I deeply appreciate Eyal Mozes’s thoughtful challenges to my critique of Ayn Rand’s metaethical theory, which I present in my book, What’s Wrong with Ayn Rand’s Objectivist Ethics, and in subsequent essays.
Here I reply to Mozes’s March 25, 2019, essay. My essay here is part of an exchange beginning with Mozes’s January 6 essay and continuing with my previous reply. Although I seek to put the present discussion in its broader context, I certainly do not try to recapitulate my entire case here, a fact to which I hope readers are sensitive. My goal here is to try to wrap up the exchange so that readers know where and how Mozes and I disagree.
Continue reading “Rand on Biology and Egoism: A Reply to Mozes”
Eyal Mozes reviews my book, What’s Wrong with Ayn Rand’s Objectivist Ethics, in a detailed essay posted January 6, 2019.
Mozes and I agree very closely on the proper interpretation
of Ayn Rand’s metaethical theory. We disagree about whether that theory is
correct (I say no) and what the theory entails in terms of certain moral
commitments. We also disagree about whether my proposed alternative, that the
point of ethics is to help a person rationally integrate values experienced as
ends in themselves, can succeed.
A bit of background: Mozes, whom I met years ago at an
Objectivist event, has written important essays about Rand’s moral theory,
including one on the free-rider problem, several of which I discuss in my book.
In my view, Mozes is a widely underappreciated Objectivist theorist.
Here I do not limit myself to a point-by-point reply of Mozes’s commentary; I seek also to put the conversation in context and to expand my ideas in a way that I hope will prove helpful to the general reader.
Continue reading “Exploring Value Integration: A Reply to Mozes on Rand’s Ethics”
In his Amazon review of my book, “What’s Wrong with Ayn Rand’s Objectivist Ethics,” David W. Johnson claims that my essential point is that the “Objectivist ethics allegedly is heavily oriented toward basic survival, undervaluing . . . life’s greater potential.”
It is true that Rand’s metaethics is oriented to the individual’s survival, as I review, but Johnson’s terms “heavily” and “basic” are misleading.
Continue reading “Rand’s Ethics: Reply to David W. Johnson”
Dave Walden posted a comment on social media summarizing his criticisms of my book, What’s Wrong with Ayn Rand’s Objectivist Ethics. I am pleased to reply here. Other readers are invited to send me comments or criticisms of the book that they’d like me to publicly address. Continue reading “Rand’s Ethics: Reply to Dave Walden”
I want to encourage Objectivists to bear in mind who has the burden of proof regarding Rand’s moral theory. Objectivists have the burden to prove both that the metaethics is valid and that it entails the sorts of values and actions that they say it does. Continue reading “Rand’s Ethics and the Burden of Proof”
Objectivists I know and know of tend to be smart, thoughtful, balanced, joyful, successful people. They do profoundly important work in such areas as education, technology, aviation, business, law, and philosophy. In many ways their productive achievements directly or indirectly benefit my life.
Unfortunately, there is a brand of self-proclaimed Objectivist—more accurately, pseudo-Objectivist—who tends to parrot Ayn Rand’s ideas rather than seek to deeply understand them and to nastily smear both Objectivists whom they deem heretical and critics of Rand’s ideas. Continue reading “Critique of Rand’s Ethics: Reply to Pseudo-Objectivists”
I have come to believe that Ayn Rand’s Objectivist ethics is basically wrong, however interesting and insightful it is in various ways. Because of my interest in the matter, and because I used to think that Rand’s theory is correct, I spent considerable effort reading about the theory and formulating my thoughts about it. I wrote up the results in my new book, What’s Wrong with Ayn Rand’s Objectivist Ethics. Continue reading “How Objectivists Can Fruitfully Reply to My Critique of Rand’s Ethics”
In urging liberty advocates to actively join the Republican Party to advance better candidates, do I ignore the elephant haters in the room, the Libertarians? Is the Libertarian Party (LP) a viable path for pro-liberty activism?
On the contrary: The LP impedes progress toward liberty by wasting resources, muddying the ideological waters (as I’ll explain), and leaving electoral outcomes more fully under the control of authoritarians. Members of the LP should abandon that party and either join the GOP, if they wish to engage in electoral politics, or else devote their energies to other causes. Continue reading “Why Libertarians Should Abandon the Libertarian Party”
The Republican Party has gotten so bad—so inimical to liberty—that advocates of liberty should join the party and actively seek to capture it from the authoritarians who have overrun it. Continue reading “How to Save the Republican Party from the Authoritarians”