Peikoff's Memory Hole

Reidy's picture
Submitted by Reidy on Thu, 2006-01-05 17:12

Have people here seen Ayn Rand Answers? I note with interest that, while it includes Rand's boilerplate-libertarian statement on laws against homosexuality, her infamous moral denunciation is nowhere to be seen. The good news is that Objectivist officaldom no longer shares her position; the bad news, if bad it be, is that the estate has once more damaged its credibility.

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Forward, never straight.

Ashley's picture

Forward, never straight.

The issue in this case is an

Reidy's picture

The issue in this case is an omission, not an edit. Rand's 1971 FHF statement is her longest and most-quoted on homosexuality. A book that purports to give us her views on this subject would have included it.

(Has this audience seen the brochure for the OCON summer conference in Boston? They're advertising that the Kenner/Locke presentation is appropriate for same-sex couples. Isn't anybody straight anymore?)


AdamReed's picture


Some editing of originally extemporaneous remarks is normal, and is to be expected. I agree that it would be more convenient for serious readers who might not meet ARI's criteria for "serious scholars" to have access to the originals, perhaps on a Web site.

Context matters. Seldom does *anything* have only one cause.


AdamReed's picture


Thank you for the correction. I should have used a different example - for example, the relation of tension on a string to its frequency of vibration, where Galileo noticed that Aristotle and Archimedes differ, and Aristotle was wrong.

Still, Rand's view of homosexuality derived from the (lack of) scientific knowledge of sexualities then - a VERY different matter from the supernaturalist/intrinsicist bigotry such views would imply today.

Context matters. Seldom does *anything* have only one cause.


Neil Parille's picture


The issue is not Rand's credibility, it's the credibility of the ARI. Mayhew says he has changed Rand's words. Then he goes on to imply that it's no big deal since "serious scholars" are able to check the originals in the archives. Of couse, he doesn't tell the reader that "serious scholars" is virtually synonomous with "ARI-associated scholars."

Wouldn't a "serious scholar" have left Rand's words intact, and then put a footnote indicating where one can find her written opinion on a subject?

easy to underestimate Aristotle

dvo's picture

Actually Aristotle knew the earth was round. Here's a quote from :

"The Greek philosopher Aristotle (384-322 BC) argued in his writings that the Earth was spherical, because of the circular shadow it cast on the Moon, during a lunar eclipse."

Reidy - you write, "the

AdamReed's picture

Reidy - you write, "the estate has once more damaged its credibility."

Really? Aristotle lived before Archimedes, and no doubt believed that the Earth is flat. Would you downgrade the "credibility" of an Aristotle scholar who omitted this from a brief, selective compendium of his opinions?

Rand's opinion reflected the primitive state of the study of sexuality in her time. This is neither surprising, nor worthy of selection - and the inclusion of instances in which the general beliefs of Rand's time turned out to have been wrong is hardly necessary for "credibility."

Context matters. Seldom does *anything* have only one cause.

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