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Robert Bidinotto Endorsed McCain/Palin

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One point that needs to be clarified is that the word "Objectivism" is not a concept. It is a proper name for Rand's philosophy.

I think this needs clarification. The Ayn Rand Lexicon (http://www.aynrandlexicon.com/lexicon/objectivism.html) clearly states that Objectivism is "[t]he name [Ayn Rand has] chosen for [her] philosophy..." However, it also states: "Objectivism is a philosophical movement."

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There's also this quote on the same page of the Lexicon:

"I regard the spread of Objectivism through today’s culture as an intellectual movement—i.e., a trend among independent individuals who share the same ideas—but not as an organized movement."

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One point that needs to be clarified is that the word "Objectivism" is not a concept. It is a proper name for Rand's philosophy.

Is your view that the word does not represent a concept of method?

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TOC does not deny who wrote Ayn Rand's works. They use the term "Objectivism" to refer to a concept of a philosophy and not a proper name, in the same way Aristotelianism, Platonism, Existentialism, Kantianism, Pragmatism, Positivism, Marxism, Cartesianism, etc. are used. Such use of terms designating a philosophy and not the author's specific works is universal. The term "Objectivism" is obviously being used in two different ways.
I am not interested in discussing Robert Bidinotto, but I am interested in your reply with respect to the rate of diffusion of Objectivism in America. In your view, would it be acceptable to call the Pacific Research Institute an Objectivist institute or Objectivist advocate for governmental reform? What about the American Land Rights Association? Neither organizations describe or identify themselves as Objectivist, lay any claim to exclusivity in using the term, nor designate themselves as intellectual heirs but they appear to agree with certain aspects of the Ayn Rand's views of man's rights. There do not appear to be inadvertent contradictions of her works. Do you see any circumstances at any point in time when it would be appropriate for a self-identified Objectivist to describe these example organizations as Objectivist?

No. They take no philosophical position, do not use Ayn Rand's ideas to justify their positions, and are largely unaware of her ideas in any kind of depth that matters. Why call them "Objectivist" just because they didn't happen to contradict Ayn Rand in application? If a group of Objectivists were to organize such a group or a private company for that matter, even though it had a narrow focus you might call it "Objectivist" only in the sense of its founders principles, but what difference would it make? It would still be an organization with a specific narrow focus that did not deal with Objectivist philosophical ideas. Likewise, organizations with a nature consistent with Ayn Rand's ideas but existing before she was born would not be called "Objectivist" either. If on the other hand Ayn Rand's ideas spread so much that the whole culture was largely following them, then in that sense you could call it an "Objectivist" culture along with oranizations acting under the same influence. But by then it would be more important to focus on Objectivism as a philosophy in contrast with other (hopefully most in the past) philosophies as philosophical ideas continued to be developed in such a culture. Personally I don't dwell on the subject of who to call "Objectivists" and rarely use the term myself. I pay attention to trying to do things rights and evaluating others based on what they think and do, not what they are called.

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One point that needs to be clarified is that the word "Objectivism" is not a concept. It is a proper name for Rand's philosophy.

Is your view that the word does not represent a concept of method?

I'm not quite sure what you mean by represent. But if I state it is a proper name, then I certainly don't mean it is a concept. A name may be associated with a method, but the method is not the same as the name. 'America' is the name of this country and it may be said to represent freedom. But 'America' is not a unit of the concept freedom.

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No. They take no philosophical position, do not use Ayn Rand's ideas to justify their positions, and are largely unaware of her ideas in any kind of depth that matters. Why call them "Objectivist" just because they didn't happen to contradict Ayn Rand in application?
No position is an unphilosophical one even if the organization or person does not take an explicit position. These organizations don’t contradict Ayn Rand in action yet in their positions there is more that is asymptotic to Objectivism than many who explicitly claims to agree with Objectivism...sort of.
Personally I don't dwell on the subject of who to call "Objectivists" and rarely use the term myself. I pay attention to trying to do things rights and evaluating others based on what they think and do, not what they are called.
Sure, and this thread has only added to the threadbare state of the subject. It is just that I would rather a person simply do a cultural analysis without calling himself an Objectivist since it prematurely detracts from the likelihood that many would read his work given widespread disagreement with his self-identification due to the readers' (in the general public or among self-identified Objectivists) misunderstanding or ignorance of the philosophy. At such time that Ayn Rand's ideas are widespread in an integrated manner in America, it would make sense at that point to refer to oneself as an "Objectivist" just as it made sense after a certain point in history to refer to "Aristotelian".

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No. They take no philosophical position, do not use Ayn Rand's ideas to justify their positions, and are largely unaware of her ideas in any kind of depth that matters. Why call them "Objectivist" just because they didn't happen to contradict Ayn Rand in application?
No position is an unphilosophical one even if the organization or person does not take an explicit position. These organizations don’t contradict Ayn Rand in action yet in their positions there is more that is asymptotic to Objectivism than many who explicitly claims to agree with Objectivism...sort of.

Everything has philosophical implications and presuppositions, but not everything is explicitly philosophical. What would be the point of classifying them as "Objectivist" based only agreement with a narrow set of actions and practical goals?

(By the way, "asymptotic" means approaching at infinity. We can't wait quite that long. :))

Personally I don't dwell on the subject of who to call "Objectivists" and rarely use the term myself. I pay attention to trying to do things rights and evaluating others based on what they think and do, not what they are called.
Sure, and this thread has only added to the threadbare state of the subject. It is just that I would rather a person simply do a cultural analysis without calling himself an Objectivist since it prematurely detracts from the likelihood that many would read his work given widespread disagreement with his self-identification due to the readers' (in the general public or among self-identified Objectivists) misunderstanding or ignorance of the philosophy. At such time that Ayn Rand's ideas are widespread in an integrated manner in America, it would make sense at that point to refer to oneself as an "Objectivist" just as it made sense after a certain point in history to refer to "Aristotelian".

Whether calling oneself an Objectivist would detract from a willingness for a fair hearing depends on the context and the reader. For the most part there is no point to trying to associate everything you write with Ayn Rand anyway because it isn't relevant and may not be appropriate to her views or reputation, it uses up valuable word counts unnecessarily, and it could create an unnecessary distraction. You should have a very explicit reason for citing Ayn Rand. A group like ARI, which is explicitly trying to promote her works and ideas, and strives to apply them to current events, doesn't have a choice. But there is always a difference between advocating Ayn Rand's ideas and advocating one's own applications of them in her name, and that must be done very carefully.

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One point that needs to be clarified is that the word "Objectivism" is not a concept. It is a proper name for Rand's philosophy.

Is your view that the word does not represent a concept of method?

Parts of Objectivism, such as the applications of its epistemology and ethics might be considered concepts of method while other parts are identifications of facts of reality.

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(By the way, "asymptotic" means approaching at infinity. We can't wait quite that long. :))
Yes, close to, mostly or somewhat in agreement with Objectivism is still not Objectivism and cannot be. That's the point.

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But they don't just "take snippets". They are genuinely inspired by Ayn Rand and really do believe what they think are "all the fundamentals". That is their reason for using the term "Objectivism".

That's a horrible reason to use the term "Objectivism." Objectivism is Ayn Rand's philosophy, and that's all it is. Before Ayn Rand, there was no "Objectivism." Then she was born, she grew up, she organized and integrated her ideas into a philosophy, she explained that philosophy in a number of books... and she tagged that philosophy with one word: Objectivism. Why would anybody try to use the word in any other way?

Because it is also a movement as people try to advocate and apply her ideas as they understand (or misunderstand) them. People call themselves "Objectivists" as they do that in accordance with what they think is fundamental agreement. "Aristotelianism" also is not limited to mean exactly what Aristotle wrote.

The difference is that Aristotle did not have property rights as an essential of his philosophy. Objectivism, however, does. This feature of the philosophy is vitally important, as Objectivism advocates laissez-faire capitalism, which no other philosophy does.

The issue here is not the differences between the philosophies of Ayn Rand and Aristotle, but the fact that an "Aristotelian" means one who advocates the essence of Aristotle's ideas, as against, for example, his antithesis Plato; it is not restricted to someone who only agrees with and advocates every detail of Aristotle's philosophy. Ayn Rand was also Aristotelian in that sense. Similarly, people refer to themselves as "Objectivist" while acknowledging that they don't support everything Ayn Rand wrote or said.

Ayn Rand had addressed the point you are making here. In her introduction to the newly-established publication, The Objectivist Forum, she wrote:

If you wonder why I am so particular about protecting the integrity of the term "Objectivism," my reaon is that "Objectivism" is the name I have given to
my
philosophy -- therefore, anyone using that name for some philosophical hodgepodge of his own, without my knowledge or consent, is guilty of the fraudulent presumption of trying to put thoughts into
my
brain (or of trying to pass his thinking off as mine - an attempt which fails for obvious reasons). I chose the name "Objectivism" at a time when my philosophy was beginning to be known and some people were starting to call themselves "Randists." I am much too conceited to allow such a use of my name.

(This made me feel a little bit of sympathy for Karl Marx who, on being told about some outrageous statements made by some Marxists, answered: "But I am not a Marxist.")

What is the proper policy on this issue? If you agree with some tenets of Objectivism, but disagree with others, do not call yourself an Objectivist; give proper authorship credit for the parts you agree with - and then indulge in any flight of fancy you wish, on your own.

If you should ask why I take all these precautions, while other philosophers do not, I shall answer: today -- when modern philosophers reject the concepts of reason, existence, reality, logic, proof, knowledge, integration, system, and regard philosophy as a
verb
, not a noun (they are not studying or creating philosophy, they are
"doing"
it) -- mine is the only philosophic system that holds consistency as a
necessary
virtue.

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The concept "Objectivist" in general permits a much wider scope of definition, depending on context. It means "in basic agreement or concordance with the basic philosophy of Objectivism, and related consistent ideas." It's purpose is not to identify someone who believes in and agrees with the entire corpus of what Rand designated as Objectivism and concomitantly makes no statement whatsoever about any other ideas; it is a concept that distinguishes a set of ideas or personal beliefs from other sets or personal beliefs.

No, this is false. Please see Ayn Rand's words on this issue, some of which I have posted on his thread.

I think there is evidence for some general malfeasance by parties on both sides of this long-standing conflict: the TOC-like folks seem often to disrespect Ayn Rand's definition of Objectivism; but conversely, the other side seems quick to demand an unrealistic degree of agreement with Miss Rand's ideas in order to include them in a category of people who support or agree with Rand's ideas, as opposed to our real intellectual enemies. You just can't have a new revolutionary philosophic system, and expect everyone to agree on everything--and I mean everything *important* (not straw-man disagreements like a woman president and fluffy asides like that that are sometimes touted as evidence that "true" "Objectivists" disagree about "lots of things".)

This is an egregious attempt at moral equivalence.

It would sure be *nice* if everyone could have a fully chewed, digested, and integrated view of Objectivism consistent with Rand's brilliant psycho-epistemology, but this is just unrealistic. In the middle of a centuries-long period of scientific and technological revolution, the overwhelming vast majority of people still believe in God and similar nonsense. Take your agreements and understandings where you can find them and be glad for them! Fight always for better understandings, and better shared methods of analysis and debate that facilitate greater consensus amongst a continually advancing (epistemologically) movement. But this immensely hostile and rancorous division into these little camps and sub-camps, especially at this early stage in the intellectual life of the movement, has really been disastrous to everyone--it has discouraged debate, discouraged productive actions in areas of agreement, and forced difficult choices on people not that well equipped to make them, like for instance the founders of student clubs who can either get ARI support but must eschew inviting "black listed" speakers, etc.

It is not disagreement per se that I loathe. It is people who push their ideas without reference to facts, people who do not quote sources, but cavalierly proceed to make grave attributions and assault serious values.

On this board, for instance, you have said that, "Dr. Binswanger and his followers['] belie[f] in mentoplasm"; that such a belief is accompanied by "shrieks and howls"; and that "Harry Binswanger will take his belief in mentoplasm to the grave." You also made the false claim that, "A person who believes in something for which there is no evidence whatsoever is, essentially, a mystic regardless their credentials, regardless their declamations of reverence for reason, regardless what name is chosen for their non-existent alleged existent." All these, you asserted boldly, without once providing evidence for these assaults on Binswanger's reputation.

Given your wrong and seriously unjust approach, in the name of Objectivism, there is a clear need to separate those who understand the philosophy from those who don't.

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Correction. This should have read:

On this board, for instance, you have said that, "Dr. Binswanger and his followers believe in mentoplasm"; that such a belief is accompanied by "shrieks and howls"; and that "Harry Binswanger will take his belief in mentoplasm to the grave." You also made the false claim that, "A person who believes in something for which there is no evidence whatsoever is, essentially, a mystic regardless their credentials, regardless their declamations of reverence for reason, regardless what name is chosen for their non-existent alleged existent." All these, you asserted boldly, without once providing evidence for these assaults on Binswanger's reputation.

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Ayn Rand had addressed the point you are making here. In her introduction to the newly-established publication, The Objectivist Forum, she wrote:

Thank you for posting that; I don't remember reading it before. Like everything else she wrote, it really cuts to the point. And more importantly, it explicitly states what her wishes were for her creation.

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Ayn Rand had addressed the point you are making here. In her introduction to the newly-established publication, The Objectivist Forum, she wrote:

I had to laugh at the "a little bit of sympathy" for Marx over ownership rights, but that should tell you how seriously she felt about this!

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Betsy,

Maybe, right now, we should stay focused not on the character of Robert Bidinotto, but on the stated policies of Barack Obama, who is about to be elected President.

Are we going to let the Socialists win while we squabble about stuff that in the short term doesn't matter very much?

Regards,

Jawaid

I strongly disagree.

During the Kelley split, he mailed out -- anonymously -- a slimy "dear fellow Objectivist" letter filled with lies, distortions, and innuendos attacking Leonard Peikoff, Peter Schwartz, and others. I recognized Bidinotto's style from other similar dubious writings I had seen from him previously, but it was several years before he owned up to that letter's authorship. At times when I have publicly differed with other Objectivists about such things as election strategy, etc., I have received unctuous emails from Bidinotto offering his "support" and unjustly trashing those with whom I disagreed in, what I suspect, was an attempt to gain my support of him.

I not only don't trust him, but I think he is trying to exploit Objectivism and anybody he can. That's why I am glad, and consider it just, that he is allied with Kelley. That's the kind of friend he deserves and can exploit -- for whatever that is worth. If I were Kelley, with Bidinotto around, I would be watching my back. :blink:

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Maybe, right now, we should stay focused not on the character of Robert Bidinotto, but on the stated policies of Barack Obama, who is about to be elected President.
Good idea -- and we're doing plenty of that on other threads.

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Leonard Peikoff is not the only philosopher who advocates Objectivism.

But he's the only one who can correctly claim to represent Ayn Rand's ideas. She named him her Intellectual Heir.

Did she? Where?

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Leonard Peikoff is not the only philosopher who advocates Objectivism.

But he's the only one who can correctly claim to represent Ayn Rand's ideas. She named him her Intellectual Heir.

Did she? Where?

She gave all her intellectual property to him in her will.

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Leonard Peikoff is not the only philosopher who advocates Objectivism.

But he's the only one who can correctly claim to represent Ayn Rand's ideas. She named him her Intellectual Heir.

Did she? Where?

She gave all her intellectual property to him in her will.

But that doesn't mean he can "correctly claim to represent Ayn Rand's ideas." I don't know whether or not Mr. Peikoff claims this or not. But, the poster did.

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She gave all her intellectual property to him in her will.

But that is not what is meant by 'intellectual heir'. She once designated Nathaniel Branden as her 'intellectual heir' and that did obviously not refer to heritage of property after her death but to being a spokesman for her with regard to Objectivism. I think it's extremely unlikely that after the break with Branden she would bestow that title on anyone else again.

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Leonard Peikoff is not the only philosopher who advocates Objectivism.

But he's the only one who can correctly claim to represent Ayn Rand's ideas. She named him her Intellectual Heir.

Did she? Where?

She gave all her intellectual property to him in her will.

But that doesn't mean he can "correctly claim to represent Ayn Rand's ideas." I don't know whether or not Mr. Peikoff claims this or not. But, the poster did.

Now I'm confused... I thought you were the poster who claimed that (see the nested quotes above) or has something gone wrong with the quotes?

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Leonard Peikoff is not the only philosopher who advocates Objectivism.

But he's the only one who can correctly claim to represent Ayn Rand's ideas. She named him her Intellectual Heir.

Did she? Where?

She gave all her intellectual property to him in her will.

But that doesn't mean he can "correctly claim to represent Ayn Rand's ideas." I don't know whether or not Mr. Peikoff claims this or not. But, the poster did.

Now I'm confused... I thought you were the poster who claimed that (see the nested quotes above) or has something gone wrong with the quotes?

Heh. I'm getting old. Since I wrote that, I've come to find out that there isn't any evidence that she named him "Intellectual Heir". So, I may stand corrected on this.

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