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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    Contact us:
    Dr. Carolyn Ray
    Dr. Tom Radcliffe

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  • Notable Quotes From Friends of Enlightenment

    "Take it from me, Carolyn. Enlightenment IS the wave of the future. It's done more (you've done more) in a year (or whatever) than IOS has done since 1995, and JARS will do in the next five years." (Irfan Khawaja)
    "I believe you are doing "God's work," if you'll pardon the metaphor." (Michael Duff)
    "Enlightenment is the most exciting Objectivist organization in existence." (Andrew Breese)
    "Btw, the Enlightenment website is looking really nice. All these new ideas you keep coming up with are making it an incredible resource." (Luis Concepcion)
    "I'm not gratified, or very little, from Kelley's, Bidinotto's, or Stephens' responses to my various suggestions so far. What has been your experience with them, such that you don't have a position and a salary at TOC, like you should?...Why isn't TOC more entrepreneurial and snapping up sharp minds like yours?"
    That'll be an interesting question for the history books.

    "How do you find time to run this website of yours? It is truly massive in terms of ambitiousness...and you keep adding new departments (like resumes). Don't you need time to make a living? It looks like it takes eight hours a day just to keep up with posting and editing and answering stuff!" (Phil Coates)
    (It sure does, and I sure do. Thanks for noticing.)

    "Bravo to the successful Enlightenment Conference! It was an historic event, and future ages will wonder at the marvel, as I wonder at it now. I wasn't able to attend the last sessions today, but I will be reading the transcripts. I enjoyed the excitement of the sessions I was able to attend, though, and look forward to the next conference....Thank you and Tom for the grand hosting and moderating of the conference. Three Cheers!" (Monart Pon)
    (Upon visiting for the first time, and writing with questions about Objectivist responses to Scott Ryan:)"I've noticed in my web perusal that you're on the frontlines of Objectivist scholarship." (Austin Morris)
    (Regarding my request to quote her agreement with my "The Shame of Not Wanting Children") "You know, being a stay at home mom often makes me feel as if my brain is rotting. I adore my children, but wiping noses, making peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and discussing the merits of NOT putting stickers on the cat every day is not exactly intellectually stimulating. So sending someone an e-mail and not only getting a response but being asked to be quoted has just got to be the highlight of my week!" (Jane O'Shaughnessy)
    (From the SOLO forum at FreeRadical)"the Boston objectivist group I participate with (BON at WeTheLiving.com) has several female members, and they are not outnumbered to an egregious extent by the men. Also, there are at least two prominent Objectivist thinkers out there: Carolyn Ray (http://www.supersaturated.com) and Tara Smith." (Sourav K. Mandal)
    "Just wanted to drop a note to thank you for organizing the online conference. I got some nice feedback on my paper out of it, and really enjoyed the discussion. Nice work!" (Matt Zwolinski)
    " I'm working hard on using "Ray's Method" of keeping the chunks of the argument separated and clear and distinct, and it seems to be WORKING. I'm not getting the "organic wholeness" that my writing has tended toward otherwise, and the argument appears to be growing coherently. Your work and ideas are everywhere: this is the paper I've wanted to write for ten years, and I couldn't be writing it if I wasn't writing it with you. And the role of Enlightenment in giving an END to such work, a venue, a purpose, is hugely important. Real scholars work in communities, and you're creating THE scholarly community of objectivists." (Tom Radcliffe)
    "Thanks for the conference. It was a great deal of fun as well as instructive. May there be many more!" (Frank Forman)
    "This is how progress is made, one intelligent person at a time-- and it can ONLY be made via Enlightenment." (Irfan Khawaja)
    " I am a general reader, but particularly interested in the study of Objectivism. Books treating Objectivism at the academic/technical level are lacking (one such book is David Kelley's The Evidence of the Senses). I hope you would enlarge your Ph D thesis and have it published so that Objectivism could be studied at a more advanced level. I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate you all on the success of the Enlightment website for giving readers access to academic papers related to the study of Objectivism which even the Objectivist Center could not match. Great work!!" (kwokso)
    "By the way, I should mention that I found your paper on having children to be very salient. It's a topic that I plan on discussing with my girlfriend ... and your paper helped me to organize my views a little better. Keep up the good work." (Andrew Taranto)
    "> I visited the Enlightenment site today for the first > time in several weeks. And, GODDAMN! Y'all have been workin'! > I think the site really looks great, and I really applaud > your seriousness and candor and general feistiness in dealing > with these ideas. I feel totally left out, I feel compelled > to contribute, but alas, I am presently (nec.) swimming in > Modal Logic and Ancient Greek translation problems. Moreover, > I will be in this selfsame pool into the foreseeable future. > I have been thinking about a number of points in the Obj. > ethics lately, and I want (eventually) to write on these > issues. But JESUS CHRIST! It will take me a year to > read all the friggin' stuff you guys have posted... > Keep up the good work - > You guys are 'jes bout ready to overtake TOC on the scholarly > front ..." (Jason Raibley)
    ("About" to overtake? Check your premises. But thanks for noticing.)

    "You guys have done a great job with the site. It's a really useful resource." (Will Wilkinson)
    "I think my aim is simply to learn how to write better in a scholarly style. I'm sure an objectivist could write good academic papers without having to mention Rand, Branden, objectivism, etc. (as a matter of strategy). Having something(s) published on your site would be more a matter of personal satisfaction, i.e., having something in [virtual] print would be, I think, a good pretext for writing. But I see writing something good as a necessary condition for having something published. So whether or not I have a paper published, I want to write something I could include in an application to demonstrate that I would make a promising grad student." (Andrew Taranto)
    "But while I have your eyes, Carolyn, have I told you how wonderful your "How To Win Arguments" presentation is? I've listened to the mp3 like 5 times, and I've played it to impress people who are otherwise hostile to rationalism. I meant to tell you this weeks ago, but I never got around to it. More pessimistic than you by nature, I've given up on "Objectivists" as a rule, but the work you've done is extraordinary.

    The people who need it most won't likely thank you for it, so I will. Cheers!" (Michael Duff)

    (You're right! They don't. So I am grateful to you.)

    "I just read your very interesting announcements, and I want to wish you every success. You said one thing that especially delighted me:

    << . . . my primary goal in obtaining the journal from Stephen Boydstun was to assist students with their careers.>>

    This is as important a goal as I can think of, and one very dear to my heart. So much help is given to those who lack -- lack intelligence, lack creativity, lack ability -- and so little to those who have something important to say or to create. I think particularly of Roy Childs, who was a brilliantly talented writer of encyclopedic knowledge, but could not work at what he loved and what the world would have profited from, because he needed to earn a living at something more financially rewarding. If you can help such young people, financially or otherwise, you are doing a very good deed." (Barbara Branden)

    (Someone we know once said that "if you want to help them you will not be stopped." That wasn't quite accurate; a lot of people have tried very hard to stop me. But I'm very, very stubborn. And I thank you for your kind words and encouragement.)

    "You'll be happy to learn that one of your essays is on next semester's syllabus for "Basic Philosophical Issues". I always devote one class to the morality of truth-telling, and have them read the first chapter of David Nyberg's "The Varnished Truth," which defends lying as necessary for social life. I'm going to have them also read your essay on the social liar and honest brute for the other side of the issue. I'll give you the update when i get to it." (Irfan Khawaja)

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