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Volume 1, No. 1 - Fall 1999
TABLE OF CONTENTS
The first issue of The Journal of Ayn Rand Studies appeared in Fall 1999. Though our design has changed, we preserve the image of that first issue:
THE RAND TRANSCRIPT, pp. 1-26
CHRIS MATTHEW SCIABARRA discusses the major historical significance of his discovery and investigation of Ayn Rand's transcript from the University of St. Petersburg. The document provides evidence of Rand's study with some of the finest Russian scholars of the period, and helps to resolve certain paradoxes concerning Rand's relationship to the philosopher, N. O. Lossky. It also contributes to our understanding of those methods and ideas that may have influenced Rand's intellectual development. [See the preface to this article: "Investigative Report: In Search of the Rand Transcript," published in Liberty magazine.]
OUTSIDES AND INSIDES: REIMAGINING AMERICAN CAPITALISM, pp. 27-57
STEPHEN COX argues that American capitalism has found remarkably few exponents among modern American writers. Capitalists themselves have often been remarkably ineffective in expounding its principles. The most vigorous advocacy of capitalism has tended to come from people who stood at a distance from America's literary and social mainstream. Among them was Ayn Rand, who by writing from the "outside" succeeded in finding new imaginative constructions of the "inside" of American life. This essay examines the play of perspectives "inside" and "outside" in The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged, and the ironies and parodies that result from the literary relationships of those perspectives.
MUSIC AND PERCEPTUAL COGNITION, pp. 59-86
ROGER E. BISSELL challenges Ayn Rand's interpretation of the nature of musical perception. Abandoning her earlier Jamesian view of sensation and perception for the flawed Helmholtizian model, Rand overlooked the musical-literary analogy and its usefulness in understanding and evaluating musical experience. Using Rand's analysis of esthetic identification and findings of psychophysiological research, Bissell aims to correct this error and to make a stronger case for the underlying unity of the arts.
RAND, ANARCHY, AND TAXES, pp. 87-105
LARRY J. SECHREST offers an economic analysis of the Objectivist case for minarchy with emphasis on how such a limited government would be funded. Ayn Rand's original proposal that citizens' contributions to the public treasury must be voluntary avoids the problem of redistributing income or wealth, but it is likely to prove infeasible due to the problems of declining contributions, rising costs, and inefficiency. Murray Franck's alternative suggestion that compulsory taxation is necessary and moral avoids the free-rider problem, but it faces the problems of inefficiency and the redistributive phenomenon known as the non-neutrality of taxes. Neither approach presents a convincing rebuttal to the case for anarchy.
AYN RAND AND THE COGNITIVE REVOLUTION IN PSYCHOLOGY, pp. 107-34
ROBERT L. CAMPBELL explains how Ayn Rand's epistemology drew on ideas and findings from the Cognitive Revolution, the change in American psychology during the 1950's that re-established mental processes as an object of study and overthrew behaviorism. Particularly noticeable is Rand's reliance on George Miller's conclusions regarding limited cognitive capacity, and her broad agreement with Noam Chomsky's devastating critique of B. F. Skinner's behaviorism. Both Rand's points of contact--and differences--with the Cognitive Revolution are discussed. Once the impact of the Cognitive Revolution on Rand is recognized, her insistence that philosophy owes nothing to psychology becomes harder to defend.
LIBERTY AND NATURE: THE MISSING LINK, pp. 135-66
GREGORY R. JOHNSON examines the link between Ayn Rand's ethics, which can be broadly characterized as Aristotelian, and her political philosophy, which can be broadly characterized as classical liberalism of the Lockean, natural rights variety. He maintains that Rand's argument for classical liberalism on the basis of the objectivity of values fails because she has a reductionistic and excessively intellectualistic conception of human nature. In addition to discussing Rand's arguments, he surveys the Rand-influenced work of Douglas B. Rasmussen and Douglas J. Den Uyl, as well as Tibor R. Machan and Tara Smith.
VOL. 1, NO. 1: CONTRIBUTOR BIOGRAPHIES
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