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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  • Enlightenment is in Business! 3/31/2001
    I've taken the plunge at last: Enlightenment is now a profitable venture. Capital is now being raised through the sale of memberships, services, and specialty items. In addition, a Scholarship Fund will accept tax-deductible donations and will provide financial support for students. Please see the Membership Packages and Services pages for more details.
    Secret Transcripts, 3/27/2001
    What really happened at the Online Conference? Now it can be revealed. The secret transcripts should be read with discretion, and quoted in unofficial biographies for the next 400 years. When you make history, you have to expect this sort of thing.
    Sixth Online Conference Session, 3/25/2001
    The raw transcript of the session with Ted O'Connor is here. Discussion is continuing with both Register and O'Connor, for those who like to watch. If you have a password already, you may join in.
    Fifth Online Conference Session, 3/25/2001
    The raw transcript of the session with Bryan Register is ready.
    Fourth Online Conference Session, 3/24/2001
    The raw transcript of the session with Matt Zwolinski is ready.
    Third Online Conference Session, 3/24/2001
    The raw transcript of session with Agnes Koos is now available.
    Second Online Conference Session, 3/23/2001
    The raw transcript of the session with Irfan Khawaja is ready.
    First Online Conference Session, 3/23/2001
    The raw transcript of session with Dr. Chris Sciabarra is now available. This transcript will be preserved for use by objective historians, and a cleaner version (with the names all changed to 'Prof One' and 'Student Four', etc.) will also be produced for orthodox fanatics.
    Instructions for Online Conference, 3/22/2001
    • When you leave the conference, kindly close your browser window! Sign in again when you return.
    • Participants: You need a username and password. Write to conference_OF_supersaturated.com to obtain them. Participants should sign in at http://enlightenment.supersaturated.com/cgi/talkin.cgi. You will not see your own comments show up immediately; they are sent to the moderator first. If you are only interested in watching, you may do so without a password by following the instructions for "Spectators", below. You are welcome to practice now to make sure you've got it right; please desist an hour before the conference begins. Kindly close your browser window when you're done! Sign in when you return.
    • Spectators: You do not need a password if you just want to listen. Go to http://enlightenment.supersaturated.com/onlinecon/speaker.html. Your browser will reload the page every 7 seconds so that you can watch the discussion, but you will not be able to submit comments. To do that, see the instructions for "Participants", above. Please bookmark this page, and close your browser window when you leave!
    • In Case of Emergency: If there are server problems, and you are unable to access the site during the conference, please go to http://w2.wetheliving.com/ to get an emergency update (explanations, anticipated wait time, reschedule, etc).

    Cheers! 3/18/2001
    Michelle Fram-Cohen, M.A., has been accepted to the Ph.D. program at the The Union Institute, to pursue her work in Translation Theory. Fram-Cohen will attempt to show why and how translation between human languages is possible, using Rand's theory of concept formation. Her essay, "Reality, Language, Translation" will be her starting point. The Union Institute in Cleveland, Ohio, is dedicated to special academic programs for working adults. Students do most of the academic work off-campus, but they still work with an advisor and attend seminars in various locations across the U.S. Great work, Michelle!
    New Discussion List, Moderator Needed, 3/18/2001
    Carolyn Ray's list, Objectivism and Computer Science, (ocs), will be resurrected this spring. The main topic to reopen the list will be Dr. Tom Radcliffe's book-in-progress, Narrative Programming. Original archives are being prepared for the web, and will be public. If you'd like to moderate this list, please write to ocs-moderator_OF_supersaturated.com to discuss your qualifications.
    Attention Graduating Seniors, New Students, 3/18/2001
    Graduating this spring? Accepted to a new academic program? Enlightenment would love to tell the world. Please gladden the hearts of our readers with your announcement. Include any biographical information you'd like us to know, such as what you plan to do next, how you use the Enlightenement resources, what you think of that Rand chick, etc. Take advantage of the Resumes Section. And don't be modest! Share your theses, term papers, and class essays with knowledge-hungry eyes. See the Submission Guidelines for formatting and emailing instructions.
    Oops, 3/18/2001
    The Recent Releases page has had an erroneous link to Carolyn Ray's "How To Win Arguments" mp3 for Galt-knows-how-long. Here's the correct link for the mp3 download. Apologies.
    Cheers! 3/16/2001
    Enlightenment is proud to announce that Walter Foddis, B.Com., B.A., has been accepted by the distinguished M.A.-Ph.D Clinical Psychology Program at the University of Waterloo, in Ontario, Canada, and will begin study Fall, 2001. Foddis is quite excited about the prospect of pursuing potentially ground-breaking self-esteem research. With Joanne Wood, he will have the opportunity to study self-esteem in relation to such factors as success and failure and how it regulates mood. With Mark Zanna and Steven Spencer, there is the potential to collaborate in their implicit self-esteem investigations. It is a promising start to his academic career in psychology. It is Foddis's hope that his work will help Nathaniel Branden's theory of self-esteem to gain some serious recognition within academia. Congratulations, Walter!
    Online Conference Schedule, 3/11/2001
    All times are Eastern Standard Time:
    March 23, Friday, Chris Sciabarra, Objectivism And Academe, 2:30-4:30 Irfan Khawaja, Comment on Viable Values, 5:30-?
    March 24, Saturday, Agnes Koos, Value and Science, 11:00-1:00 Matt Zwolinski, Force and Flourishing, 2:00-?
    March 25, Sunday, Bryan Register, Facts, 11:00-1:00 Ted O'Connor, Entities, Concepts, and Propositions, 2:00-?

    New Article, 3/10/2001
    In her first contribution to Enlightenment, Frances Parker considers the phenomenon of Christianity among African Americans, and argues that the chief factor responsible for its ubiquitous influence is a particular brand of fallacious reasoning, in "African-American Atheism and the Appeal to Culture". Her novel, Bad Faith, debuts in May, 2001. Parker is currently working toward her Bachelor of Arts degree in Philosophy.
    New Book, 3/6/2001
    In Narrative Programming, Tom Radcliffe, Ph.D, P.Eng., describes how to look at software engineering from a point of view gleaned from the structured text (SGML/XML) community. By exploiting the expressive power of XML and the conceptualist view that the proper categorization of any part of reality is relative to the purposes of the subject, he shows how the internal structure of an application can be understood in terms of--and generated from--the structure of the documents it is designed to operate on. This work is an example of "generative programming", which is the next wave in software engineering practice.
    A Complete Set, 3/5/2001
    Carolyn Ray, Ph.D., has finally added the first essay in the series of essays from an independent study of Aristotle's Nicomachean Ethics. In "Eudaimonia in Aristotle's Nicomachean Ethics", the foundations are accidentally laid for the case that Aristotle's implicit ethical doctrine is egoism.
    Still A Nice Birthday Present, 3/4/2001
    StudyWeb Academic Excellence Award Consider well what it means that this site has won an award for academic excellence from an organization that supplies research materials for students, grade one to post-graduate. We have reason to be proud--and reason to hope. Let us do the dance of joy!

    Oh, yes, and it is my birthday today, which is why it was nice to get the award just now. More dancing ensues.

    New Poetry Section, and a Limited Edition, 3/1/2001
    Tom Radcliffe opens the new poetry section with "Selections from Dawn Music", a book of his own poetry. Several copies of this limited edition are still available for purchase.
    New Treatise, 2/28/2001
    We have been waiting a very long time time, but Aristotle has finally submitted one of his later works, found at the bottom of his sock drawer on a badly damaged disk. Thanks to Tom's data-retrieval skills, we're able to present The Metaphysics. In this treatise, Aristotle finds that Form, Substance, Matter, and the combination of Form and Matter are all said in many ways, demonstrating the validity of the method of objectivity and the truth of conceptualism.
    New Treat, 2/28/2001
    How beautiful is this? I love it when my own web site surprises me. Did you know that the Google search engine installed on this site opens the PDF's and plops out a lovely html version right in the search window? No need for the nasty Adobe Acrobats to come tumbling out. Click 'Go' now, then click on 'Text Version'.

    Thank you, Google people. May your name be said in many ways.

    View Minto's Dissertation

    New Essay, 2/27/2001
    Neil Haddow, M.A., considers the concept of "homo economicus" in "Economic Man, Minimal Benevolence, and the Inadequacy of the Preference Satisfaction Theory of Well-Being", arguing that an idealized version of well-being as preference satisfaction requires a substantive notion of the good in order to make sense of the claim that a certain course of action is really in a person's interest. Haddow is a doctoral student at the University of Waterloo in Canada.
    New Essay, 2/27/2001
    Luis Concepcion has unearthed an early essay, "Distorted Memories Cause Problems for Locke's Self-Same Theory of Personal Identity", in which he takes issue with John Locke's theory of personal identity. Concepcion earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Philosophy at the University of South Florida in 1999, and he intends to begin graduate studies this fall.
    New Online Conference Essay, 2/27/2001
    Agnes Koos holds a degree in philosophy and history granted by the University Babes-Bolyai Cluj in Romania. Her first contribution to Enlightenment, "Value and Science" , attempts to justify scientific approaches in the study of morals as against irrational approximating, from religious revelation to hermeneutics' Verstehen. This piece opens the Sociology section, and will be defended during the Online Conference. It constitutes the second chapter of Koos's forthcoming book on value theory and value formation, Horizons of Value Conceptions; chapter 4 of this work will consider Objectivist value theory along with other epistemological/ethical theories. Koos lives in Budapest, Hungary.
    New Short Story, 2/26/2001
    Russell Madden's story, "The Greatest Good", takes the idea of a military draft to its logical conclusion. Madden was granted the degree of Master of Arts in Communication Studies in 1990 by the University of Iowa, and is a prolific freelance writer.
    Reminder: March 1st Meeting Application Deadline, 2/25/2001
    Please note that applications for participants not presenting scheduled papers are due midnight Pacific Time, March 1st. The deadline for critiques of material available on the web has been extended to March 15th. Applications will be accepted after these deadlines, but low-cost student housing will go first and external housing will be increasingly difficult to obtain in La Jolla as the summer approaches. For more details see the Meeting News.
    New Academic Essays, 2/16/2001
    Will Wilkinson, M.A., currently pursuing his doctoral degree in Philosophy at the University of Maryland (not UNI as previously stated--oops!), adds two of his graduate works to our collection:
    In Aristotle on Dialectic and Demonstration", Wilkinson addresses the question whether aristotle's method consists of dialectic, or a combination of intuitive induction and demonstrative argument.

    In "Direct Reference and the Export Gambit", he considers objections to the direct reference theory of meaning or "Millianism," arguing that the main difficulty for Millians lies in explaining the apparent failure of substitutivity in opaque contexts.

    These are Wilkinson's first contributions to Enlightenment since his 1995 analysis of chapter 2 of Introduction to Objectivist Epistemology. Nice to see you again, Will!
    New Academic Essay, 2/16/2001
    Jamie Mellway explains the structure of Immanuel Kant's Critique of Pure Reason by means of an analogy to general logic, arguing that a critique of pure reason is a special logic concerned with the form of experience rather than the form of understanding in general. His essay, "The Form of Experience: The Transcendental Analogy", was accepted this year as part of his undergraduate Philosophy degree coursework at the University of Waterloo in Canada.
    Online Conference Opening Address, 2/15/2001
    Chris Sciabarra, Ph.D, contributes the opening address at the Online Conference. The text of that address, "Objectivism and Academe: The Progress, The Politics, and The Promise", is his first contribution to Enlightenment. Dr. Sciabarra is Visiting Scholar in the Department of Politics at New York University. Welcome!
    Prepare Yourself for the TOC Seminar, 2/15/2001
    Shawn Klein, M.A., will lecture on the egoism/altruism debate over Aristotle's ethical doctrine. If you will attend the TOC Summer Seminar, you can prepare for his lecture by reading Carolyn Ray's "Egoism in Aristotle's Nicomachean Ethics", accepted as part of an independent study on Aristotle's ethics by ancient philosophy professor Dr. Michael Morgan at Indiana University in 1989 and published here in 2000. Carolyn's doctoral degree in Philosophy was granted by IU in 1999.
    Online Conference Paper, 2/13/2001
    Irfan Khawaja's "Comments on Tara Smith's Viable Values: A Study of Life as the Root and Reward of Morality," is scheduled to be discussed during the Online Conference. This paper has been on the Enlightenment site since August, and was delivered at the American Philosophical Association meeting in December. Irfan is a doctoral candidate in Philosophy at the University of Notre Dame.
    Revised Submission Guidelines, 2/12/2001
    If you will be submitting essays, resumes, or other materials to Enlightenment, please be sure to check the updated guidelines. Thank you.
    New Resumes Section, 2/12/2001
    As promised, the new Resumes Section has opened with the first resume submission. Resumes should be sent to carolyn_OF_supersaturated.com for consideration for this section. Please follow essay submission guidelines.
    New Online Conference Essay, 2/11/2001
    Ted O'Connor's first essay contribution to Enlightenment is a paper to be defended during the Online Conference. "Entities, Concepts, and Propositions" presents a mathematical, computational framework for modeling some of the functions of conscious agents. Ted will graduate this year with a Bachelor of Science degree, majoring in Computer Science and minoring in Japanese. (Ted also hosts Enlightenment's email lists and provides technical advice for the web site. )
    New Online Conference Essay, 2/11/2001
    In a paper to be defended during the Online Conference, Matt Zwolinski explores the connection between the Objectivist conception of political rights and the initiation of physical force, in "Force and Flourishing in the Objectivist Political Philosophy", arguing that, contrary to Objectivist claims, the initiation of force is neither necessary nor sufficient for the violation of libertarian rights. Matt is pursuing his doctorate in Philosophy at the University of Arizona. He was granted the degrees of Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy and Bachelor of Science in Political Science by Santa Clara University in 1997. This is Matt's first contribution to the Enlightenment library. Welcome!
    New Essays, 2/11/2001
    Tom Radcliffe, Ph.D., P.Eng., adds two new essays.

    In What is Poetry?" he argues that the defining characteristic of poetry is rhythmical structure, and that poetry has a role both as a source of sensual pleasure and as a medium particularly well suited for capturing moments of time. This essay is based on Radcliffe's presentation at the Boston Objectivism Salon in November.

    In her essay "Does the Term 'Man' Include All Human Beings?", Carolyn Ray presents a single argument against using the word 'man' as a generic term, based on an analysis of the substitution of generic for specific terms. In this new essay, "Arguments Against Gender Neutral Language," Radcliffe examines criticisms of this argument, and then takees on arguments against gender-neutral language generally. Radcliffe's intent is to provide a comprehensive list of the strongest arguments possible against the use of gender-neutral language--specifically with regard to the generic use of the term 'man'--as well as analyses of these arguments. This essay is submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for participation in the Annual Meeting in La Jolla, where Dr. Radcliffe intends to present papers with Dr. Ray on quantum mechanics and propositions.

    Advertise on the site, 2/10/2001

    The time has come for Enlightenment to sell ad space. If you'd like to advertise on the site, please send inquiries to carolyn_OF_supersaturated.com. Ads must be text-only, in the interests of download speed and a peaceful research environment. Show your support for the very fountainhead of reason and cultural change: Objectivist scholars in academia.

    News, 2/8/2001

    Enlightenment is back up, as are Carolyn and her computer (which latter broke just as DNS changes were finally making it through the whole internet, and then got diagnosed, sent for, backed up, mailed in, lost, found, repaired, ERASED, mailed back, reconfigured, with unrecoverable losses on non-Enlightenment stuff).

    The online conference was unavoidably delayed, since there was no place to have it and there was no way to publish the papers to be delivered. We are rescheduling now, and I will announce the new date here.

    The Annual Meeting is still on schedule. If you were unable to submit your materials due to the DNS or email problems, please submit them before February 14th (Wednesday) midnight so that I can publish them. All other dates and deadlines for the Meeting are good.

    Where's Objectivity? Still on its way. I'm looking for an Assistant Editor to help with the next issue. Preference will go to students enrolled in a philosophy program. Please write to me if you're interested in adding professional journal experience to your resume.

    The current issue and the next will be delivered to subscribers who have already paid. Thereafter, Objectivity will no longer be available by subscription, but will instead be published as a periodical trade paperback that can be ordered from the publisher forever after. This solves many problems at once for me while ensuring that the articles are available in print for all eternity. I'll also be able to include more papers in each issue, and one of the things I'm most interested in doing is polishing and printing pieces that are now only available on the web site, as well as including pieces submitted exclusively to the journal. Subsidized (i.e., free) student issues will still be provided to essay contest winners. Submissions to the contests should follow the normal submission guidelines, and should indicate the writer's level of education and age. (All topics are considered; if you need suggestions, let me know.)

    What else has Enlightenment done since its birth? Check the Old Releases page and the Latest Releases page.

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