Thursday, January 23, 2014

Future of Objectivism 5

Yaron Brook, orthodox reformer. Viewed from afar, Yaron Brook seems little more than a narrow, sectarian shill for a Peikoffian version of orthodox Objectivism. While his speaking and writing usually rise to a level of competence, there is nothing in what he has said or written that even suggests or hints at an original or deep mind. To those of us not in tune with Objectivist paplum, he may come across as a bit stiff and unyielding. His evident enthusiasm for laissez-faire capitalism and war against Iran obviously raise questions as to his judgment. One wonders if he has any real understanding of the subjects he talks about. There's ideology, and then there's reality, and the two rarely have much to do with one another.

If we look a little closer and, instead of comparing him to other pundits spouting less unreasonable ideologies, we compare him with other orthodox Objectivists, Brook cuts a more compelling figure. While he remains steadfastly orthodox and thoroughly Peikoffian in his official outlook, he has quietly, behind scenes, been hard at work trying to give orthodox Objectivism a public make-over. Without challenging any of the core principles of Objectivism or questioning Peikoff's ultimate authority as an interpreter of Ayn Rand's philosophy, Brook seems intent on focusing the core of ARI's intellectual activism on the issue of morality and politics. Rand's epistemology and philosophy of history will remain untouched and unchallenged; they may even be cited ocassionally; but they will no longer be front and center, or even close to front and center. ARI's principle mission will be to preach the morality of capitalism and war on radical Islam.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

A Commenter Unpacks Some Randian Errors

Darren in comments points us to his careful dissection of some Randian shell games typical of her epistemology. Not a lot to disagree with, particularly this intro para:
Alisa Rosenbaum's brief "Introduction to Objectivist Epistemology" has too many errors, contradictions, non-sequiturs, and loose ends to critique concisely in a single post. 
For that reason, see also ARCHNblog's extended series on Rand's epistemology.