North Texas Objectivist Society (NTOS) Message Board › Tracinski and the ARI

Tracinski and the ARI

Santiago V.
sanjavalen
Dallas, TX
Post #: 162
Here's something:

In a recent blog post on Rule of Reason, Nick Provenzo notes that the op-eds of Robert Tracinski posted on ARI's web site now appear with the following note in the tagline: "Robert W. Tracinski is no longer associated with the Ayn Rand Institute--neither as a writer nor as a speaker."

Discuss.
Sherry
SherryTX
Plano, TX
Post #: 340
Bah. Just more soap opera.
Tracinski has written some great stuff, and some not so great stuff. I am not anti-ARI, and I can understand a parting of the ways if ARI and Tracinski cannot see eye to eye (some stuff that seems major, and some doesn't) but I don't think it warrants all the discussion it is getting on all the blogs and discussion boards around the internet.

One more reason to be a non denominational Objectivist. (Or non denominational student of Objectivism.)

That's all I have to say about that.
Santiago V.
sanjavalen
Dallas, TX
Post #: 163
Bah. Just more soap opera.
Tracinski has written some great stuff, and some not so great stuff. I am not anti-ARI, and I can understand a parting of the ways if ARI and Tracinski cannot see eye to eye (some stuff that seems major, and some doesn't) but I don't think it warrants all the discussion it is getting on all the blogs and discussion boards around the internet.

One more reason to be a non denominational Objectivist. (Or non denominational student of Objectivism.)

That's all I have to say about that.

Well, actually what I find refreshing about this whole thing is the complete lack of drama that has accompanied such things in the past. Tracinski wrote some stuff that the ARI feels doesn't jive with Objectivism, so the ARI says he doesn't represent them anymore, end of story. No denouncement/counterdenouncement/tracins­kischism occuring, which is better than in the past.

I wonder if its a different situation or just that someone's running the ARI differently these days.
A former member
Post #: 132
Though I don't speak for The Ayn Rand Institute, I would say the split is due to what was discussed in another thread on this board.

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Philosophic essays based on the philosophy of Ayn Rand

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Applied Philosophy Online .com

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Sherry
SherryTX
Plano, TX
Post #: 342
Yes, the lack of drama on ARI's site is good...I am referring to the "drama" on various discussion boards and blogs.
Santiago V.
sanjavalen
Dallas, TX
Post #: 164
Yes, the lack of drama on ARI's site is good...I am referring to the "drama" on various discussion boards and blogs.

You mean you look at other messege boards other than this one?

Well, thats obviously the core of your problem there.
Sherry
SherryTX
Plano, TX
Post #: 343
Yes, I am a discussion board infidel.
I am also a culinary infidel, but that is better left explained at another time in another thread.
A former member
Post #: 133
The reason this is an important issue and why it is being discussed so much is that The Intellectual Activist for a long time running was the voice of Objectivism in print for periodicals. There were Miss Rand's own periodicals and The Objectivist Forum run by Harry Binswanger, that were top notch in terms of presenting Objectivism qua philosophy; but these haven't been available as new articles for a very long time. The Intellectual Activist started with Peter Schwartz, then went to Bob Stubblefield, then to Robert Tracinski; and has been available. That fact made it special, and now it would seem that Tracinski has dropped the ball. There was never any doubt that Peter Schwartz or Bob Stubblefield were Objectivists through and through, even though they sometimes printed material that was controversial in Objectivist circles. However, what they never did, and what Tracinski has done, is to repudiate the necessity and the power of philosophy as such (and therefore of Objectivism in particular).

While I certain wish that people could learn how to be rational strictly inductively and without formal training and against irrational teachings, it just doesn't work that way. If it did work that way, well we would be living in a rational paradise! Because it would mean that there are a great many independent rational thinkers out there, each being their own philosopher. If only that were the case!

But even aside from those issues, there is the issue of him claiming that scientific advancements are deduced from philosophy; or rather his claim that some Objectivist philosopher or another made this claim, when none of them did. I think this shows not merely a discrepancy between what it means to have a philosophy and how it is applied (not deduced), but also shows that he doesn't grasp Objectivism in terms of what it will do for all fields, once it is accepted. While it is true that a rational physics, for example, is applied philosophy; one has to be rational before one can apply it to a particular field. In other words, one has to be rational (i.e. have a rational philosophy, at least implicitly) before one can use it to accomplish a particular task -- such as a rational physics.

Somehow or another, Robert Tracinski has come to the conclusion that a great many people are saying, "To hell with philosophy, since it is so screwed up. I'm going to study reality!" And he has done this without realizing that this is the expression of a philosophy; and without realizing that this is the after-glow of The Enlightenment.

So, I don't know, it is as if he can't see the forest for the trees -- i.e. he sees particular achievements, but he doesn't think philosophy has anything to do with it. He says he came to this conclusion after writing TIA Daily for more than a year; and somehow by doing that, he lost the big picture.

$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$­$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$

Philosophic essays based on the philosophy of Ayn Rand

www.appliedphilosophyonline.com­

Applied Philosophy Online .com

Where Ideas Are Brought Down to Earth!

tmiovas@appliedphilosophyonline.com

All rights reserved 2006 by Thomas M. Miovas, Jr.

Lathanar
Lathanar
Dallas, TX
Post #: 239
But even aside from those issues, there is the issue of him claiming that scientific advancements are deduced from philosophy; or rather his claim that some Objectivist philosopher or another made this claim, when none of them did.
He didn't claim that the sciences are deduced from the philosophy, that's what he's arguing against:
The first relevant fact to recognize is that achievements in the special sciences like economics, psychology, and biology, and in other specialized fields such as history, law, and even journalism?all of these are not mere "applications" of philosophy. That is, one cannot arrive at them simply by deducing them from one's philosophical knowledge. They require original observations and integrations derived directly from experience.
Now that I've had more time to carefully read his article, I think the source for it probably can be figured out from this part a little further down from that last bit:
Yet that is a common view among Objectivists. I ran into an example of this recently in an Objectivist discussion group, where I challenged the notion (which has been propagated for some years in Objectivist circles) that religious dogmatism is an unstoppable intellectual trend, since unlike Communism it cannot be discredited by its consequences in reality.
I think the guy was just trying to hit back at some people that he was having discussions with and aggrivated by, more than likely some younger college age "I know everything" or "I am Howard Roark" Objectivist types. After re-reading it, I agree with a lot of what he was saying, but not all of it. I think his main point was valid though.

- Travis
A former member
Post #: 135
This is from Tracinski's "Pajama Epistemology" (the second part of his HTML website essay):

[A]ll of these are not mere "applications" of philosophy. That is, one cannot arrive at them simply by deducing them from one's philosophical knowledge. They require original observations and integrations derived directly from experience.
<snip>
It is induced up from the facts, not deduced down from philosophical principles.
<snip>
A specialist cannot produce knowledge within his own field simply by "reading off" results from the assumptions taught to him by philosophers.
<snip>
Unfortunately, that has been an implication of the common Objectivist interpretation of the role of ideas in history.

What he is arguing against is rationalism, which he then claims is the common Objectivist interpretation of how ideas come down from philosophers to the special sciences. It is a straw man argument because that is not the Objectivist understanding of how ideas in the special sciences are brought about by philosophy.

For him to claim that Objectivism advocates that physics, for example, is deduced from philosophy is a serious mis-representation of Objectivism; and if he wants to stand by it, which he evidently does, then people who do understand Objectivism (such as ARI) have every right to say that he can't speak or write for us any longer.

$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$­$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$

Philosophic essays based on the philosophy of Ayn Rand

www.appliedphilosophyonline.com­

Applied Philosophy Online .com

Where Ideas Are Brought Down to Earth!

tmiovas@appliedphilosophyonline.com

All rights reserved 2006 by Thomas M. Miovas, Jr.

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