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
Congratulations! You're at the
Enlightenment Site's New Server!
Until DNS changes are complete, many of the urls will be incorrect and
will lead back to the old server. You can get around this by using the ip
number and the enlightenment directory in the location bar, like this:
New acquisitions and new features are announced on the front page as they
happen. To make room for these announcements, "older" new releases will be
moved to the top of this page. You can also browse the Enlightenment
library by author
or scan the collection of
dissertations & theses. Use the search engine to find documents that
contain particular terms or names. Please let us know if you have any
trouble getting around. We're always interested in new submissions.
Please help if you can. I need recommendations.
Enlightenment still needs a new server. Here's the problem. My current
server (ibd.net) has
apparently sold more accounts than the server can accommodate, which is
why it is not functioning adequately anymore. Because of the timelines for
the upcoming conferences, I need to move NOW, or people won't be able to
read the papers for the January conference (still sitting on my harddrive)
and I won't be able to complete
the programming for the conference anyway. That's only one of many
projects that is now being held up by server problems. Just scroll down to
see what else Enlightenment isn't getting done.
Given our operating budget, it has to be cheap. It
cannot, however, be free, as I need to have a contractual claim for
services. Shopping is mind-boggling and extremely
time-consuming (yes, I know about HostSearch; it's less efficient than it
looks, when you have specific requirements and not a lot of money to
burn). So I am asking for your help.
To make Enlightenment go, I must have the following things:
- telnet and ftp access (SSH is fine)
- perl compiler
- cgi and custom scripting permission
- subdomains (supersaturated comes with three, one of which is
- permission to use web logs
- SPACE (I now have 25MB, and I am close to the limit; 100MB is
desirable for the short term, but for really short term I could live with
- dependable unlimited access
- minimal but prompt and dependable administrative support
- permission to use the site for commercial purposes (i.e., to sell
things to support Enlightenment and to advertise my other ventures (Earth
If you can recommend a web host that provides ALL of the above, please
email me: carolyn_OF_supersaturated.com. If you don't
know what the above requirements mean, thanks anyway but I'd rather not be
sent random shots-in-the-dark.
Hard Times, 12/5/2000
Enlightenment is experiencing difficulties which may affect your reading
pleasure. The server is overloaded, so my access to it has been limited
and sporatic, and not even a candelit seance has been successful in
raising my administrator. Several features have been broken since I first
set up here, but I've worked around them (that's why the lists are hosted
by Ted O'Connor). Unfortunately, logging in really is one of those little
conveniences one can't survive without. (I attribute my ability to insert
this paragraph to the present unnatural alignment of the planets in
conjunction with some elements of my Personality Type.) Hence, I'm moving
the site to a new server, where life should be much better. In the
meantime, expect sluggishness or even unavailability from the
Enlightenment site. Most grateful thanks to Jimmy Wales--who is not in the business
of providing web hosting--for offering to allow me to move Supersaturated
to one of his servers for free, and for humoring me by agreeing to accept
Don't Panic! The urls will not change. But I may not be able to publish
anything new, including the online conference papers, for at least a few
days. If we suddenly disappear, just remember: In the beginning, it is
New Essay, 11/30/2000
Michelle Fram-Cohen, M.A, considers some philosophical issues in
translation in "Reality,
Context, and Intentionality", a response to Radcliffe's comment
on her early paper on the possibility of translation.
New Essays, 11/26/2000
Bryan Register, B.A. proposes an Objectivist account of facts in "Concepts, Facts, and
Truth" . This paper is will be defended during the Online Conference
Michelle Fram-Cohen, M.A., considers the Scott/Amundsen race to the
South Pole and the subsequent portrayals of each man, in
of Roland Huntford's The Last Place On Earth".
Fram-Cohen finds that Huntford's analysis, and the diaries and histories
of the two men, provide some insight into the phenemenon of the
sacrificial martyr as hero.
New Essays, 11/25/2000
David V. Ward, Ph.D., publishes his first contributions to
Enlightenment. The following three pieces, one early publication and two
new commentaries, are submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements
for participation in the Annual Meeting.
Action", Ward presents a number of arguments that have been offered in
favor of affirmative action programs, ranging from considerations of
compensatory justice to social utility, and contends that none of these
are sufficient to justify the discriminatory treatment of persons by race
or sex inherent in the affirmative action programs considered.
In his first comment, "Fictional
Entities", responding to Tom Radcliffe's response to Carolyn Ray's
dissertation, Ward argues that Ray is wrong to think that fictional
entities do not exist, and that Radcliffe is wrong about what kinds of
things they are.
In his second comment, "Spatiotemporal
Continuity" Ward argues that Ray should reconsider her contention that
spatiotemporal continuity is a metaphysically necessary condition of
New Essays, 11/24/2000
Jamie Mellway publishes two new essays as part of his Enlightenment
Meeting application. He briefs us on Kant's ideas qua ideas in his
Commentary on a Selection from The Critique of Pure Reason,
Mellway further comments on the Ray/Radcliffe paper on entites in "Metaphysical and
Intentional Entities: Exegesis of 'Edges, Entities and Existence: An
Epistemological Excursion'". He argues that the original paper leaves
an essential distinction of Rand's out of the analysis.
Walter Foddis, B.A., B.Com, elaborates on the use and effectiveness
of the method of sentence completion in counseling as an aid to building
the client's self-acceptance and self-responsibility in a course essay, "Sentence
Completion in Counseling: Enhancing Self-Esteem". This is Foddis's
first Enlightenment publication, submitted as part of his Enlightenment
New Essay, 11/6/2000
Tom Radcliffe, Ph.D., responds to and expands on Fram-Cohen's analysis of
the belief that translation is impossible, in "
On Translation: A Response to Michelle Fram-Cohen" Radcliffe argues
for an extended version of her definition of TRANSLATION that applies to
work--such as poetry--that does not have the representation of conceptual
knowledge as its primary purpose. Radcliffe argues that Ray's approach to
intentional contexts and Searle's linguistic theory both support this
extension. Radcliffe's critical response is submitted in partial
fulfillment of the requirements for participation in the
Enlightenment Annual Meeting.
The full "How to Win Arguments" lecture is a bit large for slower
connections. Try the first five minutes
(818K). We'll be dividing it up into smaller bits.
"How To Win Arguments" MP3,
Carolyn Ray, Ph.D., invites you to download
the mp3 version of her lecture on the fallacies and faux-pas committed
during arguments that Objectivists have with Normal People, and that they
have with each other. Many thanks to
Jamie Mellway for converting the material, and to Ted O'Connor for providing the web space.
The lecture will also be available on CD for a small fee. Please allow a
few days for us to figure out how this will work.
The Fallacies Project and High School Essay
Carolyn Ray, Ph.D., in a neverending attempt to make as many enemies
possible, has opened a new project devoted to the collection and debunking
of fallacies committed in the name of Objectivist Ideals. While she has
the displeasure to observe more than what she considers her fair share,
she nevertheless is inviting submissions from other dismayed observers of
our unique and wrathful subculture. One way or another, we will put this
evil to rout. The
of fallacies published here in August is
about to grow.
While any essay may be submitted for the Essay Contest (winners of
which will receive a year's subscription to Objectivity, high
school students are invited especially to submit short essays explaining
the problems with fallacious arguments, made by Objectivists and
Libertarians, that they find on the internet. WeTheLiving's OWL
and Atlantis lists are excellent sources. There is no deadline
for this contest; submissions will be compared at each publication time
(currently overdue because Carolyn is a terrible print publisher).
The Anthem Project,
Ayn Rand, B.A., graduated from the University of Leningrad in 1924. In her
she imagines a world in which the horrors of collectivism have been
developed to their logical extreme. The Anthem Project will annotate this
online version, formatted and edited by
Ted O'Connor. Your annotations will be solicited for review.
Programming for the project is under development.
for expressing interest in delivering a paper is November 1.
First Annual Meeting
La Jolla, California
June 3rd - June 7th, 2001
Paper Proposal Guidelines ... ||
New Essay, 10/26/2000
Luis Concepcion, B.A., makes some strong claims (with some caveats) about
artificial intelligence as duplication of the human mind in a short course
AI Theorists Fail to Account for Human Experience". Concepcion
received his Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of South Florida
in 1999 with a double major in Philosophy and Psychology. This is his
first contribution to Enlightenment.
New Book Review, 10/18/2000
In Whatever Happened to
Evil? Tom Radcliffe, Ph.D., reviews James Morrow's Blameless in
Abaddon which is a clever, satirical excursion through the why's and
wherefore's of theodicy. Here,
Radcliffe argues briefly that theodicy is a monument to faith
over reason, and announces a forthcoming essay on the nature of evil in a
world without God.
New Articles, 10/18/2000
"Objectivism Versus Conservativism" is another polemical exercise in
concretizing Objectivist principles. It consists of four letters:
The first letter addresses sociobiology; the second addresses the draft;
the third addresses the issue of exclusionary zoning laws; the fourth
addresses the legitimacy of a woman's serving as U.S. Secretary of State.
earned his B.A. in philosophy at Princeton University and his M.A.
in philosophy at the University of Notre Dame. He is writing his doctoral
dissertation and is teaching at the College of New Jersey.
New Discussions, 10/10/2000
Beginning Monday, October 23,
Register's Enlightenment list, Analytic, will begin discussion
of two chapters of
Carolyn Ray's doctoral dissertation. To prepare for the discussion,
read Chapters 5 ("Personal Identity"), and 8 ("Intentional
Contexts"). A frightening time should be had by all.
Beginning in November, Analytic plans to discuss
Aristotelian vs. contemporary logic. Proposed texts include Henry
Veatch's Intentional Logic. WE REQUIRE
ASSISTANCE! The book is out of print, and unavailable at all the
out-of-print bookstores I can find so far. The list has approximately 60
subscribers at this moment. Therefore, we need photocopies or,
better yet, a scanned electronic copy that we can distribute to
list members. Please help us! We crave knowledge! We promise to go forth
and do Rational Things as payment for your care and interest! If you can
do anything to assist, please write to Carolyn, carolyn_OF_supersaturated.com
Missing Stuff 10/09/2000
NO MORE FRAMES! While we're doing the Dance of Joy, you'll be finding
broken links and learning of mysterious disappearances. We haven't
intended to destroy anything, so if you notice something missing, please
let us know. Praise be to Tom for being able to do magical things at the
drop of a hat.
Serious Site Overhaul, 10/8/2000 -
Heavy reorganization is going on, possibly
for a couple of days. The site is going back to a frameless format, and
some renaming of directories is going on as well. We're trying to
minimize disruption, but please bear with us while we track down broken
links, etc. FRAMES SUCK DRY SAND! We know this. We just wanted to annoy
you for a little while. Are you annoyed yet?
New Article, 10/8/2000
the psychological aspects of the units of the concept HERO in order to
cast light on the psychology of the trader, in "Speculations
on Heroism and the Heroism of Speculation". Dr. Steenbarger has been
incorporating Objectivist ideas into his work since the courses he taught
at Duke university in the 1970's. This is his first contribution to
Another New Search Engine,
Enlightenment is now officially huge. It turns out that it is too big for
the Atomz search, which you saw here for about three days. Atomz was good
because it searched the PDF's, of which we have two, but only searched the
first 500 documents. So now let's try Google, which is a great
improvement. Note that there are two search boxes: one will search this
whole site (minus the PDF's); the other will turn you away from
Enlightenment to search the whole web. We do not dispair those who leave,
however: Enlightenment gets one penny for each web search. Our operating
budget will soon explode with unanticipated wealth to cover our unforeseen
expenditures in this unprecedentedly challenging new-fangled
that all the kids are talking about.
New Plans, 10/4/2000
It's time for my lazy web site, which gets all the attention without doing
a lick of work, to start earning a living. Currently, all costs associated
with hosting the web site are paid out of my pocket, which means that the
web site is not being given the chance to build character and self-esteem
by being self-supporting. So I'm teaming up with Amazon, who has agreed to
give my spoiled little child a part-time job. Please consider clicking
through to Amazon via links on this site when you are planning to buy any
of the books or movies mentioned here. Links are forthcoming. Now all I
have to do is teach the site to program itself so that Tom and I don't
have to code any more; to that end, we are working on a theory of
propositions, which will help us with a natural language parser, which
we'll combine with our theory of entities to develop knowledge
representation capabilities to build an artificial intelligence, which
will most likely acquire free will and become an even lazier teenager. Oh
well. How does this work?
New Essay, 10/2/2000
Carolyn Ray, Ph.D., adds another early paper in ancient philosophy,
"Friendship in Aristotle's
Nicomachean Ethics" . Through textual analysis, this study
explores indepth the meaning of the term 'friendship' as Aristotle used
it, and begins to reveal the problems with interpreting his ethics as
altruistic. This is the first paper in a series of three written for an
independent study. The final paper, "Egoism in Aristotle's
Nicomachean Ethics", was published here in August, 2000.
Carolyn Ray was granted the
degree of Doctor of Philosophy in Philosophy by Indiana University in
Call for Papers
First Annual Meeting
La Jolla, California
June 3rd - June 7th, 2001
Paper Proposal Guidelines ... ||
Applications ... ||
Help us ...
Reminder: Online Conference Deadline is October 15th, 2000
The conference will take place in January, 2001.
New Master's Thesis Acquisition, 9/26/2000
Craig Spencer, a Ph.D. student in physics at the Rensselaer Polytechnic
Institute, was granted the degree of Master of Science in Physics in
1996 by The University of Rochester. His thesis, Differential
Synthetic Geometry: a
Possible Foundation for a Theory of Gravitation , reconsiders the
foundations of differential geometry and investigates an alternative
foundation for differential geometry based on classical geometric
concepts. An interest in developing a differential version of synthetic
geometry is motivated by its potential for gravitational theory,
especially a version which might gracefully incorporate spin. This thesis
only addresses the needed mathematical foundations. At issue is whether
there are any assumptions built into differential geometry, as we
currently understand it, that are a product of its historical development
out of analytic geometry.
What We're Up To, 9/21
We're redesigning the site, again, to make it easier for you to use and
for us to maintain. The frames were just a temporary measure. All of the
Enlightenment custom programming is done by Dr. Carolyn Ray and Dr. Tom Radcliffe. We're not
opposed to assistance, but in view of our budget , you'll have to do it for love.
Analytic, the discussion list run by Bryan Register, is now
discussing Godel's Slingshot. Archives of the
previous discussion of the Ray/Radcliffe paper on entities are public, and
new subscribers are welcome to participate or watch. Sign
- Objectivity, believe it or not, is still in production. It's
coming. Making a print journal is a lot a lot nastier than putting one on
the web. Editor and publisher, Dr. Carolyn Ray thanks you
for your patience.
Why a translator? Enlightenment now translates itself,
more or less, into French, German, Italian, Spanish, and Portuguese.
Students, especially in graduate programs, have to fulfill language
requirements. The translator provides palatable reading material. The
site also gets a great deal of traffic from other countries, and we'd like
non-English-speakers to feel welcome. And it's fun for the rest of us:
you've asked Jesus for a new way to look at our work; now ask Systran.
Check the bottom of the sidebar (that's the thing on the left of your
browser), choose your language, and Translate.
New Articles, 9/13
Irfan Khawaja adds
several new small articles, which he calls "exercises in concretization,"
on ethical and political issues.
"The Proper Function
of Government" consists of two newspaper columns
written by Khawaja during his stint as a columnist for the
Notre Dame Observer (spring 1997). Both
columns are applications of the Lockean conception of the proper
function of government--the first to questions of municipal finance
in St. Joseph County, Indiana, the second to the status of the Israeli
settlements in East Jerusalem, Israel.
Irrationality, and Coercion" consists of three
polemical letters on the ethics and politics of smoking. One, addressed
to the libertarian writer Jacob Sullum, argues that smoking is
irrational. The other two, written in the context of Princeton NJ's
recent attempt to ban smoking in "public places," argues that smokers
should have the right to smoke on clearly-marked private property,
including such "public" places as restaurants and bars.
What else is new? Check the
Call for Papers
Enlightenment is now accepting submissions for two specific purposes: an
Online Conference, and a student essay contest. We are always, of course,
interested in other
Online Conference, January 2001 Deadline for submissions is
October 15th. Details
Essay Contest Levels: Graduate, Undergraduate, High School, and
Junior High School (or their equivalent):
Thanks to the generosity of Objectivity enthusiasts,
we will have
several student subscriptions to give away to young readers! The purpose
of this subsidy is to take into account the fact that students can
sometimes be on an impossibly tight budget and must forego luxuries like
journal subscriptions. It is dearly hoped by all of us at Enlightenment
that this small inducement will help to corrupt more tender minds with our
subversive philosophy. Moreover, we hope that it will encourage the more
retiring writers to help us build our little library of original Objective
thought. Details, including guidelines and topics, will be posted here in
a few days.
New Essay, 9/6
Neil Haddow, M.A., argues for a definition of 'altruism' that takes the
SACRIFICE as its differentia, to defend egoism against standard modern and
contemporary objections. "Toward
A Logically Consistent Kind of Ethical Egoism" draws on a broad
selection of literature from mainstream as well as Objectivism-friendly
philosophers, including Den Uyl, Rassmussen, Nagel, Kelley, Sidgwick,
Gough, Gautier, Moore, Badhwar, Machan, Rogers, Mack, and Rand. Students
especially will find this gathering of opinions a valuable research
resource. Haddow was
his Master of Arts degree in Philosophy this year by the University of
master's thesis was published
here on August 28th,
New Essay, 9/4
as an Individualist Animal" is Irfan Khawaja's review essay
of Tibor Machan's 1998
book, Classical Individualism: The Supreme Importance of Each Human
Being. The review was first published in Reason Papers 24
(Fall 1999), and is reprinted here by permission of that publication.
Khawaja focuses on two overarching themes in Machan's book: the
metaphysical basis of individualism in free will, and the ethico-political
basis of individualism in Aristotelian normative theory. While describing
the book as a "useful distillation of the case for neo-Aristotelian
individualism," Khawaja takes issue with Machan's critique of "atomism."
Khawaja's doctoral dissertation is in progress at the University of Notre
Dame in Indiana, and he is currently adjunct faculty at The College of New Jersey, where
Ayn Rand Society chairperson
Dr. Allan Gotthelf ("Prof. B") is a tenured professor of philosophy.
of the day last week was Carolyn Ray, Ph.D. And this week, it's John
again. John Locke is Ray's epistemological hero; his
Concerning Human Understanding lives
at Enlightenment permanently. Ray runs the Locke
read-only mailing list,
which sends out excerpts from the work every few days, selected to
introduce Objectivists to Locke's method of objectivity.
story focuses on
Locke's political theory.
New Essay, 8/31
Michelle Fram-Cohen earned her Master of Arts degree in Comparative
Literature and Translation Studies from
SUNY at Binghamton
, in 1983, and
her B.A. in English and American Literature from
Israel, in 1981. She adds an early paper in linguistics, "Reality,
Language, Translation: What Makes Translation Possible", which she
presented at the American Translators Association Conference in 1985.
Fram-Cohen argues for an Objectivist theoretical basis for the possibility
of translation to address the conflict between the practice of translation
and professional skepticism with regard to its validity.
New Master's Thesis Acquisition, 8/28
Neil Haddow, M.A., was awarded the degree of Master of Arts in
Philosophy in 2000 by the University of Waterloo (Canada). His thesis,
Reference, and Logical Possibility, a preliminary
chapter of which was made available here last week, has arrived in its
final form. Haddow tackles logical possibility, essential necessity, and
thought experiments. Readers may find it interesting to contrast Haddow's
approach to these issues with
Ray's. Haddow's doctoral
degree is in progress at Waterloo.
New Doctoral Dissertation Acquisition, 8/28
Dr. Rick Minto, associate editor of Full Context, completed his
Foundations for a Realist Theory of Causality, in 1997 at the
University of Western Ontario, Canada. Minto argues for the plausibility
and coherence of a realist conception of causality, as opposed to the
anti-realist conception associated with Hume. Feedback is solicited.
New Essays, 8/27
, whose Bachelor's degree in Philosophy is in progress at the
University of Waterloo (Canada), graces the Enlightenment library
with three new pieces:
Tom Radcliffe reviews an ancient history in "Review of Thucydides:
History of the Pelopenesian War".
Kurt Keefner reviews an intellectual biography of our 16th president in "Review of Allen Guelzo's
Abraham Lincoln: Redeemer President". This is Kurt's first
contribution to Enlightenment.
New Essays, 8/23
"Bethell on Objectivist Individualism" is a polemical response to the
conservative journalist Tom Bethell, who has claimed that Ayn Rand's
defense of individualism lacks substantive normative content and is even
compatible with Catholicism (Full
Context, Jan./Feb. 1999). Drawing on
St. Thomas Aquinas's Summa Theologiae, Khawaja argues that the
Objectivist Ethics is not only incompatible with Catholicism, but
fundamentally antithetical to it.
Lewis Little's "Theory of Elementary Waves" has apparently gained some
following in the Objectivist community. In "Problems
with the Theory of Elementary Waves", Tom Radcliffe discusses a number
of technical problems with the paper, and shows that if the theory was
true then no large-scale optical interference phenomenon such as
gravitational lensing would occur. As such phenomena do occur, he
concludes that as well as being obscure and sometimes contradictory, the
theory of elementary waves is false. Dr. Radcliffe holds a Ph.D. in
Nuclear Physics from Queen's University at Kingston (Ontario, Canada,
1991); he has worked in particle physics, and currently develops imaging
software for computer-assisted orthopedic surgery.
Neil Haddow gives us
"Troubles with Moral Twin Earth", a chapter from his Master's thesis.
Recent developments in analytic philosophy have reawakened interest in the
possibility of a posteriori necessity, essences and realism. Haddow
adresses the validity of using logically possible thought experiments as
counterexamples to (seemingly) empirically grounded theories, and argues
that the Kripke-Putnam theory of rigid designation and essences will help
to strengthen empirical theories and discovered essences and, therefore,
lessen the force of logically possible counterexamples. Haddow is
currently working toward his doctorate. The entire MA thesis,
Essentialism, Reference, and Logical Possibility, completed
Winter, 2000, will be posted shortly.
Jamie Mellway offers another course paper, "Augustine's
Theory of Language and Dialectic", which is a comparison of the
dialectic discussed in De Dialectica and the dialectic used in
De Magistro. Mellway expects to complete his B.A. in philosophy
in 2000, and his B.S. in physics within the next twelvemonth.
Sanger Dissertation Update, 8/23
Dr. Larry Sanger's dissertation,
Epistemic Circularity, which was previously available in one
prodigious lump, is now beautifully segmented into several learned
chapters, thanks to the inexhaustible Tom Radcliffe.
Dr. Sanger addresses the question, How can we ultimately justify our
standards of justification? Epistemic circularity is a property of an
argument whose conclusion must be true if one may be said to have a
justified belief in its premises. It is possible, however, that there are
some beliefs that are epistemically rational but nonjustified (i.e.,
neither justified nor unjustified). Such beliefs can support justification
standards without themselves being justified. Dr. Sanger was awarded his
Ph.D. in philosophy early this year.
Fallacious Fun, 8/22 "Fallacies and Other
Faux-Pas, Objecti-Style!" is the original list of examples of
problematic reasoning that Carolyn Ray used in the TOC presentation, "How
To Win Arguments". These examples have been extracted from wearying
conversations and frightening readings to which Carolyn and some of her
friends have been subjected over the years. They are purposely left
unnamed and unqualified for now, so you can test your own logical prowess
and philosophical detection skills. Explanations will be provided
shortly. Feedback (and additional examples!) are welcome. Dr. Ray was
awarded her Ph.D. degree in philosophy in early 1999. Dangerous
amusement: This new addition is especially funny when benighted.
Make sure the sound is turned on.
New Book Review, 8/18
"Did Ayn Rand Write Shakespeare?"
is Tom Radcliffe's satirical review of Who Wrote
Shakespeare by John Michel, exploring the question of what it is
"reasonable" to assume about the limits of human genius.
Research, exposure, distribution, and promotion are our mission. We've
been announcing new additions as they come in. This new section is
dedicated to large completed academic works, written by Objectivists and
friends, and passed by mainstream academic committees. Our worlds are
We announce all new features and essays as we receive them. To make room
for the latest on this front page, we've created the New Releases index to
help you keep up.
Tom has redone John Locke's Essay Concerning
Human Understanding to include the original table of contents,
hyperlinked. It's now available in two forms: many chapter-sized files,
and one huge file. John Locke is a conceptualist, who is frequently
mischaracterized as a representationalist; there is now no excuse for
getting this wrong.
The Locke Mailing List is a read-only list, distributing
brief excerpts from the Essay, thus providing a guided,
Objecti-friendly tour of this large and initially intimidating work. Sign on.
Another New Dissertation Acquisition, 8/13
Dr. Larry Sanger completed his dissertation on Epistemic Circularity this
the next week or two we'll be adding indexing and a hyperlinked table of
contents. Larry, who is known to many as a friendly critic of Objectivist
works, is heavily influenced by the work of common-sense philosopher
Thomas Reid; we'd all do well to get to know these two philosophers.
New Dissertation Acquisition, 8/12
Dr. Stephen Hicks completed his doctoral dissertation in philosophy, Foundationalism:
A Direct Realist and Developmental Account, at Indiana University in
1992. Hicks is philosophy department chair at Rockford College. (He's
also responsible for introducing Dr. Carolyn Ray to Objectivism, which was
no mean feat. Dr.
Ray's dissertation has been missing for a few days due to bad links;
its' back. Thanks for finding it, Jamie.)
Dictionary's second concept on the table is DISTRESS; this thread
was begun by Irfan Kkawaja in connection with his work advising the New
Jersey Association of Biomedical Research. Our first concept was CUTENESS.
The public archives are kept at the same page where new subscribers can
Analytic is discussing the Ray/Radcliffe paper, "Edges, Entities, and
public archives are available; new subscribers are responsible for
New Papers 8/6/ - 8/7/2000
Awake!" If you missed it in TOC's Navigator, you can
here: Carolyn Ray's review of Nathaniel Branden's The Art of Living
Consciously praises the book while taking some shots at the dark side
of Objectivist culture and psychology.
- Tom Radcliffe's original response to Carolyn Ray's dissertation,
which by a series of oversights never made it to the web site before now,
has just been added. "Inside
the Edge" takes issue with Ray's treatment of fictional entities.
Carolyn Ray has been hording a series of papers on Aristotle's
Nicomachean Ethics from an independent study of the book at the
Indiana University Department of Philosophy. Through textual analysis, one
of those papers, "Egoism
in Aristotle's Nicomachean Ethics", considers a peculiar
debate among contemporary commentators over whether Aristotle was an
egoist or an altruist. More like this will be available shortly.
Tom Radcliffe has produced three new book reviews:
- Jamie Mellway offers a commentary,
"Augustine's City of God Book XIX.3-18, 24-8". He also
provides a quick toboggan ride through the medieval world of concepts,
definitions, propositions, and cognition, in three short essays:
"SL I.10-On the Difference between Connotative and Absolute Terms" is a
commentary on Ockham's Summa (Totius) Logicae I.10 concerning the
difference between connotative and absolute categorematic names. "Common
Natures" is a brief commentary on Scotus' theory of common natures.
"Intuitive and Abstract Cognition" is an explanation of the difference
between intuitive and abstract cognition in Ockham with some comparisons
- "Edges, Entities, and
Existence," fundamental new work in objectivist epistemology and
metaphysics, is being undertaken by Carolyn Ray and Tom Radcliffe. This
controversial work-in-progress was presented at The Objectivist Center's
2000 Advanced Seminar. The paper has been receiving alot of attention
since its original delivery, and is spawning new work even as you read
(some of which is forthcoming in our Online Conference in January).
Locally, the La Jolla Ayn Rand Salon is hosting a special critical
discussion of the paper in August, due to Ted O'Connor's enthusiastic
summary of it
during his report on this year's TOC
seminars. (Epithets hurled by seminar participants included "Kantian",
"Pragmatist", "Idealist" and "subjectivist." Decided for yourself and post your comments
- Irfan Khawaja's new paper, "Comments
on Tara Smith's Viable Values: A Study of Life as the Root and Reward
of Morality", provides an introduction to Objectivist egoism for
the philosophically-sophisticated . The paper is of special interest
because of its response to the common mainstream objection that egoism
must fail as a moral theory because it is conditional rather than
categorical, and because of Khawaja's interpretation of the choice to
live. Due to the nature of his audience, Khawaja uses Aristotle's
conception of an axiom (rather than Rand's conception of an axiomatic
concept) to show the binding force of egoism's principles, drawing an
analogy between the choice to live and Aristotle's Principle of
Non-Contradiction--a nice change for Objectivists, and one that may help
to broaden their understanding of egoism. The paper is to be delivered at
the Ayn Rand
Meeting this year.
- Michelle Fram-Cohen has completed our set of chapter-analyses on
Leonard Peikoff's Objectivism: The Philosophy of Ayn Rand with a
critical review of Chapter 8, "Virtue". The orginal set of essays was
developed in the course of a chapter-by-chapter discussion of
OPAR on MDOP in 1993.