Paul's Here

Burgess Laughlin: July 4, 1944 - August 29, 2014

8 posts in this topic

Burgess Laughlin was my best friend, a guide, a mentor, even though we had never met. Separated by thousands of miles, I took to his blogs, personal correspondance and then the books of Burgess, when my professional life was in crisis. His emphasis on "Central Purpose of Life" as the primary determinant of one's actions, anchored my life when I needed it the most.

If I were to select the most salient feature of his writings, it would be his vision of Heroism among the intellectuals. Ever since he was young, it was Ayn Rand's title essay in her book "For The New Intellectual" that inspired him the most. He found heroic elements not just in rational intellectuals like Aristotle, Ayn Rand, and Locke. But even among Kant, Augustine, Porphyry. It was his dedication and passion for those who had passion and dedication for ideas that enabled him to reinvent his life at an age when most people give up on their dreams. It was this dedication that created "Study Groups for Objectivists" and deeply challenging, engaging, learning, fulfilling studies that followed.

His works have potential to create an army of committed rational intellectuals, who can usher in new era of enlightenment.

I am deeply saddened by his loss. Part of him will remain with us in his blogs, books, and online posts. But it is the loss of a friend which would be impossible to fulfill.

Please find his obituary message on his main website:

If you would like to make a comment, please do so at his blog:

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I have his Aristotle Book. He certainly had an intellect and seemed to enjoy using his analytical skills and passing on his knowledge. We can't afford to lose people like him.

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Burgess used to post here with very serious ideas and I missed him when he stopped.

The Forum has lost too many good people -- Stephen Speicher, Janet Busch, Lady Brin, Bill Bucko, others?, and now this. Any one would have been too many.

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To The Memory of Burgess Laughlin

The body of Burgess Laughlin

May lie in lifeless coffin,

But stands his spirit brave

O'er time's tempestuous wave.

He lives in words clear-spoken,

As all his strength, unbroken,

Lifts up his thoughts refined

From one objective mind.

Severe he was full measure,

Strict logic all his pleasure;

For Aristotle's light

He dug with all his might.

Work did not get him wealthy,

Spare, and not always healthy,

Yet carved he his own niche

And I, I call him rich.

We, praising his good living,

Full honors now are giving,

While with proud tears we say,

"A real man passed this way."


Brian Faulkner

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