This archive contains events from August 2003 to May 2008.

Tuesday, August 5, 2003:

Leader: Ron Tobin

Topic: “Fairness Doctrine for Education”, 1972
Philosophy: Who Needs It, Chapter 16, by Ayn Rand
As applied to television and radio broadcasting, the
fairness doctrine demands that equal opportunity be
given to all sides of a controversial issue. Rand
discusses what would happen if this doctrine were
applied to higher education.

Saturday, August 16, 2003:

Leader: Martin J. Moorman

Topic: Gödel’s Theorems and Objectivism

Tuesday, September 2, 2003:

No Meeting due to Labor Day holiday

Saturday, September 20, 2003:

Leader: William Perry

Topic: Harry Browne’s How I Found Freedom in an Unfree World

Tuesday, October 7, 2003:

Leader: Jacke Hazelton

Topic: What Can One Do? (1972) Philosophy: Who Needs It, Chapter 17, by Ayn Rand and Everyday Activism, tape by Debra Ross

Saturday, October 18, 2003:

No meeting due to the Freedom Summit. Come visit us at our table at the Freedom Summit, October 18th and 19th at the Best Western Grace Inn in Phoenix, AZ.

Tuesday, November 4, 2003:

No meeting on this Tuesday, due to the Halloween Party on Oct 31.

Saturday, November 15, 2003:

Leader: Jackie Hazelton

Topic: A few members of the group are planning or
contemplating parenthood. As a lead in to a
discussion on parenting, Jackie will discuss
her experiences growing up with Objectivist
parents. The parents in the group are invited
to come and share their wisdom and experience
on the subject of parenting.

Tuesday, December 2, 2003:

Leader: Bill Perry

Topic:Bill will be presenting the Peter Schwartz essay Libertarianism: The Perversion of Liberty from The Voice of Reason to answer questions on the issues Objectivism has with Libertarianism.

Saturday, December 20, 2003:

Annual Solstice Party

Tuesday, January 6, 2004, 6:30PM:

Leader: Jim Kirk

Topic: Jim will be presenting Art and Cognition from The Romantic Manifesto by Ayn Rand. This essay is also available in The Objectivist, April-June 1971.

Saturday, January 24, 2004, 7:00 PM:

Video: Hans Herman Hoppe’s talk: “Monarchy, Democracy and Natural Order: A Revisionist Interpretation of Modern History” from the most recent Freedom Summit. (Note that this is the 4th Saturday instead of the 3rd).

Tuesday, February 3, 2004, 6:30PM:

Leader: Bill Perry

Topic: “The Cashing In: ‘The Student Rebellion'” from the New Left. This essay is also available in The Objectivist Newsletter, July-September 1965.

Saturday, February 21, 2004, 4 PM

Special Event: Paul and Diana Hsieh.

Paul will giving his talk “Is it Right to Bear Arms?” on the ethics of firearms ownership.

Diana’s talk is “Concepts, Definitions, and Objectivism

Throughout the history of philosophy, many philosophers have understood
concepts to be equivalent to their definitions. On this view, man is
nothing but a rational animal, bachelors are nothing more than unmarried
adult males, and so on. Ayn Rand’s epistemology asserts a very different
relationship between concepts and definitions: a definition condenses (but
does not exhaust) our vast knowledge of a concept’s units by identifying
the fundamental feature(s) of those units. We will briefly review the
theoretical foundations of this view, then explore the dangers of equating
concepts and definitions through a series of examples. My final example of
this error, found in David Kelley’s case for Objectivism as an open system
in Truth and Toleration, is bound to generate some discussion.

Tuesday, March 2, 2004, 6:30PM:

Leader:Michael Kielsky

Topic: Michael will be presenting The New Fascism: Rule by Consensus from Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal by Ayn Rand. This essay is also available in The Objectivist Newsletter, May and June 1965.

Saturday, March 20, 2004, 7:00 PM:

Topic: Uncritical Thinking by Michael Huemer, Ph.D. (From 2003 TOC Summer Seminar)

Abstract: For centuries, people believed that everything was composed of earth, air,
fire and water. Today, many Americans believe that astrology works. Large
majorities believe themselves to be smarter, less prejudiced, and better
drivers than the average person. How do people get so many false beliefs?
In this lecture, Michael Huemer will attempt to improve audience members’
critical thinking chiefly by reviewing some of the common kinds of
intellectual mistakes that people make, and some of the factors that commonly
interfere with sound judgment. Attention will be given to the empirical
evidence on human fallibility from psychology and social science.

Tuesday, April 6, 2004, 6:30PM:

Leader:Jackie Hazelton

Topic: Jackie will be presenting “Apollo and Dionysus” from Return of the Primitive by Ayn Rand (Originally titled, The New Left: The Anti-Industrial Revolution).

Saturday, April 17, 2004

There is no meeting due to The Objectivist Center’s Spring Conference: The Values of Capitalism.

At this weekend conference, The Objectivist Center will celebrate the values of capitalism with sessions that address what these values are, how they are under threat, and most important, how you can live them. In addition to the formal sessions, attendees can take part in our informal social gatherings on Friday and Saturday evenings.

Tuesday, May 4, 2004, 6:30PM:

Leader:Jackie Hazelton

Topic: Jackie will be discuss a recent article in Discover, “Whose Life Would You Save?“—a discussion about whether morality is hard-wired in by evolution.

Saturday, May 15, 2004

Leader: Dr. Lyman Hazelton

Topic: The Moon, Mars, and Asteroids or… How to Rule (or Save) The World
and Make a Lot of Money doing it.

Lyman will be presenting reasons why going to the Moon is important for national security. For more information, see this outline

Tuesday, June 1, 2004, 6:30PM:

Leader:Shawn Klein

Topic: The Basics of Objectivist Metaphysics

Rand said that Objectivism was a philosophy for living on earth. By this
she meant that Objectivism was reality-orientated. The philosophical
discipline that studies reality, its most general nature and attributes is
metaphysics. This discussion will focus on the basic issues and concepts
of Objectivist Metaphysics: the axioms of existence, identity, and
consciousness; the primacy of existence, and causality.

Saturday, June 19, 2004

Leader: Gerry Smedinghoff

Topic: Better Safe than Safer

Gerry presents the history of safety risks of various activities from air
travel, driving, motorcycles, skydiving, childbirth etc. and shows that
government regulation has no effect on safety improvements, and
actually does more harm than good.

Tuesday, July 6, 2004

No meeting due to The Objectivist Center’s Summer Seminar: Objectivism In Theory and Practice: July 3-10, 2004 in Vancouver, Canada.

Saturday, July 17, 2004

Annual Summer Pool Party

Tuesday, August 3, 2004

Leader: Jackie Hazelton

Topic: A discussion of Ayn Rand’s short story, “The Husband I Bought.” Printed in The Early Ayn Rand.

Sunday, August 15, 2004 (note change of day)

Leader: Michelle-Fram Cohen

Topic: Nietzche’s influence on Rand

Tuesday, September 7, 2004

Leader: Tom Lauerman

Topic: “What is Capitalism?” from Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal. Originally published in The Objectivist Newsletter, November and December 1965.

Saturday, October 16 , 2004

Leader: Shawn Klein

Topic: The Basics of Objectivist Epistemology
An excerpt from Shawn’s “Basics of Objectivism” course given at the 2004 TOC Summer Seminar.

Tuesday, November 2, 2004 (Election Day)

Leader: Jackie Hazelton

Topic: Why People Are Irrational About Politics by Michael Huemer
“I look for explanations for the phenomenon of widespread, strong, and persistent disagreements about political issues. The best explanation is provided by the hypothesis that most people are irrational about politics and not, for example, that political issues are particularly difficult or that we lack sufficient evidence for resolving them. I discuss how this irrationality works and why people are especially irrational about politics.”

Saturday, November 20, 2004

Leader: Bill Perry

Topic: Neo-Conservatism
The term neo-conservatism is used often in politics today. Some members of
the Bush administration are avowed neo-cons. What is neo-conservatism? What
are its philosophical roots? Who are its historical heroes? How does it
influence policy today?

Tuesday, December 7, 2004

Leader: Jackie Hazelton

Topic: Philosophy and the Origins of Modern Art
Audiotape of Stephen Hicks’ 2004 TOC Summer Seminar talk and his “Why Art Became Ugly” from Navigator, September 2004. Abstract of Dr. Hicks talk: “What explains the shocking transformation of the art world in the early 20th
century? Why did Picasso, Duchamp, and Dali become the leaders of the new
artistic movements? This lecture discusses leading movements of the
intellectual world of the late 19th century and places the revolution in art
in that context.”

Saturday, December 18, 2004; 6 PM

Winter Solistice Party & Gift Exchange
Tuesday, January 4, 2005

Leader: Barbara Lehman

Topic: Entrepreneurial Living: What it Takes

Barbara Lehman will explore her lifelong journey with
Objectivism, covering such topics as: Living an Objectivist life by embracing
individualism, productivity and reason; Integrating her philosophy as a
business woman, entrepreneur, mother, community leader, writer, lecturer, and
friend; The importance of becoming a “brand name” in one’s field; Key values
and Objectivist learnings that helped guide her decisions under challenging

Saturday, January 15, 2005

Leader: Tibor Machan

Topic: Objectivism is an individualist philosophy that advocates independence of mind and spirit. What does this tell us about the idea of success? In this talk, Tibor R. Machan offers insight on how to succeed as the person one is, and how to know when one has succeeded. Tibor R. Machan is a professor at Chapman University and is a Research Fellow at the Hoover Institution. A prolific writer and editor with numerous books and articles published, he was also editor of Reason Papers for 25 years. His latest book is Objectivity: Recovering Reality in Philosophy, Science, and Everyday Life.

Tuesday, February 1, 2005

Topic: Ayn Rand’s 100th birthday celebration.
On February 2, 2005, Ayn Rand would have been 100 years old. We will
celebrate her birth with cake, a video about her and a discussion of how she
has influenced our lives. At the time of our celebration, it will actually
be February 2nd in the city where she was born.
Saturday, February 26, 2005

Topic: Psychology of Flow.
Marsha Enright will be speaking on Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi’s Flow: the psychology of optimal experience. Marsha Familaro Enright, M.A. in Psychology, has been an educator and psychotherapist for many years. Marsha is a popular lecturer at the The Objectivist Center’s Summer Seminar and was one of the co-founders of Chicago’s New Intellectual Forum, and the group continues to meet in her home.
Tuesday, March 1, 2005

No meeting on this date.
Saturday, March 19, 2005

Topic: “Privatizing Social Security” by José Piñera

We will listen to and discuss the 1999 TOC Summer Seminar talk on privatizing social security. Dr. José Piñera is co-chairman of Cato’s Project on Social Security Choice and the architect of the Chilean social security reform.

Tuesday, April 5, 2005

Topic: Symbols
Leader: Hannah Kimsey-Siegel
Saturday, April 16, 2005

Topic: “Is Ignorance Bliss?” by Eric Mack

We will listen to and discuss the 2004 TOC Summer Seminar talk that wonders whether one’s choice to enter Nozick’s Experience Machine is rational. If one enters the Experience Machine, one is assured of precisely the sorts of experiences one hopes for in life. The Experience Machine gives you bliss; but this bliss depends on your ignorance that you are inside the Machine. Would you opt for the blissful ignorance of the Machine? If not, asks Eric Mack, why not? Why would it be irrational to enter this absolutely reliable Machine? Would it be irrational? Eric Mack is a Professor of Philosophy and a faculty member of the Murphy Institute of Political Economy at Tulane University.

Tuesday, May 3, 2005

Topic:The Need for a New Individualism” by Edward Hudgins & “The Sole of the Individualist” by Ayn Rand (from For The New Intellectual)

Leader: Jackie Hazelton

As of the January/February 2005 issue, the TOC publication has changed its
name from Navigator to The New Individualist. We will take this opportunity
to discuss individualism. What is individualism? What relation does it have
to Objectivism? How can we encourage individualism and be individualists?

Saturday, May 21, 2005

Topic:Gold and Economic Freedom” by Alan Greenspan, from Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal by Ayn Rand
Leader: David Wooten

David will lead us in a discussion of this article on the connections between the gold standard and economic freedom. Published in 1967 by, now Fed Chairman, Alan Greenspan.

Tuesday, June 7, 2005

Topic: Basics of Objectivism: Ethics I
Leader: Shawn Klein

A preview talk Shawn’s lecture series to be given at the 2005 TOC Summer Seminar. This lecture, continued on Tuesday, July 5, will focus on Objectivist ethical theory.

Saturday, June 18, 2005

Topic: A History of Cryptography

Leader: Dr. Lyman Hazelton

Cryptographic techniques for transmitting secret information has
played a huge role throughout Western history, from the time of the
Spartans to the present day. The importance of both messages that
got through, and those that were “broken” is not usually a topic in
history books. This is most unfortunate, as it often changes the
perceived causes for some of history’s most important turning points.
Lyman will present a brief history of cryptology, touching
particularly on specific “breaks” including the ciphers of Mary,
Queen of Scots, the Zimmerman telegram, Pearl Harbor and the Polish
and British breaks of the Enigma machine. The presentation will
conclude with short mentions of the VENONA project, the US Data
Encryption Standard, public/private key cryptography and, finally,
the Advanced Encryption Standard (Rijndahl).

Tuesday, July 5, 2005

Topic: Basics of Objectivism: Ethics II
Leader: Shawn Klein

A preview talk of Shawn’s lecture series to be given at the 2005 TOC Summer Seminar. This lecture will focus on Objectivist ethical theory and is continued from Tuesday, June 7—though prior attendance is not necessary. The focus of this lecture will be on the nature and role of virtues.

Saturday, July 16, 2005

No meeting due to the 2005 TOC Summer Seminar.
Saturday, July 23, 2005

Annual Summer Pool Party
Recaps of the TOC Summer Seminar, swimming, food, fun, and a contest! The person who can answer the most questions correctly about Ayn Rand’s “Red Pawn” from The Early Ayn Rand will win a prize.

Tuesday, August 2, 2005

Topic: “Introducting Objectivism” By Ayn Rand
Leader: Jackie Hazelton

For our Tuesday meetings we will be using the essays in The Voice of Reason.
The book has three sections Philosophy, Culture and Politics. We will
alternate between sections. The first essay, “Introducing Objectivism”, is
short and contains Ayn Rand presenting the essence of her philosophy. Let’s
analyze what she included and what she left out.

Saturday, August 20, 2005

Topic: Harry Potter and Philosophy
Leader: Shawn E. Klein

Shawn will discuss his book Harry Potter and Philosophy with a bent towards looking for Objectivist themes.

Tuesday, September 6, 2005

Topic: “The Intellectual Bankrupcy of Our Age” By Ayn Rand
Leader: Tom Lauerman

For our Tuesday meetings we will be using the essays in The Voice of Reason.
The book has three sections Philosophy, Culture and Politics. We will
alternate between sections.

Saturday, September 17, 2005

Topic: Objectivist History Project
Leader: Jackie Hazelton

A discussion and presentation of the Objectivist History Project. This is the project by Duncan Scott to get interviews of the major players of Objectivism. We will screen “The Birth of Objectivism: Vol 1” which includes Nathaniel Branden, Robert Hessen, Joan Kennedy-Taylor, and Ed Snider.

Tuesday, October 4, 2005

Topic: “Representation Without Authorization” By Ayn Rand
Leader:Jackie Hazelton

For our Tuesday meetings we will be using the essays in The Voice of Reason.
The book has three sections Philosophy, Culture and Politics. We will
alternate between sections.

Saturday, October 15, 2005

Topic: Ortega and Rand
Leader: Bill Perry

There are substantial superficial similarities between Ayn Rand and Jose Ortega y Gasset as philosophers. William Perry, co-founder and former co-leader of the Arizona Objectivists, will explore the differences and similarities between Rand and Ortega, and suggest some aspects of Ortega’s work that would be interesting to Objectivists.

Saturday, October 29, 2005

Halloween Party

Guests are asked to dress as an historical figure (living or dead) or a
fictional character. Rather than a complete costume, just give hints about
the depicted person. For example, red hair and a T-square would indicate
Howard Roark. Each guest will take a turn having the other guests ask yes or
no questions until we guess who they represent. The costume that requires
the most questions (the most difficult to guess) will receive a gift
certificate to Barnes and Noble. If you don’t want to wear a costume (do wear
clothes), that’s OK but please come and join in the questioning.

Tuesday, November 1, 2005

No Meeting due to the Halloween Party on October 29th.
Saturday, November 19, 2005

Topic: Happy Birthday Arizona Objectivists

Social Event to celebrate the birthday of Arizona Objectivists at Shawn and Kristen Klein’s home.

Tuesday, December 6, 2005

Topic: “Review of Randall’s Aristotle” By Ayn Rand
Leader:Jim Kirk

For our Tuesday meetings we will be using the essays in The Voice of Reason.
The book has three sections Philosophy, Culture and Politics. We will
alternate between sections.

Saturday, December 17, 2005

Topic: Annual Winter Party

Tuesday, January 3, 2006

Topic: “Who Is the Final Authority in Ethics?” By Ayn Rand
Leader:Shawn E. Klein

For our Tuesday meetings we will be using the essays in The Voice of Reason.
The book has three sections Philosophy, Culture and Politics. We will
alternate between sections.

Saturday, January 14, 2006

Topic:“The Art Fraud Virus” by Dick Morris

Dick Morris will discuss his book The Art Fraud Virus: a book about what art fraud is and how to avoid it.

Tuesday, February 7, 2006

Topic: “My Thirty Years With Ayn Rand” by Leonard Peikoff, epilogue to Voice of Reason
Leader:Jackie Hazelton

In honor of Ayn Rand’s birthday, Jackie will lead a discussion on Peikoff’s “My Thirty Years With Ayn Rand”. For our Tuesday meetings we will be using the essays in The Voice of Reason.
The book has three sections Philosophy, Culture and Politics. We will
alternate between sections.

Saturday, February 18, 2006

Topic:Something Wicked This Way Comes: Financing The Worker’s New Clothes
And His Retirement Fantasy
Leader: Gerry Smedinghoff

Anyone with a basic education knows that Social Security is a
financially and morally bankrupt Ponzi scam. And anyone with a basic
knowledge of business knows that the large corporate pensions of the
industrial era (airlines, autos, steel, etc.) are bankrupt and standing in
the long line of the Federal Government’s Pension Benefit Guarantee
Corporation (PBGC) patiently waiting for a bailout that will never come
because the PGBC itself is bankrupt.
This month, without the aid of smoke & mirrors, lock-boxes, rosy scenarios,
wildly optimistic financial projections, or compassionate conservatism,
Gerry will outline the history of the birth, rise, stagnation, fall and
ultimate destruction of the unfunded liabilities of the Western World –
including the ugly criminal secrets of actuarial malpractice that go
unpunished to this day.
With the aid only a bottle of vodka, a bag of M&Ms, and two dollar bills,
Gerry will explain how so many people could be fooled for so long, and why
the final reckoning of the payment for our unfunded liabilities will require
a cataclysmic catastrophe on the scale of the U. S. Civil War and the
Emancipation Proclamation.
This talk will be interactive, with intermittent questions, clarifications
and challenges welcome throughout the presentation.

Tuesday, March 7, 2006

Topic:Chapter 6 Fallacies
from The Art of Reasoning by David Kelley

Leader:Jackie Hazelton

We will use the following quote from the June 1986 issue of The Objectivist
(TOF), page 15 of 16 pages (the first comment in the Announcements
section) as the basis for our discussion.

Leonard Peikoff on Barbara Branden’s (then forthcoming) Passion Of Ayn Rand
which was officially released for publication on May 20, 1986. [The comments
were probably made before the book was officially out since Peikoff mentions
galley copies.]

“In answer to inquiries, 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 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 form 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.'”

Saturday, March 18, 2006

Topic:The Passion of Ayn Rand’s Critics
Leader: Terry Diamond
Terry will lead a discussion of the new book, The Passion of Ayn Rand’s Critics by James S. Valliant , that is criticial of the Brandens’ accounts of Ayn Rand.

Special Meeting Time!
Saturday, April 1, 2006

Topic: Ethical Intuitionalism
Leader: Michael Huemer, Ph.d

From Michael Huemer: “I will discuss a theory of the nature of ethics known as ethical
intuitionism, which is characterized by three central theses: (a) there are
objective, irreducible evaluative facts, (b) some evaluative facts are known
by a kind of intellectual insight, or “ethical intuition”, and (c)
evaluative facts give us reasons for action independent of our desires. I
shall focus on a few of the more common objections raised by Objectivists,
particularly those raised by Tara Smith, arguing that none of these
objections succeed. These include (1) that the notion of intuition is
unclear, and that perhaps intuitions do not even exist; (2) that
intuitionism does not make sufficient room for moral reasoning; (3) that we
stand in need of arguments for the reliability of intuition; and (4) that
intuitionism entails an overly subjective epistemology. The discussion will
be based on my recent book, Ethical Intuitionism (Palgrave Macmillan, 2005).
I will address any other issues raised by the audience.”

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Topic:Immigration Quagmire
Leader: Joe Duarte

– The five common arguments against immigration, legal or otherwise – and
the answers to these arguments.

– Common misconceptions on this issue.

– Problems related to immigration today, and their causes.

– Key themes will include the nature and applicability of basic freedoms,
and the nature of nationhood and sovereignty.

Recommended Readings: From “The Virtue of Selfishness”, two essays: ~Man’s
Rights~, and ~Racism~ (both by Ayn Rand). Also, “Economics in One Lesson” by
Henry Hazlitt.

Tuesday, May 2, 2006

Topic: “The Questions of Scholarships” By Ayn Rand
Leader:Bill Perry

For our Tuesday meetings we will be using the essays in The Voice of Reason.
The book has three sections Philosophy, Culture and Politics. We will
alternate between sections.

Saturday, May 20, 2006

Leader: Mike Read
Tuesday, June 6, 2006

Topic: “Through Your Most Grievous Fault” By Ayn Rand
Leader:Tom May

For our Tuesday meetings we will be using the essays in The Voice of Reason.
The book has three sections Philosophy, Culture and Politics. We will
alternate between sections.

Saturday, June 24, 2006 (Note change of date!)

Topic:Locke, Hume, and Rand
Leader: Shawn E. Klein

Shawn will go over the key elements of classical British Empiricism explaining how it leads to skepticism. He’ll then offer an analysis of how Objectivism achieves a skepticism-free empiricism. This talk is abridged from Shawn’s three-part lecture at The Objectivist Center’s Summer Seminar.

Tuesday, July 4, 2006

No Meeting due to TOC’s Summer Seminar
Saturday, July 15, 2006; Time: 6pm; Location: David & Cindy Wooten’s

Topic: Pot Luck and Pool Party

There will be an Ideal question contest. Ideal is in The Early Ayn Rand.
Winner (correctly answering the most questions) gets a $25 gift certificate to buy more books.
Also, we will recap the TAS/TOC 2006 Summer Seminar.

Tuesday, August 1, 2006; 6:30 PM
NOTE: Change of Location!

Topic: “To Young Scientists” By Ayn Rand
Leader:Lyman Hazelton

These remarks were delivered by Ayn Rand at MIT in March 1962. They were
addressed to “the students who are to be America’s future scientists.” Lyman
Hazelton remembers what it was like to be a young scientist and it is fitting
for him to reflect on these remarks that were given at his alma mater.

Change of Location: Streets of New York Brewery, 1470 E. Southern Ave., Tempe

For our Tuesday meetings we are using the essays in The Voice of Reason. As always, it is not necessary to read the essay to attend and participate. The discussion leader will summarize the essay and lead the discussion.

Saturday, August 19, 2006; 7 PM

Leader: Terry Diamond

Topic: Envy

It is possible that more energy is devoted to the problem
of envy and of being envied than any other social phenomenon. What is Envy?
How is Envy similar to, and different from: jealousy, resentment, guilt,
shame, and emulation?
What conditions trigger envy?
What can be done to stop or minimize envy?
What are the social and political consequences of envy?
Egalitarianism? Social Security, inheritance & Progressive
income tax?

Tuesday, September 5, 2006; 6:30 PM

Leader: David Weston, Facilitator for Socrates Cafe in Tempe

Topic: Socrates Cafe

Socrates Cafe is the name given to philosophy discussion groups promoted by
The Society for Philosophical Inquiry ( After
introductions, each participant suggests a question to discuss. Each
question is then put to a vote. The question with the most votes is
discussed. David will use the Socratic Method of asking probing questions
to guide the discussion through the following steps: Question > Definitions
> Assumptions > Values > Options > Benefit Cost > Answer.

Saturday, September 30, 2006; 7 PM

Leader: Marsha Familaro Enright

Topic:College of the United States
Marsha Familaro Enright will give a short presentation on her work to start
a new college, informed by Ayn Rand’s ideas, the Montessori Method and
Classical Liberalism. She will discuss the progress achieved in the last
year towards this end.

Saturday, October 28, 2006; 7 PM

Joint AO-SPOC Halloween Party at
Joe Duarte’s Apartment

Trillium at Rio Salado

987 W Washington St, Apt 311, in Tempe.


Tuesday, November 7, 2006; 6:30 PM

Leader: Jackie Hazelton

Topic: Elections

Saturday, November 18, 2006; 7 PM

Leader: William Perry

Topic: The Virtue of Committment

Tuesday, December 5, 2006; 6:30 PM


Atlas Shrugged and the Psychology of Creativity by Christopher Robinson

Audio Tape from 2004 Summer Seminar in Vancouver, British Columbia

Saturday, December 16, 2006; 6 pm:

Annual Winter Solstice Party

Jackie & Lyman Hazelton are hosting the eighth annual
Arizona Objectivists’ Solstice Party at their home on
Saturday, December 16, 2006 at 6 PM. Note earlier
start time.
DINNER – Nello’s Pizza. There will also be
holiday sweets for dessert and non-alcoholic beverages. If
you have special dietary needs or would prefer an
alcoholic beverage, please feel free to bring what you
require or desire, for yourself or to share. $5 donation
per person for pizza is requested.

GIFT EXCHANGE – We will play a present guessing game
to sharpen our logical reasoning skills and get to know
each other better. Please bring a wrapped gift worth no
more than $15 which represents something about yourself
(but of course should be an object that someone else
might like). Before entering, place the gift in a brown paper
bag (at the door) and then deposit it in the spare bedroom.
After dinner, we will draw numbers and begin
the present selection and analysis. (It’s most fun if
even partners and spouses don’t know each other’s present.)
Before and after each present is opened, the opener and
the rest of the guests will try to reason about who gave
it. After the last gift is opened, we will go around the
room and make our final guesses before the real givers are
revealed. Finally, the giver explains the gift selection.
Why, for example, he gave the CD with a potato perched
on a styrofoam couch. Ayn Rand’s Collective played
this game at Christmas time. If you prefer not to bring
a gift, you can forego participation in the exchange but
may still assist in the guessing.

Tuesday, January 2, 2007; 6:30 PM

Leader: Mike Read

Topic: “Black Rednecks and White Liberals”; lead essay in the book of the same name by Thomas Sowell

This explosive book challenges many of the long-prevailing assumptions about
blacks, about Jews, about Germans, about slavery, and about education.
Plainly written, powerfully reasoned, and backed with a startling array of
documented facts, Black Rednecks and White Liberals takes on not only the
trendy intellectuals of our times but also such historic interpreters of
American life as Alexis de Tocqueville and Frederick Olmsted.

Mike Read will summarize the essay and lead the discussion. It is not
necessary for you to read the essays for you to attend and participate.

Saturday, January 13, 2007; 7 PM

Leader: Jay Friedenberg

Topic: An Introduction to Cognitive Science

Cognitive science is the scientific interdisciplinary study of mind. It
encompasses a large number of different disciplines. The basis of the
cognitive approach is that minds are structures that represent and transform
information. Information can be represented in digital format, analog
format, or both. Human knowledge has also been considered to fall into broad
distinguishing types underlying our understanding of either facts or skills.
Information however is more than just a static representation. It must be
processed or operated upon in order to service some function.

Jay Friedenberg, Ph.D. is Associate Professor and Acting Chair of the
Psychology Department at Manhattan College, where he directs the Cognitive
Science program. He has recently coauthored an undergraduate textbook: Cognitive Science, An
Introduction to the Study of Mind
(Sage, 2005).

Tuesday, Feburary 6, 2007; 6:30 PM

Leader: Bill Perry

Topic: “The Psychology of Psychologizing” by Ayn Rand

Available in The Voice of Reason; orginally The Objectivist, March 1971. It is helpful to read the essay, but is not necessary. Bill will summarize
the essay and lead a discussion about the issues it raises.

Saturday, Feburary 17, 2007; 7 PM

Leader: Linda Tania Abrams

Topic:Berton Braley: the Bard of Business

Berton Braley published some ten thousand poems, mostly in newspapers and
magazines, in a career that spanned the first half of the 20th Century. His
feeling for the lyric possibilities in men, machines and industry led to his
unique professional role as “the Machine Age poet” and “Bard of Business, ”
staff poet of Coal Age, American Machinist and other industry journals.

Tuesday, March 6, 2007; 6:30 PM

Leader: Jackie Hazelton

Topic: Eliminating the Altruistic Baggage
talk by Joseph Rowlands, M.S. from The Objectivist Center Summer Seminar 2006

Conventional morality is build upon an altruistic base. While Objectivism
rejects altruism in favor of rational self-interest, we can’t simply
substitute a new goal while using the same flawed framework. This speech
will identify several ways in which self-sacrifice still permeates the
thoughts of Objectivists, and provide alternatives. It will try to recast
our moral tools to be more consistent with a philosophy of living.

Jackie will summarize the talk and lead and lead a discussion about the issues
it raises.

Saturday, March 17, 2007; 7 PM

Leader: Shawn Klein

Topic: Sam Harris on Religious Moderation and Toleration

After watching a short, twenty minute lecture by author Sam Harris,
Shawn will lead a discussion of some of the issues that Harris raises
in his talk and his book, The End of Faith. Some of the issues to be
discussed: religious moderation, toleration and criticism of
religion, and the nature of belief. Sam Harris is the author of the
New York Times bestsellers, The End of Faith and Letter to a Christian Nation

Tuesday, April 3, 2007; 6:30 PM

Leader: Jackie Hazelton

Topic: “Who Is An Objectivist?” talk by William Thomas, M.A. at The Objectivist Center Summer Seminar 2006

From time to time, the Objectivist movement has faced the question of who is
in it and who is out. One cause of ongoing controversy and confustion is a
lack of agreement about what defines an Objectivist as such. Is an
Objectivist someone who was deemed so by Ayn Rand? Is an Objectivist anyone
who calls himself such? This brings us to the questions: What defines
Objectivism as a philosophical system? and Who is to be the judge of whether
a person or an argument is, or is not, essentially Objectivist? William
Thomas provides answers to these questions and relates his discussion to the
history of the Objectivist movement.

Jackie will summarize the talk and lead the discussion.

Saturday, April 21, 2007; 7 PM

Leader: Jackie Hazelton

Topic: Movie Love Letters, screenplay written by Ayn Rand

We will view the movie and discuss. Wikipedia description and IMDB page.

Tuesday, May 1, 2007; 6:30 PM

Leader: Mike Read

Topic: “Objectivism and Rage” by Barbara Branden

Branden gave this lecture at the TAS/TOC 2006 Summer Seminar. You can find the text of the talk at TAS/TOC website

Saturday, May 19, 2007; 7 PM

Leader: Shawn Klein

Topic: Milton Friedman

Milton Friedman passed away in November 2006. Shawn will lead a discussion of this great champion of liberty’s life and work. The discussion will be based off of the 1990 PBS show “Free to Choose“.

Tuesday, June 5, 2007; 6:30 PM

Leader: Nova Walsh

Topic: “The Anatomy of Cooperation” a talk by Robert James Bidinotto

This talk was given at The Objectivist Center Summer Seminar 2006. You can find the text of the talk at TAS/TOC website

Saturday, June 16, 2007; 7 PM

Leader: Jackie Hazelton

Topic: OHP: The Birth of Objectivism Vol 2.
The extraordinary story of how the Objectivist movement was born…
Henry Mark Holzer describes his unique role as “intellectual bodyguard” of Ayn
Rand and the early Objectivist movement. Rand’s longtime freind and
biographer, Barbara Branden, reveals what changed her view on the role of
emotions. Libertarian icon John Hospers remembers his exhilarating and
challenging philosophical debates with Rand. Novelist Erika Holzer on Atlas
Shrugged including a fundamental insight that astonished Rand. Plus much
more in this revealing program drawn from the best of the Objectivist History
Project’s exclusive video interviews. Objectivist History

Tuesday, July 3, 2007; 6:30 PM

No Meeting.

Saturday, July 21, 2007; 6 PM

8th Annual Pot Luck and Pool Party

At the home of David and Cindy Wooten. Will include the Summer Seminar Recap and
Questions on Think Twice, a play from The Early Ayn Rand.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007; 6:30 PM

Leader: Tom Heaps-Nelson
Topic:“Intel’s Andy Grove: A Profile in Rationality”

Original content talk based on the extensive literature documenting Intel’s
history and on almost a decade of work experience at the company.

Saturday, August 18, 2007; 7 PM

Leader: Bill Perry
Topic: Reflections on Atlas Shrugged

This is the fiftieth anniversary year for Ayn Rand’s novel ‘Atlas Shrugged’.
Bill Perry has read the book over 25 times in the last 42 years. He will
discuss what it means to him, why he has read it so often, and read some
favorite inspirational passages. In case you have not read ‘Atlas’, there
will be spoilers.

Saturday, September 15, 2007; 7PM

Leader:Jim Heaps-Nelson
Topic:On Intelligence book by Jeff Hawkins

Jeff Hawkins’ TEDS talk where he first outlined his theory will be shown and
Jim will delve into how Hawkins’ memory-prediction framework is similar to
some aspects of the Objectivist epistemology including how the human
neocortex’s facility for invariant representation provides the mental
machinery for measurement omission. Jim will also explore the role of
hierarchy in mental functioning.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007; 6:30 PM

Leader: Joe Cobb
Topic:Ayn Rand & Ludwig von Mises: Objectivism and Economic Theory

Prior to writing Atlas Shrugged, Ayn Rand became familiar with Ludwig von
Mises and the Austrian School of economics in New York City, where Mises
lectured as a Visiting Professor at New York University. She recognized a
common epistemological foundation with her emerging ideas about epistemology
and ethics.

Saturday, October 13, 2007; 7PM

Leader:Jackie Hazelton

Topic:Is There an Objectivist Sense of Life?
Talk at SS07 by Robert Bidinotto

Ayn Rand’s simplest definition of her philosophy, which appears in her
postscript to Atlas Shrugged, begins with “the concept of man as a heroic
being.” However, within the Objectivist movement, some writers profess
disinterest in Rand’s heroic fiction, reject her views on romance and
esthetics, and sometimes even appear to endorse spiritually debased cultural
values and practices. “Some self-styled Objectivists, ” writes Robert
Bidinotto, “read Ayn Rand’s lyrics, but remain deaf to her music.” In this
lecture, Mr. Bidinotto will argue that Rand’s esthetics is not an ancillary
or dispensable aspect of Objectivism, but that it manifests the fundamental
meaning of her philosophy. He will further contend that no full or valid
understanding of Rand’s philosophy is possible without grasping, and
embracing, her metaphysical view of man, as embodied in her art.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007; 6:30 PM

Leader: Jennifer Haman
Haman, an ardent Ron Paul supporter and member of Arizona Objectivists, will
discuss Paul’s stance on the issues of the day and explain why this stance
fits better with Objectivism than the other candidates.
Saturday, November 17 , 2007; 7PM

Event:Tibor Machan at Goldwater Institute

*Special Location*: Goldwater Institute Auditorium

Topic:Objectivist author and philosophy professor Tibor Machan will give a free
lecture on Politics, Faith and God’s Nonexistence. This meeting is a joint meeting with the Phoenix Objectivists

Tuesday, December 4, 2007; 6:30 PM

Leader:Jim Kirk
Topic:The Lesson of Vietnam by Ayn Rand

This article was written in May 1975, a few weeks after the fall of South
Vietnam to the Communists. Jim Kirk will summarize the article and
lead the discussion.

Saturday, December 15 , 2007; 6 PM

Event:9th annual Arizona Objectivists’ Solstice Party
Dinner, catered by Nova Walsh, and Gift Exchange hosted at the Hazeltons.
Saturday, January 19 , 2008; 7 PM

Leader: James

Topic: Free State Project: An Update
The Free State Project is an effort to recruit 20,000 pro-liberty
activists to move to New Hampshire, where they will create “a society in
which the maximum role of civil government is the protection of life,
liberty, and property.” James will be discussing his plans for
involvement with the project and what lead him to reach his decision.
The precedents for the FSP, the Parti Quebecois and Vermont’s “hippie
takeover,” will be discussed, as well as news of the progress being made
by activists already in New Hampshire.

Tuesday, February 5, 2007; 6:30 PM

Leader:Jackie Hazelton
Topic:Perennial Questions of Objectivism; Tape 1: Reason and Emotion by David Kelley
Saturday, February 16 , 2008; 7 PM

Topic: Ayn Rand: A Sense of Life

DVD Documentary to celebrate Rand’s birthday month.

Thursday, March 6, 2008; 7:30 PM

Special Event @ Gammage Auditorium, ASU Tempe Campus
Topic:Dr. Richard Dawkins will present: “The God Delusion.”

The lecture will be based on Dr. Dawkins’ controversial best
selling book. Dr. Dawkins is a British ethologist, evolutionary
biologist and popular science writer who holds the Charles Simonyi Chair
for the Public Understanding of Science at the University of Oxford.

Instead of our meeting on the first Tuesday of the month, those
who are interested will gather on THURSDAYat Gammage to hear
Richard Dawkins.

The lecture is free but to get tickets you must register at the
Beyond Center web page:

Saturday, March 15 , 2008; 7 PM

Leader: Jackie

Topic: Discussion of Richard Dawkin’s The God Delusion
A preeiminent scientist–and the world’s most prominent atheist–asserts the
irrationality of belief in God and the grievous harm religion has inflicted
on society, from the Crusades to 9/11.

With rigor and wit, Dawkins examines God in all his forms, from the
sex-obsessed tyrant of the Old Testament to the more benign (but still
illogical) Celestial Watchmaker favored by some Enlightenment thinkers. He
eviscerates the major arguments for religion and demonstrates the supreme
improbability of a supreme being. He shows how religion fuels war, foments
bigotry, and abuses children, buttressing his points with historical and
comtemporary evidence. The God Delusion makes a compelling case that belief
in God is not just wrong but potentially deadly. It also offers exhilarating
insight into the advantages of atheism to the individual and society, not the
least of which is a clearer, truer appreciation of the universe’s wonders
than any faith could ever muster.

It is not necessary to read the book to attend and participate. Jackie will
summarize the book and lead the discussion.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008; 6:30 PM

Leader:Jackie Hazelton
Topic:Perennial Questions of Objectivism; Tape 2: Virtue and Self-Interest
by David Kelley
Saturday, April 19, 2008; 7 PM

Leader:Jackie Hazelton
Topic:“If There Have to Be Taxes,What Are the Least-Bad Taxes?”
Audio CD by Bert Ely Summer Seminar 2005

Taxes understandably are an unpleasant subject for Objectivists, and a subject
they have not explored in depth. While some Objectivists contend that
whatever functions a minimalist government must perform (national defense,
policing, courts, etc.) can be financed entirely by user fees and voluntary
contributions, as Rand suggested, those sources of funding may be
insufficient. Taxes must then be levied to cover the spending shortfall.

Ely first reviews Rand’s writings about taxes and the “proper method of
financing government.” After outlining why taxes might have to be collected,
Ely presents criteria for evaluating the “badness” of various forms of
taxation and reviews against those criteria the myriad of taxes a government
might levy. Ely then proposes which types of taxes might be “least-bad” from
an Objectivist perspective. This presentation should generate extensive
discussion while shedding light on a subject Objectivist theory needs to
address more fully.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008; 6:30 PM

Leader:Jackie Hazelton
Topic:Perennial Questions of Objectivism:
Tape 3: Survival vs Flourshing;
Audio Tape of David Kelley at the 2001 Summer Seminar

(from the Summer Seminar brochure)From the time that Ayn Rand first set forth Objectivism as a philosophical
system, a small set of perennial questions have occupied the attention of
people with an intellectual interest in Objectivism. How is free will
compatible with the law of causality? Can all values be grounded in
survival-literal existence or non-existence-or must we introduce flourishing
as the ultimate moral goal? Is it possible to prove that it is always in our
interest to respect the rights of others? Such questions occupy the vast bulk
of discussion time on internet discussion lists, college bull sessions, and
other forums. In this six-unit course, David Kelley will discuss one question
per day. His goal is not to provide definitive answers, but to analyze why
these questions have proved so difficult for Objectivists. He will define the
issue, summarize arguments for the alternative views, and indicate what sort
of additional evidence or analysis would be required to resolve the issue.

Saturday, May 17, 2008; 7 PM

Leader:Ron Tobin
Topic:“The Herd Mentality”

Ron Tobin will be making a presentation on “The Herd Mentality.” Drawing from
several sources, we will consider whether or not humans are, by and large,
inclined to be followers, not leaders, to let others do their thinking for
them, rather than thinking for themselves. Particular points include “Me Too
Mania,” the “bandwagon effect,” and why people will act in ways in a mob that
they would never dream of doing as individuals.

Rand said that humans are rational animals. Ron contends that Rand was rather
an optimist when it comes to most people.