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Volume 8, No. 1 - Fall 2006

Issue #15


DE-MYSTIFYING Emotion:  Introducing the Affect Theory of Silvan Tomkins to Objectivists, pp. 1-18
This article features a special CD-ROM presentation, which is available for download from the JARS archives. This presentation provides the raw data upon which the article is based. You can safely look at the Read Me Txt File, and the presentation of "The 9 Innate Affects -- S. S. Tomkins" in two formats:  PC or Mac ["save as" to your local device]. Our special thanks to the author for providing this presentation for our archives, and for providing our readers with a multimedia experience.  Readers who wish to have the original CD-ROM disc that accompanied this essay, along with the original hard copy of Issue #15, should contact us.

Steven H. Shmurak

Objectivism's approach to the nature of emotion is incomplete. It has oversimplified emotional phenomena and has substantially underestimated the importance of emotion as a tool of survival. This article presents an introduction to Affect Theory, an approach to understanding emotion based on ostensive definitions, which was developed by the American psychologist Silvan S. Tomkins. Affect theory subsumes the Objectivist theory of emotion while being true to all the complexities of our emotional lives. This theory provides an important supplement to Objectivist thinking. The relationship between emotion and reason and the role of affect in shaping sense of life are considered.

Some Convergences and Divergences in the Realism of Charles Peirce and Ayn Rand, pp. 19-39

Marc Champagne

Structured around Charles S. Peirce's three-fold categorical scheme, this article proposes a comparative study of Ayn Rand and Peirce's realist views in general metaphysics. Rand's stance is seen as diverging with Peirce's argument from asymptotic representation but converging with arguments from brute relation and neutral category. It is argued that, by dismissing traditional subject-object dualisms, Rand and Peirce both propose iconoclastic construals of what it means to be real, dismissals made all the more noteworthy by the fact each chose to ground them in indissoluble triads of self-evident first principles.

Rand and Rescher on Truth, pp. 41-48

Fred Seddon

This essay argues that Rand's conception of truth marshals all the strengths of the four theories of truth detailed by philosopher Nicholas Rescher: correspondence, coherence, intuitionistic, and pragmatic.

Deconstructing Postmodern Xenophilia, pp. 49-62

Algirdas Degutis

The most prominent feature of postmodern liberal relativism is its obsession with the Other, allegedly marginalized or repressed in the dominant Western culture. If all cultures are morally equal, then tolerance of, and openness to, the Other on the part of the enlightened postmoderns is the only non-repressive value. This view, dubbed "xenophilia," implies that hospitality to the most radically Other, ultimately to the enemy, is the highest virtue. There is a fatal complementarity between a culture defining itself as openness and any intolerant Other. The former can only succumb to, or be destroyed by, the latter.


ESsays on AyN RAND'S FICTION, pp. 63-84

Susan Love Brown

The two volumes edited by Robert Mayhew provide new information about the creation, publication, and histories of Anthem and We the Living. The essays were written by authors who had access to the Ayn Rand Archives, and whose work constitutes a good foundation for the study of these novels. Although both volumes contain chapters that deal unsatisfactorily with Rand's changes between editions and sometimes fail to acknowledge the work of other writers and scholars in the field, these collections also contain many new insights into Rand's life in Russia and the creative process and are great additions to Rand scholarship.

Putting Humans First?, pp. 85-104

David Graham and Nathan Nobis

In Putting Humans First: Why We Are Nature's Favorite, Tibor Machan argues against moral perspectives that require taking animals' interests seriously. He attempts to defend the status quo regarding routine, harmful uses of animals for food, fashion and experimentation. Graham and Nobis argue that Machan's work fails to resist pro-animal moral conclusions that are supported by a wide range of contemporary ethical arguments.

Ayn Rand as Literary Mentor, pp. 105-10

Kirsti Minsaas

Erika Holzer's Ayn Rand: My Fiction-Writing Teacher is a collection of essays about Holzer's mentor-protege relationship with Rand. Written as a memoir, it is also a how-to-book on writing (fiction and nonfiction) which takes as its point of departure the personal advice Holzer received from Rand in her early years as a writer. The primary interest of the book lies in Holzer's account of her efforts to put this advice into practice, especially her struggle to learn from Rand while developing her own voice and vision.


Reply to fred seddon:
Rand and Empirical Responsibility, pp. 111-19

Greg Nyquist

Responding to Fred Seddon's review of his book, Ayn Rand Contra Human Nature, Nyquist defends his view that Rand failed to provide evidence for her view of man. Using evidence compiled by cognitive scientists, neuroscientists, and evolutionary psychologists, Nyquist challenges not only Rand's view of man, but also her epistemology, particularly her overestimation of the role of logic in efficacious thinking.

Rejoinder to greg nyquist:

Fred Seddon

Seddon echoes comments he made in his original Spring 2003 Journal of Ayn Rand Studies review of Greg Nyquist's book, Ayn Rand Contra Human Nature. He argues that Nyquist's reply still does not grasp fully the Objectivist view of logic and the role of induction.

Reply to roderick t. long:
The 'Grotesque' Dichotomies Still Unbeautified, pp. 123-42

Gregory M. Browne

This essay strongly affirms, rather than denies, continuity of reference across theory change, while reconciling this with other claims made in the book Necessary Factual Truth, and in addition defends the book's claim that all non-disjunctive qualities common to the paradigms are essential to a kind, discusses its arguments against truth by convention, and denies that its attempt to show Newton's axioms necessary is a priori, rejecting the a priori altogether.

Rejoinder to gregory m. browne:
A Beauty Contest for Dichotomies:  Browne's Terminological Revolutions, pp. 143-62


While regarding Gregory M. Browne as mainly on target in his Rand-inspired treatment of reference and necessity, as well as in his rejection of the analytic-synthetic dichotomy, Long argues, first, that Browne is mistaken in rejecting some other vital distinctions, such as the a priori / a posteriori distinction; second, that Browne is nevertheless implicitly committed, under different terminology, to these very distinctions that he purportedly rejects; and third, that Browne's treatment of kinds and definitions leads him to misdescribe and misprescribe ordinary language use, and also to embrace unnecessary semantic incommensurability.




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