The Enlightenment Annual Meeting

Enlightenment is holding its first annual meeting of Objectivist scholars. The purpose of this meeting is to allow professional-level interaction between serious scholars working with the method of objectivity and/or on questions in the tradition of Objectivism.

Attendance at the conference is free to all accepted participants. The only expenses are travel, lodging and food. Some student housing is available.

If you would like to help fund a student please look for forthcoming announcements or visit the website in the near future for more information.

The meeting will be five days long. Each paper will be discussed in two separate scheduled time slots. The first time slot will be 90 minutes, during which the author will present the basic arguments and a commentator will remark, and discussion will follow. A second discussion will occur two days later, after the information has had time to sink in. According to this schedule, three papers will be presented on June 3rd, and three on June 4th, and then each will be discussed during a second 90-minute session on following days.

A limited number of spaces at Enlightenment will be available for students, and will be assigned on a first-paid, first-served basis. The cost of accommodation for 1 person for the week (starting Saturday night (June 2nd), depending on the number of people using the housing) will be between $100 and $150. Full kitchen facilities are available. Enlightenment headquarters is equipped with two pools, a jacuzzi and a sauna.

Non-students and students not staying at Enlightenment headquarters must find their own accommodations, preferably in La Jolla Shores, and should begin looking as soon as their applications are accepted. La Jolla is an extremely posh residential area that contains exclusive vacation housing that begins filling up in the winter. There are many hotels, bed'n'breakfasts, motels, and weekly apartment rentals at reasonable (and outrageous) prices within several blocks of Enlightenment headquarters and student housing; links, phone numbers, and prices for individuals and groups will be available shortly. Multiple occupancy apartment rentals start at around $200 per week per person. The Conference Director will be happy to assist with arranging accommodations and getting groups together to share expenses.

La Jolla Shores is a neighborhood the size of a large university campus, lushly populated by exotic vegetation from every part of the globe. The daytime temperature in the summer is a dry, constant 74 Fahrenheit (20 Celcius), dropping to 72 in the evening.

Most meetings will begin in the late afternoon or early evening, and will be held outside in various scenic locations. This schedule will give participants ample time to enjoy the many local attractions and take advantage of the perfect La Jolla climate. Enlightenment headquarters is 6 blocks from the beautiful La Jolla Shores Beach (please see the Scripps Pier web cam,, which borders the La Jolla Underwater Park, offering sandy-beach swimming, surfing, scuba diving, snorkeling, kayaking, and incomparable opportunities for close-range observation of wild seals, dolphins, sharks, pelicans, tide-pool life, and many other animals.

Within a three mile radius of the meeting areas are the Salk Institute (, created by architect Louis Kahn for polio vaccine developer Jonas Salk, an architectural marvel which looks out over the ocean and the infamous Black's Beach nude bathing area, adjacent to the Torrey Pines Glider Port, where hang-gliding rentals and lessons are available. Within a 15-mile radius are Sea World, downtown San Diego, the historic Balboa Park featuring museums and attractions, and the world-famous San Diego Zoo, home of the CRES wildlife preservation and reintroduction program and most notably the first baby panda born in the western hemisphere since 1990. The San Diego Wild Animal Park, a free-range savannah simulation, is within 25 miles. Rollerblades can be rented from the University of California at San Diego, one mile from Enlightenment, for approximately $10 for the week, and bike rentals are also available locally (

For personal reflections on the splendor of La Jolla, see Carolyn Ray's journal (


Application materials are listed on the web site and previous announcements as due on March 1st. Since DNS problems have pushed a number of Enlightenment activities forward in time, one change will be made to this schedule. On March 1st, the substantial essay will be due (pieces written for classes or previously published elsewhere are acceptable).

Then you will have 2 more weeks to turn in the commentaries on pieces published on the web (either on the Enlightenment site or anywhere else on the web). These three pieces are very important, in that they indicate your inclination to write and your capacity to make a useful contribution to the discussions. The fourth essay (due May 1st), critiquing one of the papers to be presented, should be worthy of printing in the Proceedings of the Annual Meeting, pending revisions after the meeting.

Please note that applications _will_ be accepted after these dates, but accommodations will be increasingly difficult to obtain due to La Jolla's popularity as a summer resort. Delay at your own risk.


All participants are welcome to bring work in progress and arrange discussions of it. The sooner such work is submitted and published on the web site, the more intelligent feedback you will be able to get at the meeting. But there is no actual due date for this work. You may also bring printed pieces, though this route is the least efficient way of getting feedback.

Please see the web site for more information.


You are reminded that the due date for drafts of papers to be presented is April 1st (I'm not kidding). These will be published on the web site as they become available so that all participants have a chance to write commentaries on them.

You are also reminded that in order to attend the conference you must write at least one commentary on one of the other papers to be presented.

For full information, please see the application and the call for papers

See you soon.

Carolyn Ray
Conference Director