniversary Celebration, Part I

Volume 10, No. 1 - Fall 2008 Issue #19

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. Roger's trombone playing is featured on jazz CDs released in December 2003 and July 2006 .

ROBERT L. CAMPBELL

Is a Professor of Psychology at Clemson University, Brackett Hall 410A, Clemson SC 29634-1355 USA; Dr. Campbell's most recent publications are "An Interactivist-Hermeneutic Metatheory for Positive Psychology" (with John Chambers Christopher, in Theory & Psychology) and "When the train left the station, with two lights on behind: The Eddie Willers story" in Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged: A Philosophical and Literary Companion (edited by Edward W. Younkins and published by Ashgate). His chapter on "Constructive process: Abstraction, generalization, and dialectics" is forthcoming in The Cambridge Companion to Piaget (edited by Ulrich Muller, Leslie Smith, and Jeremy Carpendale).

DOUGLAS J. DEN UYL

Vice President of Education, Liberty Fund, Inc., 8335 Allison Pointe Trail, Suite 300, Indianapolis, Indiana 46250-1687, is formerly Professor of Philosophy and Department Chair at Bellarmine University. He has published books and articles in ethics and political theory as well as in the area of the history of philosophy. He co-edited, with Douglas B. Rasmussen, The Philosophic Thought of Ayn Rand, and recently published The Fountainhead: An American Novel. He is coauthor, with Douglas B. Rasmussen, of Norms of Liberty: A Perfectionist Basis for Non-Perfectionist Politics, and author of God, Man, and Well-Being (Peter Lang, 2008).

J. H. HUEBERT

is an Adjunct Professor of Law at Ohio Northern University College of Law, an adjunct faculty member of the Ludwig von Mises Institute, and a practicing attorney. He received his juris doctor from the University of Chicago Law School and his B.A. in economics from Grove City College. His articles have appeared in numerous scholarly, professional, and popular publications.

RODERICK T. LONG

Associate Professor, Department of Philosophy, 6080 Haley Center, Auburn University, Auburn, Alabama 36849, A.B. Harvard 1985, Ph.D. Cornell 1992, is the author of Reason and Value: Aristotle versus Rand (The Objectivist Center, 2000) and Wittgenstein, Austrian Economics, and the Logic of Action: Praxeological Investigations (Routledge, forthcoming 2009), as well as co-editor (with Tibor R. Machan) of Anarchism/Minarchism: Is a Government Part of a Free Country? (Ashgate, 2008). He runs a fledgling think tank, the Molinari Institute ; blogs at Austro-Athenian Empire ; and is active in the Alliance of the Libertarian Left . He is also a co-editor of The Journal of Ayn Rand Studies.

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 140 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

Assistant Professor of Economics, Sorrell College of Business, Troy University Montgomery, Montgomery, Alabama 36103, author of Then Athena Said: Unilateral, Transfers and the Transformation of Objectivist Ethics, published by University Press of America, 2006.

PETER E. VEDDER

is an independent scholar of seventeenth-century philosophy currently working on the problem of the infinite in Descartes' Third Meditation.