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Volume 4, No. 1 - Fall 2002
TABLE OF CONTENTS
REASON, EMOTION, AND THE IMPORTANCE OF PHILOSOPHY, pp. 1-23
WAYNE A. DAVIS uses his theory of happiness to clarify and deepen Rand's theory of emotion. He distinguishes belief from knowledge, volitive from appetitive desire, and occurrent thinking from believing. He suggests that values in Rand's sense are things we volitively desire. Happiness is defined in terms of the sum of the products of the degree of belief and (volitive) desire functions over all thoughts. Davis then evaluates such Randian maxims as that happiness cannot be achieved by the pursuit of irrational whims, and that emotions are not tools of cognition, but products of one's premises---one's philosophy.
"EMOTIONS ARE NOT TOOLS OF COGNITION," WHAT ARE THEY?
AN EXPLORATION OF THE RELATIONSHIP
BETWEEN REASON AND EMOTION, pp. 25-67
Marsha Familaro Enright discusses the commonly accepted view in Objectivism that "emotions are not tools of cognition," i.e., that one cannot and should not use emotions in one's reasoning process. Ayn Rand's views on emotions are extensively examined and evaluated in light of common experience and current scientific evidence. The author draws on neuropsychological as well as other scientific evidence to more precisely define the relation between reason and emotion, and she examines Rand's premises in light of the evidence.
Rand on Obligation and Value, pp. 69-86
Douglas B. Rasmussen examines, in this revised and extended version of his 1990 address to the Ayn Rand Society, whether Rand's ethics are best interpreted as dependent on a "pre-moral" choice. He argues that such an interpretation undercuts Rand's claim to provide a rational foundation for ethics. He suggests an alternative, neo-Aristotelian interpretation of Rand's ethics, which treats "man's survival qua man" as the telos of human choice and takes the obligation to achieve this ultimate end as the result of its being the good for human beings.
OF THE ANCIENT TRADITION IN ETHICS:
ARISTOTLE VERSUS RAND, pp. 87-122
Darrin Walsh argues that, despite Rand's affection for Aristotle, her ethics is more in the modern, rather than the Aristotelian, tradition. Aristotle's Nicomachean Ethics was never intended as a prescriptive normative treatise; rather, it offered an ontology of human excellence. Viewing that work through modern assumptions, Rand and others have misinterpreted its significance. A comparison of Aristotelian and Randian notions of happiness shows that the former is more philosophically profound than the latter.
Conceptualism in Abelard and Rand, pp. 123-40
Peter Saint-Andre provides textual evidence that calls into question Ayn Rand's characterization of conceptualism as simply a kind of nominalism, as well as her claim that her theory of knowledge is a sui generis "Objectivism" rather than a form of conceptualism.
THE LIBERTARIAN MINIMAL STATE?: A CRITIQUE OF THE VIEWS OF NOZICK, LEVIN, AND RAND, pp. 141-60
Walter Block discusses publications by Robert Nozick, the unjustifiably ignored Michael Levin, and Ayn Rand, each of whom has criticized anarcho-capitalism, the system that takes laissez-faire capitalism to its logical extension: here, all goods and services, particularly including courts, police, and armies would be provided by competing private firms and individuals. This paper considers their arguments (for Nozick, that anarcho-capitalism would naturally evolve into minarchism or limited government free enterprise without violating the libertarian nonaggression axiom; for Levin, that the philosophy of Hobbes is correct and requires a government for protection; for Rand, that anarcho-capitalism is incoherent) and rejects them.
AYN RAND IN THE SCHOLARLY LITERATURE II:
RAND, RUSH, AND ROCK, pp. 161-85
Chris Matthew Sciabarra surveys discussions of Ayn Rand in the literature on Progressive rock music. He examines critically Edward Macan's Rocking the Classics: English Progressive Rock and the Counterculture, Paul Stump's The Music's All That Matters: A History of Progressive Rock, Carol Selby Price and Robert M. Price's Mystic Rhythms: The Philosophical Vision of Rush, Bill Martin's Listening to the Future: The Time of Progressive Rock, 1968-1978 (1998), and Durrell S. Bowman's essay on the rock band Rush in Kevin Holm-Hudson's Progressive Rock Reconsidered. He argues that the authors show varying degrees of understanding of Rand's brand of "redemptive politics." [html version available]
A Neglected Source for Rand's Aesthetics, pp. 187-204
Roger E. Bissell reviews the full-length, taped version of Rand's "The Esthetic Vacuum of Our Age," calling attention to its importance as a foundational document for Rand's later essays on art and to the numerous gems omitted from the much briefer published version.
REPLY TO WILLIAM DWYER:
COMPATIBILISM AND EVOLUTION, pp. 205-13
George B. Lyons criticizes as essentially rationalistic both the Objectivist concept of free will in Tibor Machan's Initiative: Human Agency and Society, and William Dwyer's determinism (The Journal of Ayn Rand Studies, Fall 2001) in the compatibilist tradition derived from Hobbes. He draws attention to the general problem of compatibilism in modern philosophy. He focuses on how such scientific theorists as Daniel C. Dennett have gone beyond the ideas of Hobbes, in considering the complexities of action in evolutionary processes discovered by Darwin.
REPLY TO WILLIAM DWYER:
FREE WILL RECONSIDERED, pp. 215-20
Tibor R. Machan argues that William Dwyer's review of his book, Initiative: Human Agency and Society (The Journal of Ayn Rand Studies, Fall 2001), assumes that compatibilism is coherent. Machan argues that compatibilism is simply hard determinism with some soft edges but as such it is not coherent. In light of this, the agent-causation-based thesis of human initiative (or freedom of the human will) that Machan defends is superior to its alternatives.
REJOINDER TO GEORGE LYONS AND TIBOR R. MACHAN:
FREE WILL AND DETERMINISM, pp. 221-30
William Dwyer responds to the comments of George Lyons and Tibor R. Machan on his review of Machan's Initiative (The Journal of Ayn Rand Studies, Fall 2001). Dwyer reiterates points in his initial review, stressing the need to understand choice within a larger causal context.
REPLY TO LELAND B. YEAGER
RHETORICAL INCORRECTNESS?, pp. 231-34
James Arnt Aune responds to Leland B. Yeager's criticisms of Selling the Free Market ("Economic Incorrectness," The Journal of Ayn Rand Studies, Fall 2001). Yeager fails to understand that the art of rhetoric is more than a matter of persuasive "tricks." Aune compares radical libertarians to Chomsky-style leftists as ideologues and America-haters and expresses regret that Yeager did not respond either to specific arguments against Rand's work or to the analysis of specific aspects of libertarian policy rhetoric.
REJOINDER TO JAMES ARNT AUNE:
ON "RHETORICAL INCORRECTNESS?", p. 235
Leland B. Yeager replies to James Arnt Aune's good-natured response to his review of Selling the Free Market: The Rhetoric of Economic Correctness, which appeared in the Fall 2001 issue of The Journal of Ayn Rand Studies.
REPLY TO JONATHAN JACOBS:
CONTESTING A REVIEW, pp. 237-39
David Kelley responds to Jonathan Jacobs' review of his The Contested Legacy of Ayn Rand: Truth and Toleration in Objectivism ("A Contest of Wills," The Journal of Ayn Rand Studies, Spring 2002). He argues that his goal was not to provide a technical treatise on Objectivism, but to focus on a debate within Objectivism. Toward the former end, he provides a brief bibliography of relevant technical treatments of Objectivist epistemology and ethics.
4, NO. 1:
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Library of Congress Catalog Card Number, ISSN 1526-1018; E-ISSN 2169-7132