Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Weekly Objectivism Seminars!

Awesome. Greg Perkins has announced weekly sessions to discuss Objectivism-related books. It has a very reasonable fee ($15 per book studied) and the sessions are going to be about an hour long. If you can't make the live sessions, they will be recorded and you can listen on your own.

How cool is that? I've been missing out on our local group (but filling that time with other fun and productive activities of my own). So I think I will check it out. Another bonus for me--no babysitter required.

To sign up go to the Objectivism Seminar website. The first book that will be studied is Tara Smith's Ayn Rand's Normative Ethics: The Virtuous Egoist, a book that I have but have not yet read.

1 comment:

PhysicistDave said...


For various reasons, I cannot participate in Greg's seminar. However, as it happens, I have been reading Smith's "Ayn Rand's Normative Ethics" as well as her earlier "Viable Values."

Personally, I think that “Viable Values” does not work: I think that she fails to make a convincing passage from life as survival to life as flourishing. I also think she fails to take a fully biological perspective: after all, any modern biologists will tell you that biology is not just about survival but about passing on your genes. That means reproduction --- AKA kids!

On the other hand, I am enjoying “Ayn Rand’s Normative Ethics” and am actually finding it useful in teaching my kids about the virtues, etc. (they’re not reading it themselves, of course).

That brings up an online debate I’m in over at Ergo’s website (indirectly, I suppose, it’s your fault – it was your recent link to his “Target of Ideological Outreach” post that caused me to jump over to read the blog entry in question). Anyway, Ergo and I are debating whether and to what degree philosophy can be and should be taught to grade-school kids. Based on my own experience with my kids, I think the prospects are brighter than he thinks they are. Since you’re a homeschooler as I am, and since all of us have some similar philosophical views, you may find the debate relevant. I’m finding that the debate is clarifying my own views some – hopefully, Ergo is also finding it useful.

I’m curious to know if you’ve read “Viable Values,” and, if so, if you end up sharing my view that “Ayn Rand’s Normative Ethics” is a much better book.

All the best,

Dave Miller in Sacramento