April 26, 2007

Question for libertarians

Did you read much Ayn Rand in high school or college? What did you think at the time? What do you think of her now?

Ayn Rand is a favourite target of abuse amongst academic philosophers, at least in my experience. I'm wondering whether Rand-bashing is also a practice libertarian philosophers engage in and enjoy.


Andrew M. Bailey said...

I first read Ayn Rand my first semester in college (several years after becoming a libertarian).

And yes, I think everyone should make fun of Rand, her writing in general, and her often-atrocious arguments. There is only one exception I know of: her 'Anthem' is a beautiful and powerful expression of individualism. One of its chief virtues is brevity, a feature not shared by many of her other works. =)

Anonymous said...

I read Rand several years ago in college and didn't really like what she said, nor did I think her arguments were really valid.

However, having studied much of philosophy throughout college and being a grad student in Philosophy, I have come to realize much profound truth in her system. In fact, her entire system is so intricately integrated, I have yet to find any intelligent criticism of Objectivist metaphysics, epistemology, or ethics that holds enough water to challege them. As far as I know today, her system is built solidly on reality.
Indeed, I am eager to find someone who can mount a credible, honest, and intelligent critique.

Unknown said...

I'm not a libertarian, so I won't address the main question. But I would like to second Andrew Bailey's endorsement of "Anthem". That really is a lovely piece of literature.

Andrew M. Bailey said...

Ergo, if you're looking for credible, honest, intelligent critique of Rand by a trained philosopher, you might start with Mike Huemer's 'Why I am not an Objectivist'