Enlightenment is dedicated to the discovery, encouragement, publication, and advancement of rational scholars and scholarship focusing on or using the method of objectivity. This site currently publishes six million words of new original research and analysis, and a couple of essential classics too.

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  • Statement, 9/17/2001
    Enlightenment denounces all terrorist threats and attacks based on religion, race, national origin, etc. I hereby open my home or protection to any person who has been the victim of or fears retaliatory terrorist action on such bases. I invite other persons and organizations to make similar public proclamations to help eradicate the idea that there is widespread approval or tolerance for such actions. For the same reason, I strongly suggest that moderated discussion groups cease to provide pulpits for persons preaching collectivist propaganda. Our laws protect free speech; however, responsible community leaders are not required to advance collectivist causes by providing publishing venues.

    America, too, like any nation that is plagued by religion, ignorance, and violence especially against children and women, is in part populated by animals in the guise of technologically-advanced human beings. Those of us who are rational, inadverdently support such animals. They would simply die of starvation or kill each other off if we weren't around. But they resurface whenever the opportunity to return to complete barbarism is evident. Let's tell them exactly what we think of them, when we are forced to bother to think of them.

    Day of Remembrance Prayer, 9/14/2001
    During this national day of prayer and remembrance, let us pray. "What's the difference between the NYC Fire Department and God? The Fire Department answers when you call upon it, even unto death." --Tom Radcliffe
    Life, 9/11/2001
    Everything I do right now seems trivial and unimportant. I believe that these little pieces of shit should not be given the satisfaction of bringing life to a screeching halt in every corner of the universe. I've been feeling all day like nothing is appropriate to say here, but this is to let them win.

    So I'll show you what I was doing last night, with all the fun and joy in my heart that was wiped out with a phone call at 8:30am PST. It's a small thing in comparison, but it's at least a tiny show that I'm not sitting here obediently not living my life, giving in to dispair for these pathetic assholes. Please have a look at my Purity Pledge. It was inspired by an different kind of assault on our individuality and integrity; go to Google and search on those words, to see why I thought this was the most pressing issue I could address a few days ago. I signed it last night myself. Please sign it, if you agree with it.

    Give blood now.

    We're experiencing a national shortage, and now we've got a disaster to repair. To find a location near you, use Google and type in your city and 'blood donation' for listings. The Red Cross phones are all busy, so just use the web.

    PayPal is collecting donations that will go to the National Disaster Relief Fund of the American Red Cross.

    Online Art Exhibit and Sale, Scheduled for 9/15/2001

    A portion of the proceeds donated to Enlightenment

    Michael Newberry makes his first contributions to Enlightenment in the form of 3 pieces of artwork and an essay: "Susanna" and "Mario" are chalk drawings from a series of studies of the artist's friends of living in Rhodes, Greece. "Rend" is one of a series of considerations of death and its emotional impact, accompanied by Newberry's narrative of the events that inspired the series.

    The physical drawings Mario and Susanna may be purchased through Enlightenment, which will receive 20% of the sale price.

    On September 15th, Newberry will hold an exhibit and sale of some of his works. Newberry has generously offered to donate a portion of the profits for the support of Enlightenment activities. Please mention Enlightenment to him when you make your purchase.

    Enlightenment Link Drive, 9/3/2001
    Please help get the word out! Whether your site gets one hit per year or 1000 hits per day, you can help spread the light of reason just by linking to any page on the supersaturated sites. The more attention we get, the more exposure our authors and activities get, and that's a good thing for the state of the world. You can also help by including an html link in posts to message boards and web forums.

    Enlightenment currently gets as many as 1500 hits on an ordinary day. If you'd like to get a little more traffic, let me know that you've linked to Enlightenment and I'll link back to you. Thus will Reason take over the web!

    New Academic Essay, 8/29/2001
    Philosophy Ph.D. Candidate Irfan Khawaja, M.A., reviews Colin Bird's The Myth of Liberal Individualism, in "Whose Liberalism? Which Individualism?". Khawaja will graduate with his doctoral degree from The University of Notre Dame this year.
    New Academic Essay, 8/28/2001
    Philosophy Ph.D. Candidate Will Wilkinson, M.A., defends common-sense psychology against Paul Churchland's attacks in "Churchland Debunked, Commonsense Psychology Vindicated". Churchland's views are based on the theses that perception is theory laden, and that a concept's meaning is determined by its place in a conceptual network. Wilkinson is pursuing his degree at The University of Maryland.
    New Erotica Section, 7/29/2001
    Beginning immediately, Enlightenment will accept erotic stories, with the intention of providing a better view of sex than is commonly available on the web (or in print, or in movies, or on tv, or from your neighbors, or in your kids' schools, etc, etc). Potential writers are asked to consider the philosophical implications of comments in Carolyn Ray's journal under topics "Deprecated Expressions" and "Pornography" before submitting material, though submissions will as always be judged on a case-by-case basis. Space for graphic representations is limited, so material may be rotated once capacity is reached.
    New Annual Meeting Publication, 7/11/2001
    Better late than never, Carolyn Ray has finally gotten around to publishing the paper defended at the Annual Meeting in June. In "Propositions", Ray extends her theory of identity and the Ray/Radcliffe theory of entities to begin to develop an objective theory of propositions. This draft and a revision will both be published in the printed proceedings.
    New Archives, 6/9/2001
    A somewhat complete archive of the old email list "Moderated Discussion of Objectivist Philosophy" is available for download. Thanks to Jamie Mellway, who rocked at the Annual Meeting, for hunting down this version.
    New Graduate Course Essay, 6/7/2001
    In "A Lockean Theory of Agency and Rights", Bryan Register considers the hypothesis that free will is necessary for political freedom, the traditional position accepted by many political libertarians. Register argues that John Locke provides an (at least quasi-) libertarian politics while explicitly adopting compatibilism about free agency, and without suffering for it.
    New Graduate Course Essay, 6/6/2001
    Bryan Register examines Aristotle's views on self-knowledge in " Self, Knowledge, and Self-Knowledge in Aristotle", arguing that the doctrine of the identity of knower and known seems to be underlain by a misplaced mirror metaphor, while the interesting account of self-knowledge seems to be underlain by a well-placed appeal to the same metaphor.
    New Journal Reprint, 6/6/2001
    Bryan Register explores and revises Ayn Rand's theory of concepts, in "The Universality and Employment of Concepts". Register argues that the theory provides a plausible account of the objectivity of categorization and the universality and abstractness of concepts, but that Rand confuses concepts with words and that she deals with concepts in a way that fails to account for their involvement with most human activity. This paper was originally published in 2000 in the Journal of Ayn Rand Studies.
    New Annual Meeting Commentary, 5/24/2001
    In "Commentary on Jamie Mellway's 'Enduring Aristotle's Dialectic: The Discipline of Non-Contradiction", Tom Radcliffe briefly examines the limits of Aristotle's argument for the principle of non-contradiction, and points out that both reality and a knowing subject are indispensible to the process of knowing.
    New Annual Meeting Commentary, 5/16/2001
    In 'Commentary on Tom Radcliffe and Carolyn Ray's "A Conceptualist Interpretation of Quantum Mechanics"', David Ward, Ph.D., defends a form of scientific realism, and examines the paper's formulation of the law of identity. A revised version of this commentary will be included with the original paper in the printed proceedings.
    Late Publication of New Annual Meeting Submission, 5/15/2001
    In "Objectivity and the Proof of Egoism", Robert Hartford shows shows that the epistemological method of objectivity as the means to knowledge leads to proof of the ethics of egoism and that the ethics of egoism, in turn, leads to the requirement of rationality. Rationality is the acceptance of the method of objectivity as a guide to action. This paper will defended at the Annual Meeting. (My apologies for the late publication.)

    News, 5/12/2001
    Barry Hill-Tout, Objectivist, intellectual, mathematician, and long-time editor for the Kingston Whig-Standard, died yesterday of pancreatic cancer. He is survived by his wife, Hanh, and his young children, Henry and Kimberly. Barry was Tom Radcliffe's closest friend, and Tom has written about him in his journal.

    New Annual Meeting Submission, 5/3/2001

    Tibor Machan, Ph.D., explores the question whether there is an inherent conflict between the idea of individual sovereignty and political obligation, in "Individualism and the Vitality of Community Life". This paper will be defended during Enlightenment's First Annual Meeting. Dr. Machan is Professor Emeritus at the Department of Philosophy, Auburn University, Alabama, and is the author of Ayn Rand.

    Graduation Announcement, 5/1/2001
    Ted O'Connor will be graduating this May with a B.S. in Computer Science and a minor in Japanese from the Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology in Terre Haute, Indiana. He's accepted a Unix/Web programming position with Bomis, located in sunny San Diego, California. If prospective college students have any questions with regard to studying computer science and/or studying at Rose-Hulman, please feel free to email him. Congratulations, Ted! Thanks for hosting the lists and the mp3 for Enlightenment.
    New Annual Meeting Submission, 4/30/2001
    In "A Conceptualist Interpretation of Quantum Mechanics" Radcliffe and Ray analyze the relation between the axioms of objectivism and the concept of TIME to show that it is possible for conceptualists to interpret quantum mechanics and non-local reality consistently by paying proper attention to the requirements of the knowing subject.
    I get letters, 4/29/2001
    Wonder what other people are saying about Enlightenment? See for yourself.
    New Annual Meeting Submission, 4/29/2001
    In his first contribution to Enlightenment since its birth, Andrew Breese, Esq., brings us "Understanding Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) From An Objectivist Perspective". Mr. Breese explains that NLP and Objectivism share a basic philosophical outlook and method: NLP is scientific, obsessed with the heroic potential of humanity, grounded in sensible reality, and all about individuals increasing awareness and self-mastery. This paper will be defended at the Annual Meeting in June.
    New Annual Meeting Submission, 4/21/2001
    Jamie Mellway analyzes the first two refutations in Aristotle's Metaphysics Gamma Ch. 4, in "Enduring Aristotle's Dialectic: The Discipline of Non-Contradiction" , accepting the radical position of Aristotle's foil in order to develop a charitable interpretation of a denial of the principle of non-contradiction. Mellway proposes that, in place of the principle of non-contradiction, we impose a formal condition on our concepts to make them distinct. This paper will be defended at the Annual Meeting in June.
    New Annual Meeting Submission, 4/20/2001
    In "The Categories, Values, and Value Principles" , Robert Hartford, Ph.D., considers the concepts VALUE and ETHICS and their origin in the requirements of life, and explains why Ayn Rand's informal characterization of a value (as that which an organism acts to gain or keep) does not amount to an adequate definition. This paper will be defended in La Jolla at the Annual Meeting.
    New Annual Meeting Submission, 4/11/2001
    David Ward, Ph.D., considers arguments for the censorship of pornographic materials in "Feminism, Pornography, and Censorship", finding that Helen Longino's position is untenable on both deontological and consequentialist grounds. Dr. Ward is Professor of Philosophy at Widener University. He will defend this paper at the Annual Meeting in June.
    New Academic Essay, 4/8/2001
    Ted O'Connor responds to Robert Wolff's well-known critique of the implicit ethical premises of modern game theory, in "Valuing in Games and Life". O'Connor finds Wolff's analysis lacking and ultimately unconvincing, but concludes that it offers a useful description of the nature of value. This essay is submitted in partial fullfilment of the requirements for attending the Annual Meeting.
    Enlightenment is in Business! 3/31/2001
    I've taken the plunge at last: Enlightenment is now a profitable venture. Capital is now being raised through the sale of memberships, services, and specialty items. In addition, a Scholarship Fund will accept tax-deductible donations and will provide financial support for students. Please see the Membership Packages and Services pages for more details.

    What else has Enlightenment done lately? Check the Recent Releases page.

    Papers to submit? Question? Comments? Write to Dr. Carolyn Ray and Dr. Tom Radcliffe (light_OF_enlightenment.supersaturated.com and sweetness_OF_enlightenment.supersaturated.com)