- Hardcover: 128 pages
- Publisher: Transaction Publishers; 2nd ed. edition (December 5, 2000)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0765800608
- ISBN-13: 978-0765800602
- Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 0.6 x 9.3 inches
- Shipping Weight: 13 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,315,173 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
The Contested Legacy of Ayn Rand: Truth and Toleration in Objectivism 2nd ed. Edition
Use the Amazon App to scan ISBNs and compare prices.
What other items do customers buy after viewing this item?
"The Contested Legacy of Ayn Rand represents a precious contribution to the literature of reason." -- Roderick T. Long, Professor of Philosophy, Auburn University
"His arguments are bold yet fair; sophisticated yet fully accessible. They are a very significant contribution to Objectivist thought." -- Stephen Cox, Professor of Literature University of California at San Diego --This text refers to the Paperback edition.
About the Author
David Kelley is the executive director of the Objectivist Center. Educated at Princeton University, earlier in his career he taught philosophy at Brandeis University and Vassar College. He has written widely on the subject of libertarianism including The Evidence of the Senses; The Art of Reasoning; and is co-author of The Logical Structure of Objectivism.
If you are a seller for this product, would you like to suggest updates through seller support?
Top Customer Reviews
This 2000 book is a revision and expansion of Kelley's 1990 monograph Truth and Toleration; he has also written books such as The Art of Reasoning (Third Edition),The Evidence of the Senses: A Realist Theory of Perception,A Life of One's Own: Individual Rights and the Welfare State, etc.
Although Kelley was an active Objectivist (he was even selected to read Rand's favorite poem at her funeral), his "refusal to denounce Barbara Branden's The Passion of Ayn Rand, and his openness to libertarianism (which he views as "two sides of the same committment to reason, objectivity, and respect for the independence of others as individuals") "led to a conflict with other leaders of the movement." (Pg. 10-11) After being exiled from the movement, his 1990 monograph "was my attempt to answer the arguments... (and) provide the full philosophical case for my own position." (Pg. 11)
His key idea is that "while Objectivism is a magnificent system of ideas, it is not a closed system." (Pg. 71) For example, later philosophers "will address issues that Ayn Rand did not consider, and put forward ideas that were not hers." (Pg. 77) He argues that Objectivism "has an essential ... set of basic doctrines that distinguishes it from other viewpoints... anyone in substantial agreement with those doctrines is an Objectivist." (Pg. 85)
He offers other criticisms of Objectivism; for example, he observes that he has met Objectivists "who casually denounce Kant as the most evil man in history without having read a word of what he wrote." (Pg. 57)
Regardless of which side (if any) of the TAS/ARI divide one is on, this book is challenging and provocative reading for anyone interested in Ayn Rand, Objectivism, and/or Libertarianism.
Moreover, this book serves as a manifesto and rally-point for Objectivists who are reasonable people. There is every reason for healthy, reasonable human beings to be interested in Ayn Rand's thought. She outlines a secular, life-affirming, benevolent morality that offers valuable, principled, fundamental guidance in making decisions. She also has many interesting philosophical theories on, e.g., the nature of historical and cultural change, concept-formation, philosophical methodology, and politics.
But historically, Rand's followers have been an odd cult of self-effacing, thought-policing, paranoid sycophants. Many of the Objectivists I have met were, well, blustering, inarticulate, wrathful nutcases who liked Rand mostly for her wholesale condemnation of contemporary society. These individuals hated all other people (and Rand did, too); they also hated themselves (Rand, in her worst moments, gives them an excuse for doing so). So basically, Rand's writings gave them a great swift sword to exercise in their dealings with others. These sorts of people delight, above all, not in creating values or living happily and productively, but in acquiring and exercising the power to CONDEMN, EXORCISE, REBUKE, VILLIFY, and EXCOMMUNICATE all of mankind. Rand gives them this power, in the form of rationalizations for militant misanthropy and unreflective, religious "commitment" to her ethical dicta (with no knowledge of their basis in reality). Such Objectivists - concretized in the person of Peter Schwartz - are a variation on the mentality of Jehovah's Witnesses and the Hezbollah.
Well, Kelley is - in letter and in spirit - the antithesis of this approach to Rand's work. He is a sane human being who wants to critically examine arguments and views. He thinks that Rand's fundamental framework is true and the proper superstructure for philosophical inquiry, but he is open and honest and invites the reader to explore philosophical issues in this spirit. David Kelley - more than Peikoff, Binswanger, or Schwartz - knows the meaning of the passage in Atlas Shrugged that reads:
"The vilest form of self-abasement and self-destruction is the subordination of your mind to the mind of another, the acceptance of an authority over your brain, the acceptance of his assertions as facts, his say-so as truth, his edicts as middle-man between your consciousness and your existence." (AS, 1019).
If the "Dark Side" students of Objectivism at the Ayn Rand Institute ever discovered the meaning of this passage, that organization would of necessity cease to exist.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
including index and notes. It is very understandable and the prose is excellent.Read more