Archive for October, 2011

SAT Nov 19 - Logical Fallacies and the Critics of the Passion of Ayn Rand

WHEN:
SATURDAY, November 19, 2011 7:00 PM Arrival Time

TOPIC:
Logical Fallacies and the Critics of the Passion of Ayn Rand
Talk by Jackie Hazelton
Presented at The Atlas Society Free Minds 2010 Summer Seminar

ABSTRACT:
The two prominent critics of Barbara Branden’s biography of Ayn Rand, The Passion of Ayn Rand, are Leonard Peikoff in his June, 1986 statement in The Objectivist Forum and James S. Valliant in his 2005 book, The Passion of Ayn Rand’s Critics.  This talk presents an analysis of the reasoning used in the criticism of the Branden biography as an interesting way to review some of the common logical fallacies.

The Objectivist Forum, June, 1986, page 15, “In answer to inquires, Leonard Peikoff wishes to place on record the following statement.  ‘The forthcoming biography of Ayn Rand by Barbara Branden was undertaken against Miss Rand’s wishes.  Miss Rand severed relations with Mrs. Branden in 1968, regarding her as immoral and as an enemy of Objectivism.  Being aware of Mrs. Branden’s longtime hostility to Ayn Rand, including her public attacks on Miss Rand after her death–attacks interlarded with protestations of adulation–I have refused for years to meet with Mrs. Branden or to cooperate on this project.  I had no reason to believe that the book would be either a truthful presentation of Ayn Rand’s life or an accurate statement of her ideas.  Advance reports from several readers of the book in galley from have confirmed my expectations.  Therefore, I certainly do not recommend this book.  As for myself, I have not read it and do not intend to do so.’”

The Passion of Ayn Rand’s Critics: The Case Against the Brandens.  James S. Valliant, Durban House, 2005.

WHERE:
Jackie & Lyman Hazelton’s Home
480-516-3281
Use http://www.mapquest.com/ to get directions from your location.

QUESTIONS:
Jackie Hazelton
(c) 480-516-3281
(e) AZObjectivists_at_cox_dot_net

RSVP:
Reply to this message to AZObjectivists_at_cox_dot_net or
Call Jackie Hazelton at 480-516-3281

BRING:
Snacks or beverage to share or a monetary donation.

TUES Nov 1 - The Testa Dura-bility of Dagny

WHEN:
TUESDAY, November 1, 2011 7:00 PM Arrival Time

TOPIC:
The Testa Dura-bility of Dagny
Video of talk by Marsha Familaro Enright
Given at The Atlas Society Free Minds 2010 Summer Seminar

ABSTRACT:
Dagny is one of the most intelligent characters in Atlas Shrugged, yet takes the longest to accept John Galt’s proof that her work helps evil more than it does good.  She requires much more evidence than any other character before she quits, even though she has multiple opportunities to do so.  Yet, Galt and the other men of the valley accept her lengthy journey not only with equanimity, but with respect.

In Italian-American culture, she would be called a “testa dura”–which means “hard head” with many subtle implications about character and temperament.  What makes it so hard for Dagny to quit?  What factors and features prevent her from quitting?  Why are the heroes so tolerant of her foot dragging?  This is a paradox worth exploring especially for its implication in our dealings with others.

Marsha first reviews the evidence about Dagny’s character and actions, then summarizes their implications for moral judgment and the way in which we should deal with other people.

I. Who is Dagny Taggart?  A review of various scenes in Atlas Shrugged
A. What character and personality traits Rand emphasizes.
B. How Dagny treats–and judges–others.
C. Testa Dura par excellence: How Dagny responds to the idea of going on strike.
D. How the other heroes treat her–and why they act that way.

II. The Moral Lessons of Atlas Shrugged
A. Principles by which to judge other people.
B. Does the integrated nature of knowledge inevitably lead one from wrong premises to wrong conclusions?
C. Patience as a consequence of recognizing the individual’s context of knowledge.

BIO:
Marsha Enright, M.A., is the Founder and President of the Reason Individualism Freedom Institute and an Adjunct Professor at Shimer College in Chicago.  Marsha first read Ayn Rand while in high school and has incorporated Ayn Rand’s philosophy into her life ever since.  She founded the New Intellectual Forum, an Objectivist discussion club/salon, 22 years ago.

Trained as a psychotherapist, Marsha founded Council Oak Montessori School for ages 3 to 15 twenty years ago for her children.  She is still its president.  Currently, she is working to open a new liberal arts college incorporating Montessori educational philosophy for the young adult.  Its curriculum uses the Great Books classics, including the works of Ayn Rand and classical liberal thinkers neglected in other institutions.  It places a heavy emphasis on learning good reasoning processes in all subject areas, from math to poetry.

WHERE:
Jackie & Lyman Hazelton’s Home
480-516-3281
Use http://www.mapquest.com/ to get directions from your location.

QUESTIONS:
Jackie Hazelton
(c) 480-516-3281
(e) AZObjectivists_at_cox_dot_net

RSVP:
Reply to this message to AZObjectivists_at_cox_dot_net or
Call Jackie Hazelton at 480-516-3281

BRING:
Snacks or beverage to share or a monetary donation.