Results 1 to 8 of 8

Thread: Why is Ayn Rand not Accepted Academically?

  1. #1
    jason_m's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Posts
    976
    Mentioned
    24 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Default Why is Ayn Rand not Accepted Academically?

    I think I have the answer: good philosophy - actually good research in any field - doesn't just prey on one's fears or vulnerabilities. Good philosophy really makes you think; it especially makes you question and think critically. Ayn Rand's philosophy fails to really do any of this. There is so much emphasis in her philosophy on selfishness as a 'virtue' and how flawed conventional values are without any solid argument to support either of these notions that it is hard to say that it really makes one think at all.

    Now, one could say that it is simply because her philosophy questions common values that it hasn't received academic acclaim; it in fact really does "make you think." But consider the theory of 'moral luck' by Thomas Nagel. Nagel's argument is that the way one behaves morally is largely a matter of luck or chance - a simple roll of the dice. In essence, it depends on one's genetics and the environment in which they were raised. For instance, if someone were raised in Nazi Germany, they would have a very different outlook on the Jews, and therefore racism, than if they were raised in 21st century North America. And, in people with ASPD - a trait related to criminal activity - evidence shows that identical twins often share the trait genetically. The notion then of luck should apply to almost all moral qualities. We therefore should not punish or reward people for their moral behaviour at all!

    Now, I have an argument against Nagel that I'm not going to get into. But you can see the difference between Ayn Rand and Thomas Nagel: even though Nagel presents an unpalatable conclusion, he at least makes you think critically about the issues. I don't feel one can say the same thing about Rand. Her philosophy seems to be just one personal attack after another against human ethics and human emotion; she does not seem to have any real justification for asserting these beliefs.

    In any event, this is just my opinion. I am open to hearing yours...
    Last edited by jason_m; 05-24-2019 at 12:16 PM.

  2. #2
    Haikus Subteigh's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    TIM
    Enlightened
    Posts
    16,352
    Mentioned
    299 Post(s)
    Tagged
    4 Thread(s)

    Default

    It probably isn't solely to do with her being an unoriginal hack. It may be that her "philosophy" is actually a cult, rather than something that says something profound that is worth analyzing. I think also that bad philosophies (e.g. by people like Plato or Hegel) also gain currency just by being old, which Randism doesn't have.

  3. #3
    Muddy's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2015
    Location
    Ancapistan
    Posts
    2,377
    Mentioned
    127 Post(s)
    Tagged
    1 Thread(s)

    Default

    Because her laissez-faire ideas suck ass.

  4. #4
    Uncle Ave's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2017
    Posts
    1,466
    Mentioned
    112 Post(s)
    Tagged
    2 Thread(s)

    Default

    I don't agree that Ayn Rand doesn't make you think. I've wrestled with her views and debated with Ayn Rand in my head (figuratively) to the point of redundance. Her way of making you think is through hyperbole, for example in her fiction. The characters in Atlas Shrugged and The Fountainhead are obviously charicatures of themselves, but it's how she forces the reader to confront the issues she wants them to confront. The worse characters, to Rand are those stuck in the middle between the heroes and the villains, those looking to compromise with evil.

    I think the reason this displeases academia is because academics have a way of expressing themselves that has to sound wishy washy. Her views come across as dogmatic to them, and in a sense they are. But her biggest blow to conventional academia is to challenge the assumption that there is nothing we can truly know. Ever since Kant, epistomology has dictated we can only know phenomena. Well, Rand dictatates we can know reality fully, that there is no "noumena" that escapes the human mind.

    If you believe reality cannot be known, then obviously you're not going to believe in your own knowledge. If it's all subjective, there is no objective reality, the only thing that matters is intersubjectivity. This is why alot of intellectuals are "careful" not to express themselves in black and white terms. But if you believe there is an objective reality, and that it can be known, then you're going to come across as more assertive and confident in your conclusions (when there is sufficient evidence to back them up).

  5. #5
    Dalek Caan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2018
    Posts
    141
    Mentioned
    3 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Default

    Imo, it's because her "philosophy", if you will call it that, is really just a political stance or assertion of one kind of truth. But the history of philosophy has always been more to provide illumination by questioning what we've come to accept or think of as truth; it's an open platform to critiquing our beliefs or culture and how we come to understand or derive truth. It's not really a platform for ideology, though people often use it as a guise for that.
    Androgynous Robot Dreamer - Not really human, but good at pretending.

    Quote Originally Posted by Number 9 large View Post
    blame the merry quadras

  6. #6
    strrrng's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    TIM
    Ni-IEI 4w3 sx/so
    Posts
    8,863
    Mentioned
    44 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Default

    She's too emphatic about things that can only be broached to a certain degree in an academic setting, i.e. not many find fault with the notion that self-interest guides individual action, but positing it as an ethical absolute will naturally deter less insistent people.

    Atlas Shrugged is a pretense, but The Fountainhead is a true novel; however it doesn't go far enough by going too far in you could say a 'sensitive' way. While Roark isn't the loftily omnipotent placeholder that John Galt is, his iconoclasm is still too pointed in delivery with regard to the main themes of the book for it to ever be meaningfully integrated in an academic setting. What would they teach, that dropping out of school and single-mindedly pursuing something without any external reference while your friend gets rich being fake, is somehow going to land you at the top? It's too polarized, albeit redemptive on some level.
    4w3-5w6-8w7

  7. #7
    Grendel's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2016
    Location
    /t16t/
    Posts
    1,174
    Mentioned
    64 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Singu View Post
    Shut the fuck up, dumbass.


  8. #8
    Jesus is the cruel sausage consentingadult's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Posts
    3,123
    Mentioned
    74 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Default

    As a former Rand-adept in my younger years, I thinks the reason is that Rand's philosophy, although containing great concepts, ultimately is utterly unempirical. Her philosophy seems to have very logical ideas, but are completely out of touch with the real nature of phenomena. Most of her ideas can easily be refuted by academic insights. E.g. her concepts on human nature are completely out of sync with established empirical insights from socioal psychology. I mean, even a theory such as Socionics teaches us that there are not two types of human nature (the good guys and the bad guys), but 16!

    Even when most of her philosohy turned out wrong, I do still owe her a lot of gratitude, because her works tought me not to accept 'generally accepted truths', and to think and do research myself. In that sense her work had a very liberating effect on me.
    The future of Socionics:
    Quote Originally Posted by Maritsa View Post
    Many black Americans are SEE type.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •