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    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 name, essay title, topic, or email list, 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.

    Congratulations! You're at the Enlightenment Site's New Server! 12/29/2000
    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:


    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:

    • mail
    • telnet and ftp access (SSH is fine)
    • perl compiler
    • cgi and custom scripting permission
    • subdomains (supersaturated comes with three, one of which is Enlightenment)
    • 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 50MB)
    • 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 and Peace))

    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.

    Thank you!

    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 token payment.

    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 always dark....

    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 in January.

    Michelle Fram-Cohen, M.A., considers the Scott/Amundsen race to the South Pole and the subsequent portrayals of each man, in "Review 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. In "Affirmative 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 identity.

    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 "Short Commentary on a Selection from The Critique of Pure Reason, Transcendental Dialectic".

    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 Meeting application.

    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.
    "How", 11/3/2000
    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, 11/1/2000
    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 Contest, 10/27/2000
    Carolyn Ray, Ph.D., in a neverending attempt to make as many enemies as 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 original list 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, 10/27/2000
    Ayn Rand, B.A., graduated from the University of Leningrad in 1924. In her novella, Anthem, 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.
    Reminder: The deadline for expressing interest in delivering a paper is November 1. Enlightenment's First Annual Meeting
    La Jolla, California June 3rd - June 7th, 2001
    Paper Proposal Guidelines ... || Applications ...

    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 essay Strong 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
    Irfan Khawaja's "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. Khawaja 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, Bryan Register's Enlightenment list, Analytic, will begin discussion of two chapters of Carolyn Ray's doctoral dissertation. To prepare for the discussion, please 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 Analytic's archives are public. Sign on.

    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 - 10/10/2000
    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
    Brett Steenbarger, Ph.D., considers 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 Enlightenment.

    Another New Search Engine, 10/4/2000
    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 cyberenvironment that all the kids are talking about.

    New Plans, 10/4/2000
    Philosophy At Amazon
    Search Now:
    In Association with Amazon.com
    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 1999.
    Call for Papers Enlightenment's 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. Details...

    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 on.

    • 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.

    • "Smoking, 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
    Latest Releases

    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 submissions.

    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 concept 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 awarded his Master of Arts degree in Philosophy this year by the University of Waterloo. His master's thesis was published here on August 28th, 2000.

    New Essay, 9/4

    "Man 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.

    News, 9/2

    TDO's hero of the day last week was Carolyn Ray, Ph.D. And this week, it's John Locke again. John Locke is Ray's epistemological hero; his Essay 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. TDO's 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 Tel-Aviv University, 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, Essentialism, 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 doctoral dissertation, 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

    Jamie Mellway , 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

    Irfan Khawaja's "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.

    New Section, 8/16: Ph.D. Dissertations, M.A. Theses, and B.A. Theses

    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 merging.

    New Section, 8/16: Recent Releases

    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.

    New Locke Mailing List and Update, 8/15: Locke's Essay

    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 year. In 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.)

    Our Discussions

    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 sign on.

    Analytic is discussing the Ray/Radcliffe paper, "Edges, Entities, and Existence". The public archives are available; new subscribers are responsible for reading them. Sign on

    New Papers 8/6/ - 8/7/2000

    • "Sleepers, Awake!" If you missed it in TOC's Navigator, you can read it 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 to Scotus.

    • "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 Society of the American Philosophical Association Eastern Division 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.