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paul d.


Boise, ID

Member since:

August 15, 2013

Most of us have read Atlas Shrugged or The Fountainhead. What other books or articles by Ayn Rand do you particularly like?

20 years ago I read both novels and most of her non-fiction works. I liked almost all of it, except I think she is not aware of certain aspects of social psychology which still left me with unanswered questions. If I recall correctly, she thinks many social problems can be solved by a kind of hard individualism, and while this is sometimes true, I don't always think this is feasible.

This group is open to everyone interested in the writings and ideas of Ayn Rand. Some of us are members of the Ayn Rand Institute, some of us are members of are Atlas Society and some of us have no affiliations. Do you have an affiliation?

I am a member of the American Philosophical Association, and the International Plato Society. For my first book I was elected to the HL Mencken Club. They only have about 75 members, and you have to be nominated by a member and elected by the board of directors.

Our group members want to learn from and be inspired by each other. How do you strive to live with the sense of life that Ayn Rand has inspired you to live?

I would say that I have consistently tried to have a better understanding of how psycho-biology structures our thought and behavior, and how we can tweek it to live more volitional lives. I would say that about 95% of people today are pretty much robots. Almost everyone is living in a cultural vocabulary first put in place by the Christian-Platonist culture of the ancient regime. By getting a better sense of how nature and human nature works, we can get a better sense of our weaknesses and what we have to work against and for. My focus for research for the last 22 years is on what we are, and much less what we ought to be, but I am always trying to get a better answer to that question. And that is one reason why I am interested in Ayn Rand. I take it pretty much day at a time, and that seems to be working. In other words, I only come to firm conclusions when I have a lot of evidence.

Ayn Rand named the philosophy she wrote about in her books "Objectivism." On a scale from 1 to 10 where 1="never heard of it" to 5="pretty familiar with it, but have more to learn" to 10="I am John Galt", what is your knowledge of Objectivism?

As I said, 20 years ago I read about 80% of her books, and the only disagreement I had was her lack of social psychology in certain contexts, like crime and gender. I can't remember a lot of detail because it was so long ago, but I just reread the first 30 pages of "Atlas" and most of it seemed great. I guess I would say I am a 5, as I need a refresher, and that is one reason for contacting you.


I am a full time writer, and have published 3 books on political philosophy which use evolutionary psychology as my basic model. I am very interested in ethics, art and politics. I have been given memberships in 3 learned societies for my books.

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