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"you'll be hard-pressed to find a serious philosopher who takes Ayn Rand seriously". Why is this the case? This is the case because Rand offered very few philosophical arguments. I actually do not know of any particular arguments she did offer, but I will assume that she at least attempted to offer some. Is her work lacking rigor? In the analytic ...


30

Ayn Rand isn't well liked because her work doesn't fit into the mold of what academia deems acceptable philosophy. This makes perfect sense when you understand that Ayn Rand's view of philosophy is different (she wasn't trying to meet the standards of academic philosophy). Rand views philosophy as an indispensable component of human life, while academics ...


20

There are a number of interlocking reasons. First, as you point out, she wrote fiction, not philosophical papers. Second, she did not appear to engage in any substantive way with the prior philosophical work done on the subjects that interested her. Her only connection to the philosophical tradition (writ large) is what we can charitably call a highly ...


15

I think there's a simpler explanation for why Rand is generally ignored in academia. She loathes Kant (presumably would also Berkeley and the British Empiricists) and defines herself in perfect opposition to him. She refuses to even acknowledge the possibility that he might be right, and takes all of his questions to be ridiculous and evil pseudoquestions. ...


11

Well, that depends. If we use Ayn Rands fictional work as a basis for reasonable behavior, we could look at the behavior of Howard Roark rather than John Galt. When asked by another architect for help on a project, Roark simply did the work because he could, without worrying about whether he would get credit or money. So Roark would probably do the project ...


11

Your question is answered (and questioned) in Ayn Rand: Academic reaction on Wikipedia. The article gives reasons why many academics have dismissed her work. It also notes that other academics have taken her work seriously. (As for the point about fiction -- Rand also wrote nonfiction (though not any academic papers that I'm aware of). And writing fiction ...


10

The most significant person would probably have to be Leonard Peikoff, the author of Objectivism: The Philosophy of Ayn Rand. The book's writing was supervised and authorized by Ayn Rand, but Peikoff provided a structure and clarity to Objectivism that Ayn Rand never did on paper. Ayn Rand's work exists spread across op-eds, articles, and speeches. The ...


9

First, selfishness does not mean putting yourself before the masses. It means doing what is in your rational self interest. In order to make your life better you have to try to discover stuff about how the world works and how to change the world to make your life better. Rationality is about accepting the responsibility of judging issues yourself, rejecting ...


9

I don't want to sound (too) glib, but you'll be hard-pressed to find a serious philosopher who takes Ayn Rand seriously. The only significant philosopher I can think of who bothered to engage with Rand's work seriously is Robert Nozick, who only did so in order to point out some of the flaws in her argumentation. Rand's work, like that of Robert Pirsig (...


8

Ayn Rand wrote political rhetoric not philosophy. It is intended to provoke emotion not thought and targets the weakest points of her opponents and ignores the failings of its own. Her work of philosophy was built upon her fictional world and appeals to emotion. Her attempted foray into philosophical work(Essays written to various publications) was ...


8

I think you are misunderstanding the way the game is played. You're not going to find some school of thought which is against objectivism; rather, you are going to find that all schools of thought (excepting objectivism) hold other views, many of which will disagree with the tenets of objectivism. The question, reframed, is: Do Ayn Rand's arguments obtain? ...


7

The issue has been explained in The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy's entry on Ayn Rand: She wrote polemical, philosophical essays, often in response to questions by fans of Atlas Shrugged and The Fountainhead; lectured on college campuses; and gave radio and television interviews. Her views of past and contemporary Anglo-American philosophy, however, ...


6

Dr. Stephen Hicks also sites Rand as an influence. He has produced analysis that references Objectivist material and wrote the entry for Objectivism in the "Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy". http://www.stephenhicks.org/publications/objectivism/


6

The comments on this blog post on Brian Leiter's blog provide many good resources. A lot of the problem here is that no Academic can be bothered to take the time to debunk Rand. This is something I can understand but which is still unfortunate. This Mike Huemer post I find to be a particularly good take down of objectivist ethics. Robert Nozick, an Arch-...


6

First, Objectivist principles are intended to be rational guidelines for maximizing long-term happiness. Accidents and emergencies are, by definition, exceptional events, and behavioral principles aren't always applicable. Secondly, Objectivism is against altruism in the sense of an obligation to sacrifice to others. It isn't globally opposed to acts of ...


6

I like parts of Cort Ammon's answer, but I want to give a slightly different perspective. I want to answer as if what the OP really wants is a roadmap of things to do to get his or her idea to be taken up by the academic community, that is, have the idea discussed, argued about, taught in university courses and seminars, and have other people to write and ...


6

Objectivism is inconsistent philosophical theory Alisa Rosenbaum (Ayn Rand) created Objectivism in an attempt to justify her political ideas and to an extent explain her literary works . Main theme of her work is idea of so called ethical egoism - sentient being should act firstly and foremost in their own self-interest, but should avoiding harming others ...


5

This is the Sam Harris route to ignoring the difficulties with defining an objective morality (I assign it to him as he was, as far as I can tell, the most vocal and prominent early advocate of this position). It's really easy to define an objective morality, actually. It's just really difficult to justify it. Here's an objective morality: that which ...


5

Rand's Objectivisms' central tenets are that reality exists independently of consciousness, that human beings have direct contact with reality through sense perception, that one can attain objective knowledge from perception through the process of concept formation and inductive logic. Rand didn't say much about induction except that she didn't know how it ...


5

Following Ayn Rand's model by gaining influence outside of academia isn't an insult to professional philosophers unless you make it out to be that way. To get the attention of academics, maybe you should simply start speaking up. "Look at this, Dr. ___! Wouldn't it just make more sense if ___?" If you approach them quietly, they may not give you credit, ...


4

Failing your class is not a rational option. There is a metaphysical primary: reality. In reality you can't fail the class so you must suffer. If you wanted to strike, which you seem to think is the only application of the philosophy, you must plan for it accordingly including your future. You're confused, and it's because your applying the storyline and not ...


4

Presumably, yes. But this is why Objectivism is not taken very seriously. It opposes such harm, yet also and more ardently, it would seem, opposes the sort of government apparatus that could restrict environmental harms. The whole philosophy starts off with a bundle of simple-minded Aristotelean principles and whenever it runs into conflicts or ...


4

Rand defines capitalism as follows: “Capitalism is a social system based on the recognition of individual rights, including property rights, in which all property is privately owned.” (Rand, Ayn, Capitalism the Unknown Ideal). In such a system initiation of physical force is banned from human relationships because of the emphasis on the protection of ...


3

view the world and its mysteries from a human perspective Different representations of reality are no more or less objective for there are always invariants. In the physical sciences, we see this clearly. For example, in the Special Theory of Relativity, elapsed time and distance are relative to the observer's frame of reference. However, the proper time ...


3

Although Rand used her characters as a medium for her philosophy, this does not mean that they can be read as philosophical dialogues (like Plato's, for instance); rather, they are still works of fiction, and include the rhetorical devices (such as plot, character development, etc) commonly found in novels. In this case, this means that we do not have ...


3

Some of Leonard Peikoff's work is very good, such as "Understanding Objectivism." Elliot Temple has made some improvements on Objectivism, such as correcting some problems with Objectivist epistemology: http://www.curi.us/1581-epistemology-without-weights-and-the-mistake. See also: http://fallibleideas.com/. George Reisman's book "Capitalism" explains a ...


3

The term "Randian" is very much a slur in comparison to the term "Objectivist." Think of it like referring to the "Tea Party" people (or really anyone from the right) as "Teabaggers." The perception is that Ayn Rand had the type of personality that did not accept disagreement among the people she associated herself with, and this was true to an extent. ...


3

While I like Lucretius diplomatic answer, there's also a Randian one that is more likely to arouse hostility itself - an answer that should be obvious to anyone standing on Objectivist theory. I take "Rand is ignored by academics" to mean "Rand is ignored as a philosopher by established philosophers." - as opposed to IT professionals, for example. I use ...


3

The principle an Objectivist would emphasize for you is private property (and more fundamentally self-ownership). An Objectivist would argue that there are perfectly ethical occasions where force is the only rational course of action, such as in defending against attackers. So, the characterization of the Objectivist position you've put forward isn't quite ...


3

Bohm believed in an objective reality that had a hidden part which is difficult for us to measure, observe or think about, but not impossible. That made Bohm's thought (although he had been socialist by mistake) very similar to the philosophical views of Ayn Rand.


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