Fractious Factions, Unsteady Coalitions

Robert Campbell's picture
Submitted by Robert Campbell on Mon, 2006-04-24 03:02

Since the Journal of Ayn Rand Studies has changed very little during the time that Mr. Valliant has been subscribing to it, and the attitude toward JARS over at the Ayn Rand Institute hasn't even budged glacially, I'm going to suggest a different reason for Mr. Valliant's recent decision not to submit an article to JARS.

I think his choice not to seek publication in JARS is one of many aftershocks from James Kilbourne's ill-advised essay “Drooling Beast,” which appeared on SOLOHQ on July 31, 2005 (see As presumably everyone here knows, Kilbourne interpreted Lindsay Perigo's frequent public outbursts of anger as symptoms of alcoholism. In order to test loyalties and rally support around him, Mr. Perigo decided to make the charge of alcoholism public, by publishing the essay on SOLOHQ instead of rejecting it. Shortly after the essay appeared, Barbara Branden praised it on SOLOHQ.

Recent Comments:
Alrighty Then — by Boaz the Boor on Sun, 2006-05-21 04:32
Hostility to the Person — by wsscherk on Fri, 2006-05-19 18:51
Nice — by Boaz the Boor on Fri, 2006-05-19 15:59

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Getting out the Smoking Gun

Peter Cresswell's picture
Submitted by Peter Cresswell on Mon, 2006-04-24 00:29

New Zealand MP Hone Harawira wants to stop other people smoking. "Tobacco has to go," he says -- and he wants the Government to pass laws criminalising tobacco producers to do it. In Hone's world, when you want other people to do something, it's time to get the government to pass a law to make them do what you want. To Hone and others like him, there is an automatic jump from "you should do this" to "I'm going to make you do this." Reason, moral persuasion, the recognition of people's right to choose for themselves ... all abandoned in favour of getting out the government's gun to make threats on his behalf.

Whatever the merits of his arguments about tobacco, in simple terms and like every other busybody in the country and right round the world, he wants to get the gun out to impose his own choices on others.

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In Praise of Objectivist Rage!!

Casey's picture
Submitted by Casey on Mon, 2006-04-24 00:17

Borders Books and Durban House Publishing are proud to present the author of 'The Passion of Ayn Rand's Critics,' James Valliant, with Mr. Lindsay Perigo, together for the first time in history, at the following place and time: Borders Books, Orange, California, July 6th, 2006 - Thursday: 6 to 8 p.m.

Join us for an evening of stimulating conversation and tasty treats (served from 6:00 to 6:15 p.m.)

Recent Comments:
Well you know Mean Gene — by Landon Erp on Mon, 2006-04-24 21:33
Linz, James, you forgot to add... — by Rowlf on Mon, 2006-04-24 20:04
Adam — by Kenny on Mon, 2006-04-24 11:42

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Upham upherself!

Rick Giles's picture
Submitted by Rick Giles on Sun, 2006-04-23 21:58
Recent Comments:
Slimey snot indeed! — by Robert on Wed, 2007-12-05 18:19
Rick demonstrating again why — by Peter Cresswell on Wed, 2007-12-05 07:50
NZ crown jewels theft — by Rick Giles on Tue, 2007-12-04 22:02

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Feminism, Sensuality and the Kitchen

Prima Donna's picture
Submitted by Prima Donna on Sun, 2006-04-23 06:04

Gents (and lovely ladies!), I'm interested in getting your feedback on this topic. In my latest podcast I'm talking about feminism and sensuality, and the havoc the former has wrought upon the latter, particularly in the kitchen.

I realize that I'm likely preaching to the choir, but in case there is a voice of disagreement I'd like to discuss the idea with all of you, as it's part of my larger vision for getting these thoughts out to the public. (I can only imagine the hate mail that's going to come from this one. Oy.)

Recent Comments:
Oh, Claudia! — by Prima Donna on Mon, 2006-05-15 03:47
Hey Jennifer? — by Olivia on Thu, 2006-05-11 06:47
Amen, sister! — by Prima Donna on Sat, 2006-05-06 03:49

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A Prosecutor's View of PARC

William E. Perry's picture
Submitted by William E. Perry on Fri, 2006-04-21 18:49

I’ve heard a funny criticism of James Valliant’s The Passion of Ayn Rand’s Critics. That is that he is arguing like a prosecutor. That is funny when it is addressed to me because I was a prosecutor for 21 years. It is also funny when addressed to Valliant because he IS a prosecutor.

That has made me think about the validity of the way prosecutors argue in general, and its application to PARC. This is not intended as a review, but merely as a comment about one aspect of the book.

Various critics have referred to PARC as an “indictment” or a “brief.” It is neither. An indictment is a formal charging document. A brief is an appellate argument. PARC is neither of these in either the literal, or the metaphorical sense. The book is a closing argument on behalf of Ayn Rand against the charges made against her by Barbara and Nathaniel Branden.

Recent Comments:
Willers and Piekoff...or...Frisco and Rearden? — by Rowlf on Tue, 2006-04-25 03:44
more on the arbitrary — by Chris Cathcart on Mon, 2006-04-24 01:48
Use of the concept of arbitrary — by Chris Cathcart on Mon, 2006-04-24 01:38

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Professor Goebbels would be proud

Marcus's picture
Submitted by Marcus on Fri, 2006-04-21 17:18

Professor Goebbels would be proud, Orwell would be apalled at the doublespeak gobbledegook used by Climate Scientists.

Take from the article below published in the respectable journal science:

"Now two new studies that combine independent lines of evidence agree that "climate sensitivity" is at least "moderately strong"--"moderate enough" so that a really "scorching warming" appears unlikely."

Huh? What?

The bottom line of the article is that "predicted" global warming temperature rises for the end of the century are now less high then previously suspected, from a possible 11°C to a possible 1.5°C.

Recent Comments:
The Apocalyptics — by nevin on Sun, 2006-04-23 20:30
This is justification for industry wrecking! — by Marcus on Sat, 2006-04-22 14:36
Global panic — by nevin on Sat, 2006-04-22 02:10

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Essays on Ayn Rand's 'We The Living'

seddon's picture
Submitted by seddon on Fri, 2006-04-21 15:23

Essays on Ayn Rand's We the Living, edited by Robert Mayhew.

I liked this book. How much? Let me count the ways. I bought it a while back, read the whole book, made copious notes in the margins and then, hold on to your hats, lost the book. So I bought another copy just so I could write this review. (And I wanted it on my shelf for future reference.) It is a collection of essays edited by Robert Mayhew, who also contributed the preface and two essays. All the essays except one rate at least an “A” or “A+” from this old teacher. I shall not mention the name of the only “B” author.

Recent Comments:
Fred — by TRowland on Tue, 2006-04-25 16:37
Content Change — by seddon on Tue, 2006-04-25 16:16
Content change — by TRowland on Mon, 2006-04-24 13:35

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Solo Thrust-The Cover That Changed History(moderately safe for work)

Jody Gomez's picture
Submitted by Jody Gomez on Fri, 2006-04-21 03:20

So what do you think fellas(and gals)? First time they've ever put a group on the cover. I like it, and besides, who could choose?

The 2006 SI Swimsuit Cover

Recent Comments:
That list doesn't worry me, — by Ross Elliot on Mon, 2006-04-24 23:38
Femme Fatale screen shots — by Chris Cathcart on Mon, 2006-04-24 17:23
Ms. Romijn — by Chris Cathcart on Mon, 2006-04-24 17:08

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The Psychology of Intrinsicism and Subjectivism

PhilipC's picture
Submitted by PhilipC on Thu, 2006-04-20 20:54

Posts on various Objectivist forums are very revealing. One thing I notice often is characteristic tendencies toward intrinsicism or subjectivism. There are people who write in a rambling, unfocused manner, just stringing together random thoughts or shiny, glittery pieces of information which strike their fantasy and who don't like to unify their thoughts in a pretty package with a bow attached. And there are those who write utilizing only a very few principles but without giving much in the way of concretes or examples and who drop all qualifications and resent or do not respond to the request for details and fleshing out or to the idea that the principle may be contextual.

Recent Comments:
Abstraction, not intrinsicism — by AdamReed on Fri, 2006-04-21 02:53
Interesting observations, — by Laure Chipman on Thu, 2006-04-20 23:56
Writing vs. Thinking — by James Heaps-Nelson on Thu, 2006-04-20 22:43

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Where Would General Motors Be Without the United Automobile Workers Union?

George Reisman's picture
Submitted by George Reisman on Thu, 2006-04-20 20:50

This is a question that no one seems to be asking. And so I’ve asked it. And here, in essence, is what I think is the answer. (The answer, of course, applies to Ford and Chrysler, as well as to General Motors. I’ve singled out General Motors because it’s still the largest of the three and its problems are the most pronounced.)

1. The company would be without so-called Monday-morning automobiles. That is, automobiles poorly made for no other reason than because they happened to be made on a day when too few workers showed up, or too few showed up sober, to do the jobs they were paid to do. Without the UAW, General Motors would simply have fired such workers and replaced them with ones who would do the jobs they were paid to do. And so, without the UAW, GM would have produced more reliable, higher quality cars, had a better reputation for quality, and correspondingly greater sales volume to go with it. Why didn’t they do this? Because with the UAW, such action by GM would merely have provoked work stoppages and strikes, with no prospect that the UAW would be displaced or that anything would be better after the strikes. Federal Law, specifically, The National Labor Relations Act of 1935, long ago made it illegal for companies simply to get rid of unions.

Recent Comments:
Excellent news Bill. It — by Jason Quintana on Fri, 2006-04-21 17:31
Rush reads Reisman — by nevin on Fri, 2006-04-21 17:18
"It is hard to get sympathy — by Jason Quintana on Thu, 2006-04-20 23:49

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Angry Music

JoeM's picture
Submitted by JoeM on Thu, 2006-04-20 00:36

deleted by author

Recent Comments:
I agree that "Mars" is not — by JoeM on Tue, 2006-05-02 00:04
Wonder how Rand would classify 'Hip-Hop's — by Landon Erp on Mon, 2006-05-01 23:57
Musical 'Anger' ya want? Try 'DOOM' (not the movie) — by Rowlf on Mon, 2006-05-01 03:29

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"HOSTEL"ity Towards Romanticism

JoeM's picture
Submitted by JoeM on Wed, 2006-04-19 23:59

In the "Bootleg Romanticism" chapter of THE ROMANTIC MANIFESTO, Ayn Rand writes:
"The composite picture of man that emerges from the art of our time is the gigantic figure of an aborted embryo whose limbs suggest a vaguely anthropoid shape, who twists his upper extremity in a frantic quest for a light that cannot penetrate its empty sockets, who emits inarticulate sounds resembling snarls and moans, who crawls through a bloody muck, red froth dripping from his jaws, and struggles to throw the froth at his own non-existant face, who pauses periodically and, lifting the stumps of his arms, screams in abysmal terror at the universe at large."

Recent Comments:
Very astute — by Landon Erp on Thu, 2006-04-20 21:31
I am a fan of well done — by John M Newnham on Thu, 2006-04-20 14:12
William, the first reference — by JoeM on Thu, 2006-04-20 04:59

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Essentializing the History of Philosophy - Kant, etc.

PhilipC's picture
Submitted by PhilipC on Wed, 2006-04-19 20:59

The question was raised (on a thread about JARS, and in many other places on many occasions) whether Peikoff in "The Ominous Parallels", Rand in "For the New Intellectual", and Objectivist intellectuals oversimplify the history of ideas, oversimplify Kant in terms of his central ideas or his influence, etc. Or are they essentializing and stripping away side issues in seeing the main lines of philosophical development and philosophy as the motive power behind all history?

I will start out by contesting a point Jeff Riggenbach just raised on another thread:

> Denying that we can "have knowledge of the thing in itself" is NOT the same thing as denying that "we can get to reality." Right there is the main locus of the absurd Objectivist oversimplification of Kant. [Jeff]

Recent Comments:
Inscrutable motives and Kant's style — by Robert Campbell on Sat, 2006-04-22 18:48
Kant exegesis vs. Kant defense — by Chris Cathcart on Sat, 2006-04-22 18:38
Chris — by Fred Weiss on Sat, 2006-04-22 14:25

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Wish Me Luck

Dan Edge's picture
Submitted by Dan Edge on Wed, 2006-04-19 01:10

Hello Everyone,

I just applied to the Objectivist Academic Center for the Fall semester. I take their online essay test on Wednesday, so wish me luck! Hopefully I will not be automatically disqualified for associating with people like you Sticking out tongue

Recent Comments:
Congratulations! — by Martin on Mon, 2006-10-02 12:01
Reassuring ... — by Lindsay Perigo on Sun, 2006-10-01 22:46
Yeah . . . — by User hidden on Sun, 2006-10-01 20:44

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Appaling things

Joe Idoni's picture
Submitted by Joe Idoni on Wed, 2006-04-19 00:42

This is posted in the links section of TOC's website.

SOLOPassion -- The other part of the former SOLOHQ, run by Lindsay Perigo. Not friendly to The Atlas Society/Objectivist Center, but they still link to us.

For a group who has taken the liberal face of Objectivism, is this really appropriate?

Recent Comments:
Ergh — by Joe Idoni on Sun, 2006-05-07 23:26
Joe ... — by Lindsay Perigo on Wed, 2006-04-19 01:03
Old news. — by Landon Erp on Wed, 2006-04-19 00:45

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Censoring a Dead Man

AdamReed's picture
Submitted by AdamReed on Tue, 2006-04-18 16:07

The late Jack Anderson "wrote about Watergate, CIA assassination schemes, and countless scandals. ... His archive, some 200 boxes now being held by George Washington University's library, could be a trove of information about state secrets, dirty dealings, political maneuverings, and old-fashioned investigative journalism, open for historians and up-and-coming reporters to see. But the government wants to see the documents before anyone else. Agents from the Federal Bureau of Investigation have told university officials and members of the Anderson family that they want to go through the archive, and that agents will remove any item they deem confidential or top secret." Chronicle of Higher Education.

Recent Comments:
Are you saying that only if — by Charles Henrikson on Tue, 2006-04-25 17:19
Knowledge of facts cannot be owned — by AdamReed on Sat, 2006-04-22 07:01
re:"Not Intelectual Property" — by Charles Henrikson on Fri, 2006-04-21 22:53

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Ignorance is bliss

Duncan Bayne's picture
Submitted by Duncan Bayne on Mon, 2006-04-17 20:36

A while back, I wrote a letter containing the following:

I'm surprised to see Ismail Waja calling for more understanding of Islam amongst Westerners; surely it would be easier to sell Islam as a misunderstood religion of peace if we didn't understand its fundamentals?

I was firmly convinced that the more that non-Muslims actually find out about Islam, the less they'll be inclined to believe that it's a religion of peace at it's core. It turns out that I was absolutely right:

Recent Comments:
My experience has been that — by Richard Wiig on Thu, 2006-04-20 23:26
No. At least in New — by Duncan Bayne on Thu, 2006-04-20 21:09
Did he? — by Richard Wiig on Thu, 2006-04-20 06:40

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Name That Novel #1

Lanza Morio's picture
Submitted by Lanza Morio on Mon, 2006-04-17 07:47

Name that novel:

Among many morals which press upon us from the poor minister's miserable experience, we put only this into a sentence: "Be true! Be true! Be true! Show freely to the world, if not your worst, yet some trait whereby the worst may be inferred!"

Recent Comments:
Re: "The Scarlet Letter" — by mcohen on Tue, 2006-04-18 02:43
We have a winner! Michelle, — by Lanza Morio on Mon, 2006-04-17 17:20
Re: Name that novel — by mcohen on Mon, 2006-04-17 15:05

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Love and Grief

Rick Giles's picture
Submitted by Rick Giles on Mon, 2006-04-17 01:51

DPF bloggs on the Daily Telegraph, specifically on a quote from our Queen...

Grief is the price we pay for love

I don't agree.

Grief is the price we pay for love lost. If love lost is the same as love then all love must fail.

Recent Comments:
That was pretty clever — by Rick Giles on Sat, 2006-04-22 23:46
I don't even know — by Richard Wiig on Sat, 2006-04-22 13:16
You just don't have a very — by Rick Giles on Sat, 2006-04-22 13:01

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Polyphasic sleep

Duncan Bayne's picture
Submitted by Duncan Bayne on Mon, 2006-04-17 00:11

I've been reading a bit about polyphasic sleep recently, trying to get a feel for whether it'd fit my working style and hobbies.

Polyphasic sleep involves taking multiple short sleep periods throughout the day instead of getting all your sleep in one long chunk. A popular form of polyphasic sleep, the Uberman sleep schedule, suggests that you sleep 20-30 minutes six times per day, with equally spaced naps every 4 hours around the clock. This means you’re only sleeping 2-3 hours per day. I’d previously heard of polyphasic sleep, but until now I hadn’t come across practical schedules that people seem to be reporting interesting results with.

Recent Comments:
My wife and I considered — by Duncan Bayne on Tue, 2006-04-18 20:56
I'll Sleep When I'm Dead — by Ashley on Tue, 2006-04-18 20:12
Hmmm — by Andrew Bissell on Mon, 2006-04-17 08:16

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The Great Symphonies -- Dvorak and Tchaikovsky

Jason Quintana's picture
Submitted by Jason Quintana on Sun, 2006-04-16 21:55

This week I am recommending recordings for the symphonies of two outstanding late 19th century composers. Two of the great creators of melody and orchestration, Antonin Dvorak a Czech and Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky a Russian composed some of the most beautiful music ever written. I consider all of the symphonies of Tchaikovsky to be masterpieces. Dvorak's great works for this genre were his final three symphonies.

Recent Comments:
Bernstein NY Philharmonic version — by wngreen on Sun, 2006-04-23 02:43
Robert — by Jason Quintana on Fri, 2006-04-21 21:32
Personal Preferences - — by Robert Malcom on Fri, 2006-04-21 20:26

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Common sense is not so "common"

Marcus's picture
Submitted by Marcus on Sun, 2006-04-16 20:57

Interesting article from the New Scientist concerning concept formation and reasoning from the ground up.

Namely, how do you teach a computer common sense?

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New SOLO Webmaster!

Jason Quintana's picture
Submitted by Jason Quintana on Sun, 2006-04-16 14:56

I am very excited to announce that we have a new SOLO co-webmaster to replace the excellent Duncan Bayne who is stepping down next month to pursue a business venture.

This new webmaster is... Ross Elliot! Ross is an experienced programmer and a long time member of SOLO. I am extremely pleased that he has accepted my offer and I'm looking forward to seeing the improvements that he and Julian will make to the website during the next several months.

- Jason

Recent Comments:
My understanding ... — by Lindsay Perigo on Wed, 2006-04-19 07:29
You sure are, Ash. By the — by Ross Elliot on Wed, 2006-04-19 04:30
I Should Be — by Ashley on Tue, 2006-04-18 20:14

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Christianism in Power: The FDA as an Instrument of Mass Murder

AdamReed's picture
Submitted by AdamReed on Sun, 2006-04-16 07:36

"On December 1st, Merck & Company applied to the Food and Drug Administration for a license to sell a vaccine that it has developed to protect women against the human papilloma virus. ... More than twelve thousand women between the ages of sixteen and twenty-six were monitored for an average of two years. The results were conclusive: twenty-one of the women who received a placebo during the trial developed the cellular abnormalities that are associated with cancer and other illnesses. Not one of those in the vaccinated group did. Another vaccine, which is being developed by GlaxoSmithKline, promises to be just as effective."

Recent Comments:
christianism — by Rex Wilkinson on Sun, 2006-06-04 22:29
Well said — by Kenny on Mon, 2006-04-17 13:22

Silver Lining

Rick Giles's picture
Submitted by Rick Giles on Sun, 2006-04-16 02:28

T'is an ill wind that blows nobody any good! Allow me to demonstrate.

The Silver Lining # 1:

--Click to enlarge

Lindsay Mitchell blogged on Saturday of the English police emergency that had a Herefordshire shopkeeper rush to the crime scene, his shop, in a bluster. Turned out they wanted to impound three gollywog dolls in the shop window!

Recent Comments:
That's nothing — by Kenny on Sun, 2006-04-16 13:51


seddon's picture
Submitted by seddon on Sun, 2006-04-16 00:50

T. S. Eliot said that “April is the cruellest month,” but since it is the month when I celebrate the birth of Rachmaninoff, I think It is just fine. So I thought I would put down a few thoughts about SR.
Actually, I have two questions before I begin. (1) I find I hear many more of the notes that SR wrote when I have the score on my lap when I’m listening or when I’m playing him on my Steinway, as opposed to listening to him in the car or without the score. For example, I can hardly hear all of the subtle changes in the middle voices in the right hand when I’m just listening to the “un poco meno mosso” section of the g minor prelude from Op. 23. After all SR has the left hand playing 24 16th notes and the 1 and 5 fingers of the right hand playing octaves—so its easy to lose those middle tones. So my question is, How much did SR intend the non-music score reader to hear? I suppose “all” is the right answer but is SR expecting too much of the average listener?

Recent Comments:
Naxos — by Kenny on Mon, 2006-04-17 16:53
RCA/Naxos — by Kenny on Mon, 2006-04-17 11:30
Linz, — by seddon on Mon, 2006-04-17 00:57

In love with America

Tim S's picture
Submitted by Tim S on Fri, 2006-04-14 15:03

I'm always incredulous at the things people say against their own culture. Everywhere one goes one encounters hatred towards George Bush, the US, Tony Blair and pretty much everything that is making an attempt to stand up for justice in the face of Islamo-fascism. And yet while George Bush is hated and equated with Hitler, I rarely hear anyone express anger towards Bin Laden, Saddam, Islamic beheaders, or any other mass murdererer - in fact the very sort of people who are actually threatening our lives right now.

What the fuck is wrong with people?

Recent Comments:
Kenny, have a read of this. — by Duncan Bayne on Tue, 2006-04-18 05:02
Time To Fight The Real War — by Sandi on Tue, 2006-04-18 01:37
That's all? — by Rick Giles on Mon, 2006-04-17 23:24


Tenyamc's picture
Submitted by Tenyamc on Fri, 2006-04-14 06:58

When you're expecting your first baby, you can find numerous books that include directions for bathing your new baby. New parent classes usually devote at least one session to bathing the new baby. Finally, if you feel the need for some last-minute instruction, most hospitals have videos and nurses available to advise new parents on this and many other aspects of newborn care. What these many guides fail to make adequately clear is that wet babies are very slippery, once soap is added, they are even slipperier. Further when you bathe a real live baby, you get very wet. If you bathe your child in the bathtub, it hurts your back. Added to these complications, many very young babies become frightened when placed in a tub of water.

Recent Comments:
Everyday-ness — by VSD on Sun, 2006-04-16 21:06
Love the sink! — by Prima Donna on Sun, 2006-04-16 03:45
Kitchen sink — by Tenyamc on Sat, 2006-04-15 21:14

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Objectivism and the Correspondence Theory of Truth

Dan Edge's picture
Submitted by Dan Edge on Fri, 2006-04-14 04:02


This essay is a discussion of the Correspondence Theory of Truth (CTOT) and how the theory fits into the philosophy of Objectivism. I will argue that properly understood, the CTOT is compatible with Objectivist epistemology. I will also discuss pitfalls that must be avoided to keep the door closed to skepticism.

Readers should note that I am writing here for two distinct audiences. The first is the Objectivist community at large, those who are already familiar with the philosophy. I am also presenting this essay to my Senior Seminar in Philosophy class at the University of South Carolina for peer review.

Recent Comments:
I prefer 'aspects of existents' — by Ed on Tue, 2006-04-25 05:03
Thanks Ed — by Dan Edge on Mon, 2006-04-24 20:36
terminology — by Rowlf on Fri, 2006-04-21 06:04

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