Sunday, January 13, 2013
• • Sam Harris’s Failure to Formulate a Scientific Morality
Objectivist author |
Harris’s acceptance of pleasure or happiness as the standard of moral value sets his entire moral theory on a faulty foundation. Aside from purely physical sensations, pleasure and happiness are, as Ayn Rand points out, emotional states, which are consequences of our values, not justifications for them. “Emotions are the automatic results of man’s value judgments integrated by his subconscious.” Thus, neither pleasure nor happiness can serve as the standard of moral value.
Tuesday, November 13, 2012
Sunday, September 30, 2012
Wednesday, March 28, 2012
Monday, March 14, 2011
• • • Atlas Shrugged: Part I
Altruism |Atlas Shrugged movie |Atlas Shrugged |Egoism |Objectivist author |
Atlas Shrugged: Part I, the first in a planned trilogy, should, for the most part, please the novel’s patient fans. Fortuitously following a blueprint similar to one outlined by Rand in the 1970s, the film covers the first third of the story. Like the novel, the movie focuses on Dagny Taggart as she endeavors to save her struggling railroad from both intrusive government regulations and the mysterious John Galt, who is hastening the nation’s collapse by causing the great entrepreneurs and thinkers of the country to disappear. She is aided in her efforts by Henry “Hank” Rearden, a steel magnate who is also being squeezed by government regulations and is anxious to put an end to John Galt’s activities. Those familiar with the novel know generally what to expect: the disappearance of more and more industrialists and other great producers, the banning of Rearden Metal, the “Anti-Dog-Eat-Dog Rule,” the initial run of the John Galt Line, and finally Wyatt’s Torch and the collapse of Colorado. The film substantially delivers these parts.
Friday, October 22, 2010
Thursday, September 16, 2010
Monday, June 14, 2010
• • • Why Anthony Daniels smears Ayn Rand
Altruism |Atlas Shrugged |The Fountainhead |Capitalism |Egoism |Personal life |
In his recent New Criterion article “Ayn Rand: Engineer of Souls,”1 Anthony Daniels, better known by his pseudonym Theodore Dalrymple, attacks the well-known novelist/philosopher as being, among other things, prone to “crude” errors, a “rationalist who was not entirely rational,” “adept at self-deception,” “incapable of seeing the contradictions in her own work,” and “seriously deficient in sensibility and discrimination across a wide range of important human activities.” But Daniels’s portrayal of Rand and her ideas is a series of gross misrepresentations and smears.
Friday, May 07, 2010
Tuesday, December 29, 2009
• • • Goddess of the Market: Ayn Rand and the American Right by Jennifer Burns
Ayn Rand Archives |Atlas Shrugged |The Fountainhead |Capitalism |Egoism |Personal life |Objectivist author |
Although Burns claims to be “less concerned with judgment than with analysis” (p. 4), her book demonstrates the opposite to be true. Time after time, she presents Rand’s views on some issue with insufficient care or analysis, only to assert in conclusion some arbitrary negative judgment. A particularly egregious instance of this occurs late in the book, in a discussion of environmentalism. Burns devotes three quarters of a paragraph to the content of Rand’s 1970 “The Anti-Industrial Revolution,” and then comments: “As usual Rand was unwilling to accept the claims of a political movement [i.e., environmentalism is about clean air] at face value, convinced that hidden agendas [i.e., the destruction of technology] drove the environmental movement” (p. 262). In light of the now widely known nature and antics of 21st-century environmentalists, Rand deserves applause for her astonishing (though unfortunately Cassandra-like) prophetic powers.