What We Do:
Dissertations & Theses
Journal of Objectivity
John Locke's Essay
How and Why We Do It:
Why We Exist
Become A Member
Dr. Carolyn Ray
Dr. Tom Radcliffe
(Have you seen
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
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,
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
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
chalk drawings from a series of studies of the artist's friends of living
"Rend" is one
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
Enlightenment, which will receive 20% of the sale price.
On September 15th, Newberry will hold an
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
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
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,
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.
Meeting Commentary, 5/24/2001
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.
Meeting Commentary, 5/16/2001
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
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.)
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.
Meeting Submission, 5/3/2001
Tibor Machan, Ph.D., explores the question whether there is
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
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.
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.
Meeting Submission, 4/21/2001
Jamie Mellway analyzes the first two refutations in Aristotle's
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
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.
Meeting Submission, 4/20/2001
"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.
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
Enlightenment is in Business!
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