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North Texas Objectivist Society (NTOS) Message Board › The Objectivist Center VS. ARI??

The Objectivist Center VS. ARI??

Plano, TX
Post #: 32
I have visited the ARI site, and have found it pretty helpful to me. I check out The Objectivist Center's site today.
They both have a lot of books, etc....I came across on a review of one of david kelley's book, (I don't remember which book) where there was a comment by a review that the Objectivist Center was less "cultish" than the Ayn Rand Institute. (??)

They sell a lot of the same books that ARI does, including many by Peikoff. They also sell Branden's work as well. (perhaps his earlier work before he and Rand fell out of graces?).

Anyhoo...I was just wondering if anyone here felt there was a difference between the two. They both seem to be promoting Objectivism, but I don't think I have ever seen a reference to The Objectivist's Center site here...although I did the group listed there.

Any thoughts? Is there any real difference...I guess it doesn't really matter, but I am just curious.

Thanks...and I hope none of you are suffering from a cold like me.
Santiago V.
Dallas, TX
Post #: 31
I believe TOC has some issue with Peikoff, and the individuals who founded it broke with the ARI and founded their own institution.

Its not a very interesting story, all told. The issue was whether Objectivism was an "open system" or not - i.e., whether writers other than Ayn Rand could really contribute to the Philosophy. Rand made clear during her lifetime that the philosophy was her own, and while it was possible that other people might expand on her own observations or even invalidate some of them, but it would not be Objectivism: it would be crazyeyebrowism or whatever it is someone wanted to call it.

TOC's error is seeing value in the label "Objectivism" and resenting when they're not allowed to use it to label their own ideas. The problem is Rand closed the system herself; you can no more "add" to it than you can "add" to aristotleanism. The error is a grave one; the value in any idea is not the label you put on it, but the idea itself. So even if your idea is a logical continuation of Objectivist principles, if you come up with something genuinely new it is not Objectivism; it is, however, still right (that is assuming you came up with a valid idea.)

In addition, if I'm recalling this correctly, the original differences started over David Kelley (founder of TOC) speaking at libertarian groups. Peter Schwartz wrote an article criticizing it called "On Sanctioning the Sanctioners", to which Kelley responded with "A Question of Sanction", which Dr. Leonard Peikoff responded to with "Fact and Value". You can look them up online if you want to read them. But the main deal is that the TOC people find no problem with the idealless libertarian party.

I've already gone over why Libertarians are not compatible with Objectivism. Peter Shwartz further elaborates here. Essentially, because of all of that, they broke off and formed their own organization apart from the ARI, and claim that they are "cultists" because they do not tolerate libertarianism and because they don't allow people to add to Objectivism.
Plano, TX
Post #: 33
Thank you for the clarification.
Norman, OK
Post #: 19
If “crazyeyebrowism” ever becomes a popular spin off, I want a t-shirt !!!!!
Plano, TX
Post #: 34
Of course, tshirts will be a required garb for crazyeyebrowism....shall be more of a cult, of course. cloaks, sneakers and matching haircuts.
All part of my brilliant and cunning plan.
Hammad H.
user 2469690
San Marcos, TX
Post #: 2
I believe that Santiago Venezuela's explanation of the issue above is essentially correct, except for two points. (For the following, I am assuming my position, which is that Objectivism is true.)

Ayn Rand, after having developed and inductively validated her philosophy, was certain of its truth. As a result, she did not think that any part of it would be invalidated in the future. (I am not fully certain about this, however, and if I am wrong, I would appreciate a reference to a statement of hers indicating that I am wrong.) The reason for this is because certainty in regard to a given idea requires that the evidence one has behind it be conclusive, which means that one must not have any evidence that some evidence relevant to the idea may be missing and found out in the future to be against the idea. (In connection with this, the argument "It is possible for an idea/theory accepted as true and certain to be overthrown in the future--as indicated by the many theories/ideas accepted as true and certain in the past being overthrown later--therefore, it is possible that idea X, which we recognize as being conclusively supported today, will be overthrown in the future," is a non-sequitar. One cannot logically infer from a premise about a capacity of a kind of thing a conclusion that one particular thing of that kind has that capacity. One must know the particular characteristics of that particular thing. See also Dr. Peikoff's example of a similar argument about running and giving birth in the section "Certainty as Contextual" in Ch. 5 of OPAR [which, in the hardcover edition, is on pp.177-8.])

To understand this issue better, it would be probably be helpful to read and chew Ch.4 and 5 of OPAR (especially the section "Certainty as Contextual" in Ch. 5).

It is important to remember that Objectivism is the name of the philosophy (i.e. system of philosophic principles) which Ayn Rand developed, and to distinguish between philosophic principles and ideas which are not philosophic principles. A philosophic principle is one that is very broad, and pertains to reality as a whole, or to man's relationship to reality as a whole. For example, that a government should be limited by and serve to protect individual rights, is a philosophic principle which is a part of Objectivism. It is about a crucial political requirement of man's life, as dictated by reality--including the reality of man's nature--as such. But Ayn Rand's position that in normal circumstances a woman should not seek to be president (from "About a Woman President" in the anthology _The Voice of Reason_) is not a philosophic principle, and thus not a part of Objectvism _per se_. Miss Rand clearly thought that it was IMPLIED by and CONSISTENT with Objectivism, but an idea being implied by a philosophic system is not the same as the idea being a part of the system. If that position (of whose truth or falsity I am uncertain) turns out to be false, and not in fact implicit in Objectivism, its falsity would not show that any part of Objectivism is false.

Thus, one can be an Objectivist and hold ideas which are not parts of Objectivism (as long as one is rationally convinced that the ideas are consistent with Objectivism). One rejects Objectivism if one knows and maintains that one explicitly or implicitly rejects any idea which is a PART of Objectivism.

Also, any Objectvist MUST hold ideas that are not parts of Objectivism! This is because in order to act and live, philosophic knowledge is simply not enough. Upon learning and coming to agree with Objectivism, one must integrate it with one's other knowledge, i.e. with one's non-philosophic ideas, which are not parts of Objectivism, but which, if in fact true, should be consistent with Objectivism. (Dr. Peikoff discusses the necessity to integrate new knowledge with old, and philosophy's special role in integration, in Ch. 4 of OPAR.)

Further, while Miss Rand regarded Objectivism as "complete" in the sense of it being a broad philosophic framework that is able to serve as a rational guide to a person's life, I do not believe that she considered HER philosophy--Objectivism--to pre-empt the entire FIELD of philosophic truth. (Again, if I am wrong, please cite a reference.) There are still other true philosophic principles to be discovered. Dr. Gary Hull once gave the example of a principle of all the metaphysical categories. Objectivism itself explicitly names only four--"entity," "attribute," "action," and "relationship." But these four (as Aristotle's works seem to indicate) probably are not exhaustive. A principle naming all such categories would be consistent with, but not a part of, Objectivism. Further, Dr. Peikoff indicates in OPAR that Miss Rand considered the derivative virtues she named as the crucial and fundamental forms of rationality, but not as an exhaustive list of virtues. There may be less fundamental virtues which are not parts of Objectivism, but which are consistent with Objectivism.

Because my time is limited, I did not edit the above as much as I would have if I were submitting it to some other publishers. But I hope it helps clear up more confusions than it creates.

--Ahmad Hassan
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