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

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

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.

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