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November 11, 2014

Ayn Rand, Girl-Power Icon

I was interviewed by Maureen O'Connor for New York Magazine, and the resulting piece, "Ayn Rand, Girl-Power Icon," is an interesting read. My dear friend and colleague, Mimi Reisel Gladstein, with whom I co-edited Feminist Interpretations of Ayn Rand, was also interviewed for the essay.

The article provides us with a lesson on how certain ideas penetrate our culture and enter popular consciousness.

Check out the piece here.

June 17, 2014

JARS: Exciting July 2014 Issue!

The July 2014 issue of The Journal of Ayn Rand Studies (Volume 14, Number 1) will be in the hands of subscribers shortly, and it is filled with a host of provocative essays by Rand scholars, many of them new to our pages.

NEW JULY 2014 JARS

The issue features the following essays (see abstracts here and contributor biographies here).

Introduction: Life, Death, Renewal - Chris Matthew Sciabarra

Barbara Branden’s Bibliography - Roger E. Bissell

Why James Taggart Is No Prince Charming: Ayn Rand and Fairy Tales - Caroline Breashears

The Problem with Selfishness - Marsha Familaro Enright

Preference Formation, Choice Sets, and the Creative Destruction of Preferences - Russell S. Sobel and J. R. Clark

REVIEWS

Ayn Rand Society Philosophical Studies (reviews of Metaethics, Egoism, and Virtue: Studies in Ayn Rand's Normative Theory and Concepts and Their Role in Knowledge: Reflections on Objectivist Epistemology (edited by Allan Gotthelf and James G. Lennox) - Fred Seddon

DISCUSSION

Symposium on Robert L. Campbell’s essay, "An End to Over and Against" (published in the July 2013 issue):

Reply to Robert L. Campbell: Thoughts for the Future - Jennifer Burns

Reply to Robert L. Campbell: The Mainstreaming of Ayn Rand - Mimi Reisel Gladstein

Reply to Robert L. Campbell: Landscapes Overlooked - Anne Conover Heller

Rejoinder to Jennifer Burns, Anne Conover Heller, and Mimi Reisel Gladstein: Psychology, Jewishness, and Noting and Working Around - Robert L. Campbell

This symposium is certainly a highlight of the issue. Imagine this: a writer reviews two recently published biographical-historical studies of Ayn Rand, and receives written replies from the authors of these books, as well as another scholar in Rand studies, and the reviewer writes a rejoinder. It may sound like a novel concept for a periodical dealing with Rand studies (though it is, or should be, business-as-usual for journals claiming to be "scholarly"). But through the years, Rand-oriented periodicals have been notoriously sectarian, their editors never dreaming to allow authors to reply to their critics for fear of sanctioning something vaguely or explicitly "evil" (thankfully, that trend is changing, as Fred Seddon notes in his review of the recent Ayn Rand Society publications, which feature essays and replies, and "Author Meets Critics" formats). In JARS, however, it is, indeed, business as usual, and we are extraordinarily proud to present such a civilized and illuminating exchange in this exciting issue.

The issue begins, however, by noting the passing of two figures important to Ayn Rand studies: Allan Gotthelf and Barbara Branden. As the author of the introduction, "Life, Death, Renewal," I had personal dealings with both of these individuals. I write:

With this issue, the journal wishes to acknowledge the passing of two individuals who made a significant impact on the development of Ayn Rand studies: Allan Gotthelf, an Aristotelian and Randian scholar; and Barbara Branden, Ayn Rand's first authorized biographer, who later went on to write The Passion of Ayn Rand, until recently, the only available full-length biography of Rand.
Gotthelf (Brooklyn-born, 30 December 1942) received his master's degree in mathematics from Pennsylvania State University, and his Ph.D. in philosophy from Columbia University. His doctoral dissertation, "Aristotle's Conception of Final Causality," won first prize in the Dissertation Essay Competition of The Review of Metaphysics, where it was published in December 1976 (vol. 30, no. 2, 226-54). Gotthelf subsequently edited a number of works in Aristotle studies, including a Festschrift in honor of David M. Balme, entitled Aristotle on Nature and Living Things: Philosophical and Historical Studies (Mathesis, 1985), and a coedited volume with James G. Lennox, Philosophical Issues in Aristotle's Biology (Cambridge University Press, 1987). A collection of sixteen essays on Aristotle by Gotthelf was published by Oxford University Press in 2012, entitled Teleology, First Principles, and Scientific Method in Aristotle's Biology, as part of the Oxford Aristotle Studies series.
Gotthelf also authored and edited a number of works on Ayn Rand. His primer on Rand for the Wadsworth Philosophers Series, On Ayn Rand (2000), was reviewed in these pages by Aeon Skoble (The Journal of Ayn Rand Studies 2, no. 1, Fall 2000, 131-35). He also coedited, with James G. Lennox, the first two books collecting lectures given before the Ayn Rand Society, where he served as secretary from 1990 until his death in 2013. These books, published by the University of Pittsburgh Press---Metaethics, Egoism, and Virtue: Studies in Ayn Rand's Normative Theory (2011) and Concepts and Their Role in Knowledge: Reflections on Objectivist Epistemology (2013)---are reviewed in the current issue by Fred Seddon.
For several years, Allan Gotthelf and I exchanged correspondence, both before and after the 1995 publication of the first edition of my book, Ayn Rand: The Russian Radical. I acknowledged his criticisms of my work in my book---indeed, it was he who provided the precise wording with which he felt most comfortable. But when the book was finally published, he felt obliged to tell me that he would do "scholarly battle against" my work and its "obfuscation" of the ideas of Ayn Rand (correspondence, 26 May 1996).
That battle sometimes took on a bit of partisan ugliness. When our journal was first published, we worked diligently to get it included in indexing and abstracting services across disciplines and geographic boundaries. Our efforts paid off considerably; we are now indexed and abstracted by nearly two dozen services in the humanities and social sciences. But getting JARS into The Philosopher’s Index was something that Allan Gotthelf opposed strongly. At a meeting of the Eastern Division of the American Philosophical Association in December 1999, he took exception to the very idea of including The Journal of Ayn Rand Studies in The Philosopher’s Index. He could not outright oppose the inclusion of Rand scholarship per se in an index aimed at reaching academia, for he was a cofounder of The Ayn Rand Society, itself affiliated with the Eastern Division of the APA. But he made it very clear that, in his view, JARS was not a legitimate scholarly undertaking---despite the fact that several members of its founding advisory board had been officers of, and presenters to, the very society that he chaired. Nevertheless, as required, we submitted the first three issues of our journal to the Philosopher’s Information Center, and JARS was added to the Index immediately thereafter.
Not enough has been said about Barbara Branden's scholarship and the importance of the early contributions she made to the articulation of the content of Objectivism and to the biography of its founder. She was born Barbara Weidman in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada (14 May 1929). She and her future husband, Nathaniel Branden (born Nathan Blumenthal), met Rand in 1950. Barbara received a master's degree in philosophy from New York University, where her thesis on free will was developed under the direction of Sidney Hook. Barbara and Nathaniel conducted a profoundly important series of biographical interviews with Rand in 1960-1961 that formed the basis of Barbara's biographical essay, "Who is Is Ayn Rand?" the title essay of a book coauthored with Nathaniel (Random House, 1962). It was the only authorized biography published in Ayn Rand's lifetime---one that Rand considered part of the Objectivist canon even after her bitter break with the Brandens in 1968. But those recorded interviews also served as the basis for Barbara's sprawling biography of Rand, The Passion of Ayn Rand (Doubleday, 1986). It was Barbara Branden who developed a comprehensive course on the "Principles of Efficient Thinking," taught during the operative years of the Nathaniel Branden Institute, which disseminated Rand's philosophy worldwide, with live and audio-recorded lectures. Barbara's course was based on Rand's epistemology. And it was Barbara Branden who first brought the field of "psycho-epistemology" to the attention of Rand.
I should mention that my own personal dealings with Barbara began, like my dealings with Gotthelf, out of the work I was doing in preparation of the first edition of Russian Radical. But my contact with Barbara was of an entirely different nature; what she offered me was generous amounts of unambiguously constructive criticism and, over time, the depth of her friendship and love. I also worked closely with her a few years after the publication of Russian Radical, as she prepared the lead essay for a collection that Mimi Reisel Gladstein and I coedited, entitled Feminist Interpretations of Ayn Rand, part of the Penn State Press series "Re-reading the Canon," which now includes thirty-five volumes, focusing on thinkers as diverse as Plato, Aristotle, Arendt, and Daly. It was an honor to bring her and Nathaniel together in publication for the first time since their 1962 book. Each provided a contribution to the book. "Ayn Rand: The Reluctant Feminist," by Barbara, told a tale of a woman philosopher who denounced feminism, but who nonetheless influenced a generation of thinkers in the emergence of an alternative radical individualist form of feminism, which can be found in the writings of authors such as Camille Paglia and Joan Kennedy Taylor.
It was therefore with great sadness that I learned of Barbara's passing on 11 December 2013. It is my hope that the annotated bibliography that follows, compiled by Roger E. Bissell, will, at the very least, bring to light Barbara Branden's significant contributions to the Objectivist literature, so important to the ever-expanding world of Ayn Rand studies.
It is also apropos that in the current issue we feature a symposium on Robert L. Campbell's recent JARS review of biographical and historical work published by Jennifer Burns, author of Goddess of the Market: Ayn Rand and the American Right, and Anne C. Heller, author of Ayn Rand and the World She Made. The exchange includes replies from Burns, Mimi Gladstein, and Heller, and a rejoinder from Campbell. Much of this discussion is enriched because of the crucial early biographical work that Barbara Branden provided for future scholars, in the extensive interviews she conducted with Rand and her contemporaries, and in the material she published in her lifetime.

Notes and references appear in the published article.

That's just an introduction to what is going to be one of the most talked about issues of The Journal of Ayn Rand Studies ever published.

Check out subscription information here.

January 31, 2014

JARS 2014: Project MUSE and Other Developments

The Journal of Ayn Rand Studies will be publishing its 14th volume this year, and we are happy to report that Project MUSE will begin its coverage of the journal with the appearance of our first 2014 issue in July. As the Project MUSE site explains:

Project MUSE is a leading provider of digital humanities and social sciences content; since 1995, its electronic journal collections have supported a wide array of research needs at academic, public, special, and school libraries worldwide. MUSE books and journals, from leading university presses and scholarly societies, are fully integrated for search and discovery.
MUSE currently includes: 303,411 articles and 592,408 chapters by 234 publishers

2014 JARS content won't actually appear in searches or on the site until the publication of our first 2014 issue, scheduled for a July 2014 appearance (though MUSE does have searchable content for my recently published second expanded edition of Ayn Rand: The Russian Radical... jeez, if I can't plug my own book, who can?).

And what an issue Volume 14, Number 1 promises to be; it will include many first-time authors in the expanding universe of Rand scholarship. And it will also include a mini-symposium on Robert L. Campbell's lengthy article, which appeared in Volume 13, Number 1, "An End to Over and Against," which reviews recent biographical-historical studies of Rand: Jennifer Burns's book, Goddess of the Market: Ayn Rand and the American Right and Anne C. Heller's book, Ayn Rand and the World She Made. The mini-symposium includes replies from Jennifer Burns, Anne C. Heller, and Mimi Reisel Gladstein, as well as a rejoinder from Campbell. What a time to be discussing recent, independent biographical work on Rand, especially in light of the passing of the first biographer to publish an "authorized" biography in Ayn Rand's lifetime, my dear friend, Barbara Branden.

There are so many other essays to look forward to in the coming issue, which will use the occasion to mark the passing of Barbara Branden, as well as another Rand scholar, Allan Gotthelf, who passed away in August 2013. He was not a friend of the journal or my work, but he was one of the founders of the Ayn Rand Society of the American Philosophical Association, Eastern Division. Much more to follow... stay tuned.

Finally, subscribers should check the changes made to the 2014 price schedule, found here.

December 17, 2013

New Journal of Ayn Rand Studies December 2013 Issue Arrives!

The new year-end issue of The Journal of Ayn Rand Studies is published today and can be found on JSTOR for online subscribers. It will be arriving in hard copy in mailboxes across the globe over the next week or so. And it completes the first year of our collaboration with Pennsylvania State University Press. And what a year it's been; Volume 13 has given us 250 pages of wonderfully provocative essays by regular JARS contributors and many new ones.

jars13_2cover.jpg


The new issue features the following line-up:

Articles

Probability, Objectivity, and Induction - Arnold Baise

The Gospel According to Ayn Rand: Anthem as an Atheistic Theodicy - Michael G. Simental

Egoism and/or Altruism - Merlin Jetton

Economics in Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged - Edward W. Younkins

Modern Physics versus Objectivism - Warren C. Gibson

Reviews

Beneath The DIM Hypothesis: The Logical Structure of Leonard Peikoff's Analysis of Cultural Evolution [a review of Leonard Peikoff's book, The DIM Hypothesis: Why the Lights of the West are Going Out] - Roger E. Bissell

Examining The Fountainhead [a review of Robert Mayhew's edited collection, Essays on Ayn Rand's "The Fountainhead"] - Fred Seddon

Discussion

Reply to Stephen Cox: Anarchism and the Problems of Rand and Paterson - Roderick T. Long

Rejoinder to Roderick T. Long: Anarchism and Its Own Problems - Stephen Cox

The Index to Volume 13 rounds out the issue.

Abstracts to the above essays can be found here; contributor biographies can be found here.

It has been a breakthrough year for this journal, and I just wanted to extend my deepest appreciation to all the contributors, supporters, and subscribers who made it possible. We look forward to a truly productive 2014 and wish all of our readers a happy and heathy holiday season. Happy reading to you!

October 12, 2013

Happy Birthday to Walter Grinder!

I want to take this opportunity to wish my friend and colleague, Walter Grinder, all of the health and happiness he deserves on the occasion of his 75th birthday! One fine resource for understanding Walter's gifts is a birthday link at the Free Banking site.

Walter was an important mentor to me especially during my formative years, while he was associated with the Institute for Humane Studies. His personal advice and guidance, his compassion and his wisdom, were indispensable to me. From a theoretical perspective, his work with John Hagel III on libertarianism and class analysis especially had a huge impact on the formation of my own "dialectical libertarian" perspective. I will forever be indebted to him for key observations on the nature of the state and for his encyclopedic knowledge of sources guiding me in crucially important intellectual directions.

More importantly, through the years, Walter has shown huge personal compassion toward me, in my own life-long health battles, perhaps because he, himself, has had his own share of health issues. I cannot begin to express in words just how deeply I appreciate his gifts.

A long and healthy life to a wonderful human being, colleague, and friend.

August 16, 2013

Russian Radical 2.0: Supplying Answers, Raising Questions

This week's discussion of the forthcoming publication of the new, expanded second edition of Ayn Rand: The Russian Radical has provided me with an avalanche of enthusiastic feedback from many people. I hope to answer the email in time, but I just wanted to thank everyone for a show of support. (And a shout out especially to Danny at Penn State Press for his nice blog post on this week's Notablog festivities.)

Much more information on this book will be posted in the coming weeks and months. If you'd like to receive an email that will inform you of the publication of the paperback, its price and availability at Penn State Press, Amazon.com, Independent Bookstore, Powell's Books, etc., sign up here.

I would like to end this week-long series of introductory blog posts on the second edition of Ayn Rand: The Russian Radical by addressing a question that has been asked by quite a few individuals in personal correspondence and discussion over the past week.

Many readers know that I spent an inordinate amount of time answering critics left and right, high, low, and sideways, almost every day, every week, for years, in the wake of the enormous controversy that was generated on questions both historical and methodological, by this book's 1995 first edition. And those discussions took place on various friendly and hostile online forums, Internet lists, and Usenet newsgroups, etc. Lord knows that the avenues for discussion have now multiplied exponentially with the expansion of social media, and it is almost impossible to keep count!

In addition to the almost daily engagement, I also replied to many formal and informal reviews, which were published online and in print. These are archived on my site (yes, the positive and the negative criticism can be found right there... by what right would I have to call this the "Dialectics and Liberty" site when dialectics itself originated in dialogue?!). The archives can be found here.

I also wrote a more extensive review essay, published in the 1997 issue of Reason Papers, which can be found here. That essay, entitled "Ayn Rand: The Russian Radical - A Work in Progress," sums up, and advances, much of the dialogue.

The subtitle also sums up something that is still applicable even to a second, expanded edition of this book: This is a "Work in Progress," and it will generate new questions that may require new answers. But we need to do a reality check: I can't and won't be able to do what I used to do, jumping from forum to forum and responding here and there to everyone left, right, center, high, low, and sideways. Occasionally, I will have something to say here at Notablog. But my time and energy are very different in 2013 at age 53, than they were in 1995, at age 35, when Russian Radical first appeared. And I've also got a lot of other "works in progress," that require my attention, including the enormously important work I'm doing with Penn State Press on The Journal of Ayn Rand Studies.

But there is a more important point to be made about "Works in Progress," a point that I have made several times in the second edition of the book, a million or so times online, and now, here again: As long as information is out there on Ayn Rand that has not yet been found or translated or interpreted or documented, there is work to be done by historians of many stripes. Some of this information is still to be found hidden deep in Russian archives long closed off to outside access. And some of this information also resides behind the walls of the Ayn Rand Archives. So I'd like to paraphrase the words of a President who stood before the walls that symbolized the closed environment that defined all that was Russian and Soviet: Tear Down Those Walls!

Yes, there is an enormous difference between the closed society of the former Soviet Union and the material that is rightly proprietary behind the walls of the Ayn Rand Archives, which has every right to set access policies. But archivists should not use these policies to stonewall those who may not share the views of the orthodoxy. Independent historians will never be able to assess the accuracy of what is coming forth, especially in published, edited form from those whose orthodox allegiance is not in question. Those of independent stripe need to see the original materials, unedited, unaltered, untouched by the visible hands of ambitious editors. I raised these questions first in 1998 in Liberty magazine, but my suspicions were confirmed by Jennifer Burns in her 2009 book, Goddess of the Market: Ayn Rand and the American Right. Burns writes:

Unfortunately, there are grave limitations to the accuracy and reliability of the putatively primary source material issued by Rand's estate. Discrepancies between Rand's published journals and archival material were first publicized by Rand scholar Chris Sciabarra, who noticed differences between the Journals of Ayn Rand (1999) and brief excerpts published earlier in The Intellectual Activist. After several years of working in Rand's personal papers I can confirm Sciabarra's discovery: the published versions of Rand's letters and diaries have been significantly edited in ways that drastically reduce their utility as historical sources. (Goddess of the Market, 291)

The Ayn Rand Archives deserves credit for having given Jennifer Burns access to its collections, but the multitude of legitimate scholars who have been kept out of its hallowed halls is utterly shameful.

Something here needs to be emphasized about the art of historical investigation and interpretation: The material in the Archives are calling out for the kind of detective work and interpretive work that cannot be done by those who are of an almost single orthodox mind-set. Facts are facts, but two people looking at the same material can come away from it with enormously different interpretations, because each scholar operates from a highly individualized context, with vastly different skill sets, and that means that many scholars looking at the same things can help to shed light where previously there was darkness.

It is my hope that the second, expanded edition of Ayn Rand: The Russian Radical will provide additional light on the historical evolution and analytical importance of Rand's unique contribution to twentieth-century radical social thought. Even if it didn't benefit from any access to any source material from the Ayn Rand Archives.

I'm glad to have had the opportunity to have published this five-part introduction to the forthcoming second edition. But there's lots more work to be done. Stay tuned.

August 15, 2013

Russian Radical 2.0: Preface to the Second Edition

Recently published on the Pennsylvania State University Press site is a sample chapter from the new 2013 second edition of Ayn Rand: The Russian Radical. Today, I publish that excerpt here, on Notablog.

Preface to the Second Edition (2013)

Nearly twenty years ago, Ayn Rand: The Russian Radical was published. In its wake came much controversy and discussion, which greatly influenced the course of my research in subsequent years. In 1999, I co-edited, with Mimi Reisel Gladstein, Feminist Interpretations of Ayn Rand, part of the Pennsylvania State University Press series on Re-Reading the Canon, which now includes nearly three-dozen volumes, each devoted to a major thinker in the Western philosophic tradition, from Plato and Aristotle to Foucault and Arendt. In that same year, I became a founding co-editor of The Journal of Ayn Rand Studies, a biannual interdisciplinary scholarly journal on Ayn Rand and her times that, in its first twelve volumes, published over 250 articles by over 130 authors. In 2013, the journal began a new collaboration with the Pennsylvania State University Press that will greatly expand its academic visibility and electronic accessibility.

It therefore gives me great pleasure to see that two essays first published in the Journal of Ayn Rand Studies---"The Rand Transcript" and "The Rand Transcript, Revisited"---have made their way into the pages of the second, expanded edition of this book, providing a more complete record of the fascinating historical details of Rand's education from 1921 to 1924 at what was then Petrograd State University.

In publishing the second edition of any book written two decades ago, an author might be tempted to change this or that formulation or phrase to render more accurately its meaning or to eliminate the occasional error of fact. I have kept such revisions to a minimum; the only extensively revised section is an expanded discussion in chapter 12 of Rand's foreign policy views, relevant to a post-9/11 generation, under the subheading "The Welfare-Warfare State." Nevertheless, part of the charm of seeing a second edition of this book published now is being able to leave the original work largely untouched and to place it in a broader, clarifying context that itself could not have been apparent when it was first published.

My own Rand research activities over these years are merely one small part of an explosive increase in Rand sightings across the social landscape: in books on biography, literature, philosophy, politics, and culture; film; and contemporary American politics, from the Tea Party to the presidential election.

Even President Barack Obama, in his November 2012 Rolling Stone interview, acknowledges having read Ayn Rand:

Ayn Rand is one of those things that a lot of us, when we were 17 or 18 and feeling misunderstood, we'd pick up. Then, as we get older, we realize that a world in which we're only thinking about ourselves and not thinking about anybody else, in which we're considering the entire project of developing ourselves as more important than our relationships to other people and making sure that everybody else has opportunity---that thats a pretty narrow vision. It's not one that, I think, describes what's best in America.

The bulk of this book predates the president's assessment, and yet it is, in significant ways, a response to assessments of that kind. First and foremost, it is a statement of the inherent radicalism of Rand's approach. Her radicalism speaks not to the alleged "narrow vision" but to the broad totality of social relationships that must be transformed as a means of resolving a host of social problems. Rand saw each of these social problems as related to others, constituting---and being constituted by---an overarching system of statism that she opposed. My work takes its cue from Rand, and other thinkers in both the libertarian tradition, such as Ludwig von Mises, F. A. Hayek, and Murray N. Rothbard, and the dialectical tradition, such as Aristotle, G. W. F. Hegel, Karl Marx, and Bertell Ollman. From these disparate influences, I have constructed the framework for a "dialectical libertarianism" as the only fundamental alternative to that overarching system of statism. In this book, I identify Rand as a key theorist in the evolution of a "dialectical libertarian" political project.

The essence of a dialectical method is that it is "the art of context-keeping." More specifically, it emphasizes the need to understand any object of study or any social problem by grasping the larger context within which it is embedded, so as to trace its myriad---and often reciprocal---causes and effects. The larger context must be viewed in terms that are both systemic and historical. Systemically, dialectics demands that we trace the relationships among seemingly disparate objects of study or among disparate social problems so as to understand how these objects and problems relate to one another---and to the larger system they constitute and that shapes them. Historically, dialectics demands that we trace the development of these relationships over time---that is, that we understand each object of study or each social problem through its past, present, and potential future manifestations.

This attention to context is the central reason why a dialectical approach has often been connected to a radical politics. To be radical is to "go to the root." Going to the "root" of a social problem requires understanding how it came about. Tracing how problems are situated within a larger system over time is, simultaneously, a step toward resolving those problems and overturning and revolutionizing the system that generates them.

The three books in my "Dialectics and Liberty trilogy"---of which Ayn Rand: The Russian Radical is the second part---seek to reclaim dialectical method from its one-sided use in Marxist thought, in particular, by clarifying its basic nature and placing it in the service of a radical libertarianism.

The first book in my trilogy is Marx, Hayek, and Utopia, which I published in 1995 with the State University of New York Press. It drew parallels between Karl Marx, the theoretician of communism, and F. A. Hayek, the Austrian "free market" economist, by highlighting their surprisingly convergent critiques of utopianism and their mutual appreciation of context in defining the meaning of political radicalism.

Ayn Rand: The Russian Radical, the second book in the trilogy, details the approach of a bona fide dialectical thinker in the radical libertarian tradition, who advocated the analysis of social problems and social solutions across three distinctive, and mutually supportive, levels of generality---the personal, the cultural, and the structural (see especially "The Radical Rand," part 3 of the current work).

The third book and final part of the trilogy, Total Freedom: Toward a Dialectical Libertarianism, was published in 2000 by the Pennsylvania State University Press. It offers a rereading of the history of dialectical thinking, a redefinition of dialectics as indispensable to any defense of human liberty and as a tool to critique those aspects of modern libertarianism that are decidedly undialectical and, hence, dangerously utopian in their implications.

That my trilogy places libertarian thinkers within a larger dialectical tradition has been resisted by some of my left-wing colleagues, who view Marxism as having a monopoly on dialectical analysis, and some of my right-wing colleagues, who are aghast to see anybody connect a libertarian politics to a method that they decry as "Marxist," and hence anathema to the project for liberty. Ironically, both the left-wing and right-wing folks who object to my characterization of a dialectical libertarian alternative commit what Rand would have called "the fallacy of the frozen abstraction." For Rand, this consists of substituting some one particular concrete for the wider abstract class to which it belongs. Thus, the left-wing and right-wing critics both freeze and reduce the concept of dialectical method to the subcategory of one of its major historical applications (i.e., Marxism). They both exclude another significant subcategory from that concept, whether to protect the favored subcategory (as do some conservatives, libertarians, and Objectivists) or the concept itself (as do the leftists). Ultimately, they both characterize dialectics as essentially Marxist. It is as if any other variety of dialectics does not or cannot exist. In each case, the coupling of dialectics and libertarianism is denied. The left-wing dialecticians don't want to besmirch "their" methodology by acknowledging its presence in libertarian thinking, while the right-wing proponents of liberty don't want to sully their ideology with a "Marxist" methodology.

But as I have demonstrated in my trilogy, especially in Total Freedom, it is Aristotle, not Hegel or Marx, who is the "fountainhead" of a genuinely dialectical approach to social inquiry. Ultimately, my work bolsters Rand's self-image as an essentially Aristotelian and radical thinker. In doing so, my work challenges our notion of what it means to be Aristotelian and radical.

I am cognizant that my use of the word "dialectics" to describe the "art of context-keeping" as a vital aspect of Rand's approach to both analyzing problems and proposing highly original, often startling solutions, is controversial. My hypothesis---in this book and in the two additional essays that now apear as appendices I and II of this expanded second edition---that Rand learned this method from her Russian teachers has generated as much controversy. Rand named N. O. Lossky as her first philosophy professor. Questions of the potential methodological impact on Rand that Lossky and her other Russian teachers may have had, and the potential discrepancies between Rand's own recollections with regard to Lossky and the historical record, were all first raised in Russian Radical. These issues, nearly twenty years after they were raised, have resulted in Rand's prospective "authorized" biographer arguing that Rand's recollections were mistaken. In my view, however, this turn in historical interpretation is itself deeply problematic. I discuss these issues in a new essay, which appears as appendix III, "A Challenge to Russian Radical---and Ayn Rand."

I am genuinely excited that the Pennsylvania State University Press has enabled me to practice what I dialectically preach: placing Russian Radical and its cousins in the larger context both of my research on Rand and of my Dialectics and Liberty trilogy enables me to present readers with a clearer sense of what I have hoped to accomplish. Thanks to all those who have made this ongoing adventure possible.

Chris Matthew Sciabarra
1 July 2013

[Notes and in-text citations have been eliminated from the above excerpt; they can be found in the new expanded second edition of this book.]

August 14, 2013

Russian Radical 2.0: 1995 vs. 2013: What's Different?

The 2013 second edition of Ayn Rand: The Russian Radical offers a vastly expanded content over its 1995 predecessor. I have written a "Preface to the Second Edition," which I will publish here tomorrow. And whereas the first edition closed with the Epilogue, the second edition adds three new appendices, expanded notes and references, and an expanded index as well.

Readers will recall that I did not have access to Rand's college transcript when I published Russian Radical and that I had to piece together a portrait of a very turbulent time in the history of what was then Petrograd State University (and later became Leningrad University, and then, returned to its original name: the University of St. Petersburg). Nevertheless, I stated explicitly that the evidence I had collected and the conclusions I reached included a dose of reasonable speculation and a nod to "best explanation."

But I knew more evidence existed out there, and I was relentless in my quest to locate Rand's actual college transcripts. Some of this quest involved dealings with the Ayn Rand Institute discussed here. Not to be deterred by what I believed were unreasonable demands made by ARI, I was able to network globally with a remarkably cooperative and generous group of scholars and archivists, who eventually led me to the first college transcript. My analysis of its contents appeared in the first issue (Fall 1999) of The Journal of Ayn Rand Studies. The article was entitled "The Rand Transcript". As the abstract to the article states:

This essay discusses the major historical significance of the discovery and investigation of Ayn Rand's transcript from the University of St. Petersburg. The document provides evidence of Rand's study with some of the finest Russian scholars of the period, and helps to resolve certain paradoxes concerning Rand's relationship to the philosopher, N. O. Lossky. It also contributes to our understanding of those methods and ideas that may have influenced Rand's intellectual development.

But further investigation was required; more information and more detailed transcripts existed. Researching her biography of Ayn Rand (which was later published in 2009 as Ayn Rand and the World She Made), Anne C. Heller, working with Blitz Information Services, offered to share all of the information she recovered on Rand's education in the Soviet Union. My work on those materials subsequently helped her to piece together a more complete documentation for her Rand biography. It was truly a refreshing moment in scholarly cooperation.

It was not until the Fall of 2005 that I was able to publish my findings of the most detailed transcript analysis to date. As indicated in the abstract to that essay, "The Rand Transcript, Revisited":

In an examination of recently recovered materials from Russian archival sources, Sciabarra expands on his earlier studies of Rand's secondary and university education in Silver Age Russia (see the Fall 1999 Journal of Ayn Rand Studies essay, "The Rand Transcript"). He uncovers new details that are consistent with his historical theses, first presented in the 1995 book, Ayn Rand: The Russian Radical. He reexamines the case for a connection between Rand and N. O. Lossky, and proposes a possible parallel between Lossky and a character Rand called "Professor Leskov" in an early draft of the novel, We the Living.

It therefore gives me great pleasure to announce that "The Rand Transcript" and "The Rand Transcript, Revisited" are now Appendices I and II, respectively, in the second edition of Ayn Rand: The Russian Radical. This is where this research belonged; they complete the historical investigations of part one of the book in ways that could not have possibly been anticipated in 1995, when the book was first published.

Up to 2012, no scholar anywhere had fully taken on the task of criticizing the actual historical case that I made in the first edition of Russian Radical or in the subsequent essays in JARS. Then, in 2012, ARI-affiliated scholar Shoshana Milgram wrote an essay entitled "The Education of Kira Argounova and Leo Kovalensky," which now constitutes a new Chapter Four of the expanded second edition of Robert Mayhew’s edited collection, Essays on Ayn Rand’s "We the Living". For the first time, some aspects of my historical detective work are found "problematic" by a writer who is actually the newly 'designated' "authorized" biographer of Ayn Rand.

Appendix III, entitled "A Challenge to Russian Radical---and Ayn Rand," written especially for the second edition of Russian Radical is my reply to her criticisms. I won't spoil the reading experience, but I'll just say that Milgram essentially dismisses my contention of any connection between Rand and Lossky, by dismissing Rand's recollections of Lossky... recollections, mind you, that were communicated to Nathaniel Branden and Barbara Branden in biographical interviews in the early 1960s, and that were published in Barbara Branden's biographical essay (and the title of the 1962 book): "Who is Ayn Rand?" That essay was the only published biographical essay in Ayn Rand's lifetime and had her full sanction even after her 1968 break with the Brandens.

My response to Milgram, therefore, is not merely a defense of my historical thesis, but a defense of the integrity of Rand's memory of a traumatic period in her life.

The three appendices are not the only additional materials in the second edition. I was able to update some of the scholarship, do a few nips and tucks, and provide a whole new sub-section for Chapter 12 ("The Predatory State"), which expanded considerably on material already present in the first edition. That new subsection is called "The Welfare-Warfare State," and it reveals things about Rand's views of U.S. foreign policy that might astound both her conservative and liberal critics.

A full "Table of Contents" comparison of the two editions can be found here. Readers will be able to trace even the page differences between the first and second editions at that link.

August 13, 2013

Russian Radical 2.0: The Cover Story

Yesterday, it was about The Cover. Today, it's The Cover Story.

It was around the second or third week of August 1995, that both Marx, Hayek, and Utopia and Ayn Rand: The Russian Radical made their first appearance, providing the illusion that this author would be the kind of prolific writer who would be publishing two books a week for the rest of his career. (Okay, okay, I didn't do too badly... but still!)

From the very beginning, however, these two books were conceived as part of a trilogy, which would seek to reclaim dialectics ("the art of context-keeping") in the service of a radical libertarian politics. The scheme of that trilogy came about in the planning stages of my doctoral dissertation in political philosophy, theory, and methodology at New York University, where I earned my Ph.D. under the direction of Marxist scholar, Bertell Ollman. There have been few scholars on the left or the right who encouraged me in my work on libertarianism as much as this dear friend and colleague. "Toward a Radical Critique of Utopianism: Dialectics and Dualism in the Works of Friedrich Hayek and Karl Marx" was completed and successfully defended with distinction in 1988. Two parts of that dissertation---those focusing on Marx and Hayek---became the basis of Marx, Hayek, and Utopia, which was readied and planned for publication in 1989-90 by Philosophia Verlag, a West German publishing house that met its extinction around the time that West Germany itself integrated with the East to become, simply, Germany. (One of the parts of the dissertation, which focused on the work of the great Murray Rothbard, was revised and expanded considerably, and was later incorporated as part of the culminating book of my "Dialectics and Liberty Trilogy": Total Freedom: Toward a Dialectical Libertarianism.)

With the Marx-Hayek book put on hold temporarily, I decided to begin work on what was to become the second part of the trilogy. And so began the massive (and that's an understatement) historical and methodological research project that eventually became Ayn Rand: The Russian Radical. The book had been rejected by many university presses, which dismissed Rand as a figure not worthy of "scholarly" attention, and by many trade presses, which dismissed a book about a "pop" novelist and "philosopher" as being too scholarly. It eventually found a home with Pennsylvania State University Press. Under the brilliant, caring guidance of its director Sanford ("Sandy") Thatcher, the book was eventually published and began the process of dragging academia and Rand's "non-academic" Objectivist philosophy "kicking and screaming" into engagement with one another.

After a truly successful run of seven paperback printings, the book became one of the all-time Penn State Press sales champs.

Then, in 2012, the new director of Penn State Press, Patrick Alexander, had an inspired idea to re-release the book in an expanded second edition. More on that below.

In the meanwhile, Marx, Hayek, and Utopia finally found its own home at an American university press (the State University of New York Press) as part of their series on the "Philosophy of the Social Sciences" (and it is now available as an e-book; the first chapter is on the SUNY site as a sample PDF here). The book was published officially on 31 August 1995. And though the official date of publication for Russian Radical is listed as 19 June 1995, take it from me: both books finally made their way from their respective warehouses to my house in the same week of August 1995.

It was an odd coincidence, indeed, to have two books come out simultaneously; indeed, the second book in the trilogy (Russian Radical) actually made it to my home a few days earlier than Marx-Hayek! But it only made the intensive research and writing of the trilogy's finale, Total Freedom (published officially on 2 November 2000), all the more intellectually urgent for me. I knew that the first two books would generate even more questions than could possibly be answered in either of them, and that it required a re-reading of the history of dialectics and a re-definition of it that would make sense in the context of the radical libertarian political project to which I'd been aligned.

In the nearly two decades since the publication of the first two books of my "Dialectics and Liberty Trilogy," other projects, of course, took up enormous chunks of my time and intellectual energy. In 1999, I co-edited with Mimi Reisel Gladstein, Feminist Interpretations of Ayn Rand and became a founding co-editor of The Journal of Ayn Rand Studies. I wrote a couple of monographs, scores of articles for books, journals, magazines, and encyclopedias, and was deeply involved in online discussion forums for a long time, until I decided that there were only so many hours in a day, and opted to focus exclusively on my own work done my own way. That included the development of my own blog (Notablog) and an even greater focus on expanding the breadth, depth, and quality of The Journal of Ayn Rand Studies (JARS).

And so, when I was approached last year by Penn State Press director, Patrick Alexander, to begin a collaborative publishing project with the press, I jumped at the chance. After all, it would allow the editors of JARS to focus 100% of our energy on editorial functions and would give the press control over the business aspects of the journal (design, page proof preparation, additional copyediting, printing, subscription fulfillment, and mailing), which were absorbing endless hours of my time.

The first Penn State Press issue of the journal, Volume 13, Number 1 (July 2013) was just published (its actually fulfilled in an arrangement with Johns Hopkins University Press), and our year-end edition, scheduled for December 2013, will include nearly double the number of articles as the current one. I would say that we are now receiving a record level of submissions.

But Patrick had other ideas too; he thought it was about time to publish a second edition of Ayn Rand: The Russian Radical. I had done intensive research into Rand's education after my 1995 book was published, and two articles documenting that work were actually published in The Journal of Ayn Rand Studies ("The Rand Transcript," Fall 1999; "The Rand Transcript, Revisited" Fall 2005). I agreed with Patrick; I was (and remain) convinced that the new evidence that I'd investigated and published in support of my overall historical thesis---that Rand learned from, and was heavily exposed to the dialectical methods central to the cultural milieu of a particular place (Russia) and time (pre-and-post revolutionary)---needed to appear in a second edition, where it would get the kind of exposure it deserved.

So our plan was to include these two articles, plus a new "Preface to the Second Edition," which would enable me to situate the work in the larger universe of expanding Rand studies, and in the particular context of my own dialectical-libertarian project. Soon enough, however, we'd added a third appendix, enabling me to reply to a recent critic of my historical research into Rand's education (Shoshana Milgram, Rand's newest "authorized" biographer). [Note: When I accessed that page on 11 February 2013, the Ayn Rand Institute mentioned the "authorized biography of Ayn Rand by Shoshana Milgram" as "in preparation"; that has now been changed (accessed 8 January 2014): to "Biography of Ayn Rand by Shoshana Milgram (in preparation)." Note how the word "authorized" has now been dropped in the online description. See my post here, which discusses the change made to the site, and questions its timing.] Moreover, I was given the opportunity to tweak the book from cover to cover, updating some of the scholarship, and, along the way, adding a much-expanded section of Chapter 12 ("The Predatory State") dealing with Rand's radical critique of the welfare-warfare state, so relevant to a post-9/11 generation. The book was re-designed and re-keyed, the index was expanded, and before too long, an e-book will be in the offing [it is now available in a Kindle edition on amazon.com].

Tomorrow, in my next blog post on Russian Radical 2.0, I'll be discussing some of the specific differences between the first and second editions.

August 12, 2013

Russian Radical 2.0: The Cover

In daily posts over the course of the next five days, I am marking the publication of the second edition of Ayn Rand: The Russian Radical, offically scheduled for release on "Atlas Shrugged Day", 2 September 2013 . . . though, in this home, we have always known that date to be far more significant: it's my sister's birthday! And she's slightly older than Atlas. Nevertheless, more likely than not, the book will be circulating by the end of September or early October.

Published nearly two decades ago, the first edition of Russian Radical is actually celebrating its 18th anniversary this month. Also reaching its 18th birthday is my first book: Marx, Hayek, and Utopia. Tomorrow, in Part II of this series, I will present "The Cover Story" on the origins of the second edition of Russian Radical. wherein I'll have lots to say about both books.

Today, it's just The Cover. Quite literally. The clearest and boldest symbol of difference between the first and second editions of Russian Radical is illustrated by the cover. The classic 1995 first edition cover design by Steve Kress provided images of Ayn Rand, philosophy Professor N. O. Lossky, and the Peter and Paul Fortress, where, in 1924, the young Ayn Rand (nee Alissa Rosenbaum) lectured on the fortress's history.

Ayn_Rand_The_Russian_Radical 1.0

The second edition's cover design is, if you'll pardon the expression, quite a radical departure from the first edition. Those familiar with Ayn Rand will recall that her original working title for the book that was to become her magnum opus, Atlas Shrugged, was: "The Strike." Considering how strikes were customarily tools of organized labor, Rand was engaging in a kind of linguistic subversion that was characteristic of one of her earliest philosophic influences, Friedrich Nietzsche. Rand would often use words that had negative connotations, and totally invert their meaning. Hence, for Rand, there was a "virtue" of selfishness and "capitalism" was not a system of class exploitation, but an "unknown ideal." Well, in this instance, her working title for Atlas Shrugged was her way of using the word, "Strike" in a typically ironic fashion. For Rand (spoiler alert), Atlas Shrugged explores what happens when "the men of the mind" go on strike, when men and women of distinction, across all disciplines and specialities, across the worlds of business and art, no longer wish to sanction their own victimhood. The new cover uses the strike imagery in the color scheme of the country to which Rand emigrated in 1926 (the red, white, and blue of the U.S. flag), while also using banners with touches of red and yellow (let us not forget that it was the yellow of the "hammer and sickle" that was starkly imposed on the solid red background of the communist Soviet flag). Here's the new cover, folks!

ARTRRMEDIUM978-0-271-06227-3md.jpg

July 12, 2013

The New JARS Debuts on JSTOR

As I announced recently right here on Notablog, the new, and newly designed, Journal of Ayn Rand Studies, makes its online debut today on the JSTOR site, which, for all online subscribers to the journal has the added bonus of offering you every back issue fully archived. The new July 2013 print issue is in the mail and on its way to subscribers (you can order, or renew, a subscription, here).

This is the first issue published by the Pennsylvania State University Press (PSUP), and it is, if you don't mind me saying: Gorgeous. My deepest thanks to the press for doing it right: it is an utter and complete delight to have the editorial board give its undivided attention to all matters of content, and to have a publisher take care of all those wonderfully exciting tasks, like design, production, printing, subscription management, packaging, and mailing.

And we are already at work on the next issue, due out in December, which will begin production in August, and get to subscribers on time. That issue will have nearly twice as many articles as the current one, and promises to be another absorbing entry in the 13 volumes we've published since our 1999 premiere (thanks to hard-working editors, advisors, and those peer readers who participate in our double-blind peer review process).

The Journal has weathered many storms: moving from Port Townsend to Reno to Brooklyn, but through it all, we have worked diligently to get it indexed in whole, or in part, by more than two dozen abstracting services. Our new relationship with PSUP is going to vastly expand our visibility in the scholarly community, but, more importantly, it will exponentially expand our electronic accessibility for the benefit of all those seeking to do much-needed research in Rand studies. I am proud of the work performed by all those associated with this collaboration; this is team work at its best. But most of all, I am proud of the sweetest loyalty that our subscribers have shown since our first issue in 1999. This is the beginning of a new era; we are getting more submissions than ever, and reaching audiences far beyond our expectations.

Now, do yourselves one great favor: get the new issue, Volume 13, Number 1, our 25th published issue, and give yourself a chance to be excited, or infuriated, by one thought-provoking essay after another (check out the abstracts for the new issue, and the contributor biographies too). And if you're so inspired by the promise of this new collaborative adventure, write to us: We have authors who will be more than happy to respond in print in upcoming Discussion forums.

Most of all: Enjoy!

June 10, 2013

JARS: A New Era Begins

As advertised here, here, and here, The Journal of Ayn Rand Studies begins a new era this year: a collaboration with Pennsylvania State University Press, which will manage all aspects of design, production, distribution, and subscription fulfillment, while leaving the Editorial Board in full charge of the intellectual side of this grand adventure. As I state in the "Editor's Introduction: Change and Continuity," which appears in the new July 2013 issue: "In embarking on this new arrangement, the journal unveils a new look, but retains its commitment to introducing new writers to the ever-expanding world of Rand studies." And what a new look it is!

The New JARS!

The new issue, officially Volume 13, Number 1 (Issue #25, July 2013), features all-new essays, by both former contributers and new ones:

Editor's Introduction: Change and Continuity - Chris Matthew Sciabarra

Rand, Paterson, and the Problem of Anarchism - Stephen Cox

Little Prime Movers: The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged as Young Adult Literature - Will Stockton

Reviews

An End to Over and Against: A Review Essay on two recent Rand biographies: Goddess of the Market: Ayn Rand and the American Right, by Jennifer Burns; and Ayn Rand and the World She Made, by Anne C. Heller. Review by Robert L. Campbell

Discussion

Reply to Roger E. Bissell: Perplexing Logic - Dennis C. Hardin

Rejoinder to Dennis C. Hardin: A Guide for the Perplexed - Roger E. Bissell

Readers can access abstracts for the above essays here, and contributor biographies here.

And let me remind readers that Pennsylvania State University Press now offers print-only, online-only, and print-and-online subscriptions; online subscribers will have access to fully searchable essays, along with essays from every back issue published by JARS since its 1999 inception (back issues are already indexed for viewing on JSTOR, and we are now an affiliated journal of the Council of Editors of Learned Journals).

To order or renew subscriptions, fill out the form for mail-in or follow the links for online processing here.

Our year-end issue, due out in December 2013, promises to be even more exciting; it will be significantly larger than our July 2013 PSUP debut, with many provocative essays. Stay tuned! And enjoy...

Also mentioned at the Liberty & Power Group Blog.

May 17, 2013

Rand in Twentieth-Century Literary Criticism

In 2012, Gale, Cengage Learning published Volume 261 of the series, Twentieth-Century Literary Criticism.

TCLC Volume 261 Cover

Each volume publishes reprints of material that qualifies as "criticism of the works of novelists, poets, playwrights, who lived between 1900 and 1999, from the first published critical appraisals to current evaluations."

TCLC Volume 261Title Page.jpg

The newest volume includes three sections, each devoted to another writer: C. Day Lewis, 1904-1972; Jaroslav Hasek, 1883-1923; and Ayn Rand, 1905-1982, the "Russian-born American novelist, essayist, philosopher, and *playwright."

TCLC Volume 261 Contents Page

Many writers in Rand studies are featured in this section of Volume 261; the editors chose to reprint Chapter 8 of Ayn Rand: The Russian Radical.

TCLC Volume 261 Sciabarra Sample.jpg

In the meanwhile, I've been working hard on new materials to be included in the 2013 expanded second edition of Russian Radical. Details on this edition to follow soon...

March 08, 2013

JARS: Past, Present, and Future

I recently announced the publication of Volume 12, Number 2 (Issue 24, December 2012) of The Journal of Ayn Rand Studies. The abstracts and contributor biographies for the current issue can be found at those links. Subscribers and contributors should have already received their copies in the mail.

We have had a very small working staff as an independently published journal. Over the last few years especially, following the journal's move of its central headquarters from Washington to Nevada to good ol' Brooklyn, New York, much of the management tasks have fallen on a staff of one. Fortunately, Volume 12, Number 2 is the last issue that this staff will manage.

On the editorial side, of course, we've had a hard-working team, with a stellar cast of peer readers, and indefatigable Editorial and Advisory Board members.

Since the nuts-and-bolts stuff, that is, subscription fulfillment, design, production, distribution, and mailing, is being managed, starting with our first 2013 issue, by Pennsylvania State University Press, I am One Happy Camper. The first 2013 issue is already in process!

Editors and Advisory Board members will continue to do what matters, intellectually: guiding this publication’s content into an exciting future, with an even greater focus on the quality that our readers have come to expect. But the PSUP collaboration guarantees an even larger readership and an extensive dissemination of our content all across the globe. Part of this is already being generated by JSTOR, which has digitally preserved our back (and future) issues for the benefit of subscribers and scholars the world over. I have visited the JSTOR site, and am happy to report that every page of every back issue is now available; soon enough all of our content will also be dark archived by Stanford University’s CLOCKSS for eternal preservation.

Moreover, beginning with their receipt of Volume 13, Number 1 (scheduled for publication by PSUP in July 2013), current JARS subscribers will have full access to the journal’s content—and all of its back issues. New subscribers will have the option of print-only, online-only, or print-and-online access; our new subscription rates can be found here. The increases are modest, considering that our domestic rates have been the same since the journal’s first issue in the Fall of 1999. Let me encourage new subscribers and all of those who are considering re-subscribing (when their subscriptions are due for renewal) to take advantage of both print and online access. You won’t be disappointed.

As readers know, JARS has suffered profoundly personal losses with the passing of the journal’s visionary founder, Bill Bradford, and two of our original, and best, Advisory Board members, Larry Sechrest and John Hospers. With our December 2012 issue, I announced that JARS expanded its current Board of Advisors with an eye toward bolstering its interdisciplinary and international reach. Our new Advisory Board members fill that criteria resoundingly.

Volume 12, Number 2

In "Expanding Boards, Expanding Horizons," my Preface to the December 2012 issue, I re-acquaint readers with our Advisory Board members and introduce readers to the half-dozen new members, who are sure to contribute to the long-term success of this publication. First, I review our current Editorial Board, "now constituted by four hard-working scholars drawn from the humanities and social sciences," and provide a brief update on the work of my colleagues:

The newest addition is the elevation of our former Associate Editor and former Advisory Board member, Robert L. Campbell, to the Editorial Board proper. This merely formalizes a relationship that has existed for a long time; Campbell has been with JARS since its inception and has worked tirelessly in an editorial capacity, helping to maintain the quality of this journal. He is a Professor of Psychology at Clemson University. His writing in theoretical, developmental, and cognitive psychology has been published in journals as diverse as Human Development, The Behavioral and Brain Sciences, Cognitive Development, and The Journal of Pragmatics, to name but a few. Since 2005, he has edited the journal New Ideas in Psychology. When he’s not writing essays on Rand for our journal, he’s busy producing books such as The Earthly Recordings of Sun Ra (1994; second edition, 2000), and writing on jazz and blues for such periodicals as Cadence and Blues and Rhythm.
Stephen Cox, a Professor of Literature at the University of California, San Diego, has been a founding co-editor of JARS, and an indefatigable scholar and editor. His articles and monographs on Rand explore the underappreciated literary aspects of her work. He is also the author of the book on Isabel Paterson [The Woman and the Dynamo: Isabel Paterson and the Idea of America (2004)], an important American writer who influenced Rand’s intellectual evolution. Cox’s broad research interests are reflected in his other published work: on eighteenth-century British literature (“The Stranger Within Thee”: Concepts of the Self in Late-Eighteenth-Century Literature [1980]); William Blake (Love and Logic: The Evolution of Blake’s Thought [1992]); and the Titanic tragedy (The Titanic Story: Hard Choices, Dangerous Decisions [1999]). [And I should add his 2009 publication, a book published by Yale University Press: The Big House: Image and Reality of the American Prison.
Philosopher Roderick T. Long joined our Editorial Board after Bradford’s passing, with the publication of Volume 8, Number 1 (Fall 2006). A Professor of Philosophy at Auburn University, Long is also a senior scholar for the Ludwig von Mises Institute, Director and President of the Molinari Institute, an advisory panel member for the Center for a Stateless Society, and has served as editor of The Journal of Libertarian Studies. He has published countless essays on Ayn Rand, and is the author of Reason and Value: Aristotle versus Rand (2000). In 2008, he published Anarchism/Minarchism: Is a Government Part of a Free Country? (co-edited with Tibor R. Machan). His book, Wittgenstein, Austrian Economics, and the Logic of Action: Praxeological Investigations, is forthcoming.
Rounding out the Editorial Board is yours truly, Chris Matthew Sciabarra, a founding co-editor of this journal, author of numerous articles that have appeared in various encyclopedias and other periodicals, and of the “Dialectics and Liberty Trilogy,” consisting of Marx, Hayek, and Utopia (1995), Ayn Rand: The Russian Radical (1995; forthcoming expanded second edition, 2013), and Total Freedom: Toward a Dialectical Libertarianism (2000), and co-editor, with Mimi Reisel Gladstein, of Feminist Interpretations of Ayn Rand (1999).

Soon enough, I will be posting information on the expanded second edition of my book, Ayn Rand: The Russian Radical, which will include my 1999 JARS essay, “The Rand Transcript,” my 2005 JARS essay, “The Rand Transcript, Revisited,” a new Preface that will reflect on the nearly twenty years that has passed since the book’s first publication, and an extended Postscript, with a response to recent discussions of my historical work on Rand’s education.

Returning to the Preface for our current issue, however, I'd like to provide more information on our Board of Advisors, which now boasts twelve members. Among them are these original six, whose contributions and work are worth revisiting:

Philosopher Douglas J. Den Uyl co-edited, with Douglas B. Rasmussen, The Philosophic Thought of Ayn Rand (1984), which was the first collection of scholarly essays on Rand. The book, published by the University of Illinois Press, included varied interpretive contributions from Antony Flew, Robert Hollinger, Charles King, Tibor R. Machan, Eric Mack, Wallace I. Matson, Jack Wheeler, and the editors. Its approach—which brought scholarly rigor to the study of one of the twentieth century’s most controversial thinkers—inspired the founders of this journal. Den Uyl also authored a Twayne’s Masterwork Series book, The Fountainhead: An American Novel (1999), but his scholarship extends well beyond the Randian, encompassing such other works as The Virtue of Prudence (1991) and God, Man, & Well Being: Spinoza’s Modern Humanism (2008). He is also the co-author, with Douglas B. Rasmussen, of such works as Liberty and Nature: An Aristotelian Defense of Liberal Order (1991). Den Uyl remains the Vice President of Educational Programs at The Liberty Fund.
Mimi Reisel Gladstein, a Professor of English and Theatre Arts at the University of Texas, El Paso, has been one of the most prolific writers in Rand studies. She wrote the trailblazing 1978 College English article, “Ayn Rand and Feminism: An Unlikely Alliance,” that ultimately inspired the provocative 1999 volume in the Pennsylvania State University Press book series, “Re-reading the Canon”: Feminist Interpretations of Ayn Rand, which Gladstein and I co-edited. The series currently sports well over 30 volumes, each covering a major thinker in the Western canon, from Plato, Aristotle, and Immanuel Kant to Hannah Arendt, Simone de Beauvoir, and Mary Daly. Gladstein’s Rand scholarship also includes The Ayn Rand Companion (1984) and its much more comprehensive second edition, The New Ayn Rand Companion (1999), each surveying the ever-growing literature on Rand—from the literary and biographical to the philosophic and cultural. She is also the author of a Twayne’s Masterwork Series book, Atlas Shrugged: Manifesto of the Mind (2000), and Ayn Rand (2009), part of the Continuum series on “Major Conservative and Libertarian Thinkers.” This is all in addition to her seminal work on John Steinbeck, which earned her the John J. and Angeline Pruis Award for Steinbeck Teacher of the Decade (1978–1987), and the Burkhardt Award for Outstanding Contributions to Steinbeck Studies (1996).
Historian Robert Hessen, a senior research fellow from the Hoover Institution at Stanford University, is the editor of the multi-volume series Hoover Archival Documentaries. He has published many essays on topics in American economic and business history, and such books as In Defense of the Corporation (1978) and Steel Titan: The Life of Charles M. Schwab (1990)—not to mention original contributions to Ayn Rand’s Objectivist periodicals and to her book, Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal (1967).
Lester H. Hunt, a Professor of Philosophy at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, is the author of many articles on aesthetics, ethics, and politics, and such books as Nietzsche and the Origin of Virtue (1991) and Character and Culture (1997). He maintains the blog “E pur si muove!”
Eric Mack, a Professor of Philosophy at Tulane University, is the author of many essays on ethical and political philosophy, which have appeared in journals and books, and of such works as John Locke (forthcoming, January 2013), part of the Continuum series on “Major Conservative and Libertarian Thinkers.” He is also the editor of collections by Auberon Herbert (The Right and Wrong of Compulsion by the State and Other Essays, 1978) and Herbert Spencer (The Man versus the State, with Six Essays on Government, Society, and Freedom, 1981).
Douglas B. Rasmussen, Professor of Philosophy at St. John’s University, co-edited with Douglas J. Den Uyl, The Philosophic Thought of Ayn Rand (1984). He is also co-author, with Den Uyl, of such works as Liberalism Defended: The Challenge of Post-Modernity (1998) and Norms of Liberty: A Perfectionist Basis for a Non-Perfectionist Politics (2005). His essays have appeared in such journals as American Philosophical Quarterly, International Philosophical Quarterly, The New Scholasticism, Public Affairs Quarterly, The Review of Metaphysics, American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly, Social Philosophy and Policy, and The Thomist.

In the December 2012 Preface, I also present the six newest members of the JARS Board of Advisors:

David T. Beito, Professor of History at the University of Alabama, has authored many historical works, including Taxpayers in Revolt: Tax Resistance during the Great Depression (1989); From Mutual Aid to the Welfare State: Fraternal Societies and Social Services, 1890–1967 (2000); The Voluntary City: Choice, Community, and Civil Society (2002); and, with co-author Professor Linda Royster Beito of Stillman College, Black Maverick: T.R.M. Howard’s Fight for Civil Rights and Economic Power (2009). He is the founder of the “Liberty and Power Group Blog” , and has published in this very journal (“Isabel Paterson and the Idea of America,” Spring 2007, Issue 16).
Peter J. Boettke is a Professor of Economics and Philosophy at George Mason University (GMU), the BB&T Professor for the Study of Capitalism, and the Director of the F. A. Hayek Program for Advanced Study in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics at the Mercatus Center at GMU. He has also authored works on the history and collapse of the Soviet economy, including The Political Economy of Soviet Socialism: The Formative Years, 1918–1928 (1990); Why Perestroika Failed: The Economics and Politics of Socialist Transformation (1993); and Calculation and Coordination: Essays on Socialism and Transitional Political Economy (2001). He is also the author of Living Economics: Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow (2012) and a widely used textbook (co-authored with Paul Heyne and David Prychitko) entitled The Economic Way of Thinking (2009). He is the Editor-in-Chief of The Review of Austrian Economics. He contributed to our path-breaking Centenary Symposium, “Ayn Rand Among the Austrians” (Spring 2005, Issue 12), and is a scheduled participant in the 2014 American Philosophical Association Eastern Division meeting of the Ayn Rand Society on the topic, “The Moral Basis of Capitalism: Adam Smith, the Austrians, and Ayn Rand.”
Susan Love Brown, Professor of Anthropology, Florida Atlantic University, focuses on sociocultural, political, psychological, and African American anthropology, as well as on issues of gender, intentional communities, and social evolutionary theory. Her areal interests center on the United States and the Caribbean. She is the co-author (with Robert Bates Graber, Ralph M. Rowlett, Randall R. Skelton, and Ronald Kephart) of Meeting Anthropology Phase to Phase (2000), and the editor of Intentional Community: An Anthropological Perspective (2002). She has authored countless articles, which have appeared in many books, encyclopedias, and journals on topics as diverse as race and ethnicity, religion, and the counterculture. Her essays on Rand have appeared in several books—including Feminist Interpretations of Ayn Rand (1999) and Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged: A Philosophical and Literary Companion (2007)—and journals, including The Journal of Ayn Rand Studies (to which she has contributed two essays).
Hannes Hólmsteinn Gissurarson, Professor of Politics at the University of Iceland, earned his D.Phil. in Politics at the University of Oxford, where he was the R. G. Collingwood Scholar at Pembroke College. Among his many books are Hayek’s Conservative Liberalism (1987), Overfishing: The Icelandic Solution (2000), Kjarni malsins. Fleyg ord a islensku [A Dictionary of Quotations] (2010), and Islenskir kommunistar 1918–1998 [Icelandic Communists 1918–1998] (2011). He is also the Icelandic translator and editor of The Black Book of Communism (2009). He has served on the supervisory board of Iceland’s Central Bank (2001–2009) and on the board of the Mont Pelerin Society (1998– 2004) and is currently the academic director of RNH, the Icelandic Research Centre for Innovation and Economic Growth (RNH n.d). RNH is supporting the Icelandic Ayn Rand Project of the publishing house Almenna bokafelagid, which has already published Icelandic translations of Atlas Shrugged and The Fountainhead. In 2013, We the Living is due to be published in an Icelandic edition, which will include the play Night of January 16th (RNH 2012).
Steven Horwitz is the Charles A. Dana Professor and Chair of the Department of Economics at St. Lawrence University. He is the author of Monetary Evolution, Free Banking, and Economic Order (1992), Microfoundations and Macroeconomics: An Austrian Perspective (2000), and many articles on Austrian economics, Hayekian political economy, monetary theory and history, macroeconomics, and the social theory of the family. He co-edits the book series Advances in Austrian Economics. He has contributed essays to the JARS Symposium on “Ayn Rand and Progressive Rock” (Fall 2003, Issue 9) and the Centenary Symposium, “Ayn Rand Among the Austrians” (Spring 2005, Issue 12).
David N. Mayer, Professor of Law and History at Capital University, is the author of essays in law reviews, history and political science journals, and of the books The Constitutional Thought of Thomas Jefferson (1994) and Liberty of Contract: Rediscovering a Lost Constitutional Right (2011). He also serves on the board of the 1851 Center for Constitutional Law (in Columbus, Ohio), the editorial board of the Cato Supreme Court Review, the fellowships Academic Review Committee for the Institute for Humane Studies, and the advisory board of The Atlas Society. Among his essays is “Completing the American Revolution: The Significance of Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged at its Fiftieth Anniversary,” published in The Journal of Ayn Rand Studies (Spring 2008, Issue 18).


Working with JARS has been a labor of love, though I can think of a few instances where it has also been a labor of aggravation. That’s life. But after twelve years of independent publication, we are ecstatic to join forces with Pennsylvania State University Press, wherein we retain our intellectual independence and 100% control of the editorial side of this project. PSUP takes over all those managerial, production, subscription, and distribution tasks, all those tedious and endlessly exhausting tasks that I will truly miss. Not.

At the conclusion of our Tenth Anniversary Issue, it was my desire to have produced a Ten-Year Master Author Index, to remind readers of where we’ve been. Alas, circumstances made the production of that index impossible. But we have reached a major transitional moment in our history as we begin our collaboration with PSUP this year. So now, it seemed the perfect time to produce that Master Author Index, which provides an alphabetical listing of every author's essays, arranged chronologically. The Master Author Index can be found at the conclusion of the December 2012 issue; it covers all 12 volumes of the journal (Issues 1-24).

I should point out that I made one error in the Master Author Index; it was the omission of a single reference to Dennis C. Hardin. My apologies, Dennis! His entry is included in our Volume 12 index, but was mistakenly omitted from the Master Author Index. So, it gives me great pleasure to inform our readers that a corrected copy of the Master Author Index of our first twelve years of independent publication is now available as a PDF here. (We hope that JSTOR will provide a corrected copy as well.)

Finally, I want to express my deepest gratitude to Dave Barakat, with whom I worked closely in bringing this journal to print for so many years. Dave is now with Gator Communications Group LLC (they have a Facebook page too). He is, quite simply, one of the most professional, efficient, kindest, and downright charming people with whom I have ever worked. My best wishes to him in all his future endeavors.

September 15, 2012

JARS: Multimedia Shmurak Essay in Archives

The other day, I announced a major collaborative project between The Journal of Ayn Rand Studies Foundation and Pennsylvania State University Press. As part of that project, all of the journal's back issues will be accessible and fully searchable with state-of-the-art tools for those who have an online subscription.

Today, we have a special treat for long-time readers of the journal. For a while now, we have wanted to update the site to carry a very special video file that accompanied one of our issues from 2006. One of our most provocative essays was authored by Steven H. Shmurak for Volume 8, Number 1 (Issue #15), which was published in 2006.

Those who had JARS subscriptions received a hard copy of the journal with a very special CD-ROM included inside the back cover. As we indicate on the JARS "Table of Contents" featuring Shmurak's essay, "De-Mystifying Emotion: Introducing the Affect Theory of Silvan Tomkins to Objectivists" (now available as a PDF here):

This article features a special CD-ROM presentation, which is now available for download from the JARS archives. The media provides the raw data upon which the article is based. You can safely look at the Read Me Txt File, and the presentation of "The 9 Innate Affects -- S. S. Tomkins" in two formats: PC or Mac [watch or right-click and "save as" to your local computer]. Our special thanks to the author for providing this presentation for our archives, and for providing our readers with a multimedia experience. Readers who wish to have the original CD-ROM disc that accompanied this essay [it was in a pocket glued to the inside back cover of Issue #15] can purchase it with this issue for the same price of any hard copy back issue. See our subscription page.

September 10, 2012

The Journal of Ayn Rand Studies: The Best is Yet to Come

The new issue of The Journal of Ayn Rand Studies will be on its way to subscribers within the next couple of weeks. And with it comes an announcement of a major breakthrough for the journal and for Rand scholarship as well.

First, let's take a look at the new issue, which is coming out in the thick of the U.S. Presidential campaign, and which includes a few essays that try to make sense of contemporary politics:

Preface - The Journal of Ayn Rand Studies: The Best is Yet to Come - Chris Matthew Sciabarra

The Logic of Liberty: Aristotle, Ayn Rand, and the Logical Structure of the Political Spectrum - Roger E. Bissell

Ayn Rand Shrugged: The Gap Between Ethical Egoism and Global Capitalism - Andre Santos Campos

A Defense of Rothbardian Ethics via a Mediation of Hoppe and Rand - Cade Share

Ayn Rand and Deducing ‘Ought’ from ‘Is’ - Lachlan Doughney

The Childs-Peikoff Hypothesis - Dennis C. Hardin

New JARS! Volume 12, Number 1

The JARS website features both abstracts and contributor biographies.

In keeping with our current policy of archiving back issues, fully accessible and free of charge to all those who visit our website, today marks the online debut of Volume 11, Number 1 (PDFs for each of the essays in that issue can be found at that link). That issue, dedicated to the memory of one of our founding Advisory Board members, philosopher John Hospers, features provocative essays by James Montmarquet, Samuel Bostaph, Robert Hartford, Walter Block, Robert L. Campbell, and Fred Seddon.

Our online publication of any issue lags behind the current issue by a full volume (about a year). Which means that those who wish to read the new JARS need to subscribe today!

The new issue includes a Preface, written by me, announcing a major breakthrough for the journal: a trailblazing partnership with Pennsylvania State University Press that will greatly expand the journal's scholarly reach. Here is what I have to say in the Preface (a PDF link to the full Preface can be found here):

In the Fall of 1999, the first issue of The Journal of Ayn Rand Studies (JARS) was published, beginning a biannual scholarly discussion of Ayn Rand: her work, her life, her impact, and her legacy. Since then, we have published over 250 essays, written by over 130 authors, working across many disciplines and specialties. Our essays have covered subjects in aesthetics, anthropology, biography, business ethics, computer science, cultural studies, economics, epistemology, ethics, feminist studies, history, intellectual history, law, literary craft, literature, metaphysics, methodology, ontology, pedagogy, philosophical biology, philosophical psychology, general philosophy, philosophy of mind, philosophy of religion, political economy, political philosophy, political theory, psychology, and sociology. We have featured symposia on Rand’s ethics and on Rand’s aesthetics, on Nietzsche and Rand, on Rand and Progressive Rock, on Rand’s literary and cultural impact and on “Rand Among the Austrians” (that is, the Austrian school of economics, which includes such thinkers as Ludwig von Mises, F. A. Hayek, Murray Rothbard, etc.). Our content is now abstracted and indexed, in whole or in part, by nearly two dozen abstracting and indexing services, expanding our scholarly and institutional visibility.
Moreover, the journal has built a unique scholarly forum that welcomes those working from remarkably diverse interpretive and critical perspectives. Just a cursory look through our back catalogue reveals essays by such writers as the late libertarian philosopher John Hospers, laissez-faire economist George Reisman, and market anarchist Sheldon Richman, on the one hand, and the writings of American literary critic Gene Bell-Villada, philosopher Bill Martin (a self-described Maoist), and radical leftist Slovenian philosopher Slavoj Žižek, on the other hand [names linked to JARS essays].
This new issue of our periodical begins our twelfth year of publication with the announcement of a major breakthrough that has the potential to enhance the quality of this publication and increase its scholarly reach. It will also guarantee the long-term historical preservation of our entire catalogue of back issues for the benefit of future generations of scholars.
The JARS Foundation and the Pennsylvania State University Press (PSUP) have entered into a formal collaborative agreement, commencing with the publication in 2013 of Volume 13, Number 1 (Issue 25), covering five years—and beyond.
Our Editorial Board will continue to solicit new articles and attract new writers, working closely with authors and peer readers toward the publication of essays of the finest quality and capacity for intellectual provocation. PSUP will take over the business end of the journal, while the Editorial Board will focus exclusively on the intellectual side of our project. PSUP will manage all aspects of distribution and subscription fulfillment in both print and online journal editions. Our arrangement with PSUP will also provide a more systematic framework for quality control, which will structure our workflow for the submission, double-blind peer review, and tracking of articles as they make their way to publication. And once our editorial work is done, we will submit approved, completed essays to the PSUP production department, which will provide a second level of copyediting and the typesetting of all content.
PSUP will set all institutional and individual pricing, which includes print-only, online-only, or print-and-online subscriptions, inside and outside the United States. There will be options for article downloads on a newly developed website. Indeed, a robust online edition of the journal will have the added, indispensable features and services on which the scholarly community relies, including XML codes on all files, which will be used to produce printable PDFs, as well as PDFs and html files for the web, all fully searchable.
PSUP has partnered with Project Muse and with JSTOR (both its Current Scholarship Program and back issue archive), making possible the extensive digital dissemination of PSUP journals. JARS will be potentially available to thousands of new readers from private and public, domestic and international institutions, corporations, and agencies.
The most important aspect of our collaboration, however, is our plan for the preservation of the journal and its trailblazing content. PSUP participates in CrossRef and all of its journals are now archived at Stanford’s CLOCKSS (Controlled Lots of Copies Keeps Stuff Safe). In essence, JARS, including all of its back issues dating from its 1999 inception, will be a part of the dark archive at Stanford that will preserve its content for the use of scholars and historians in perpetuity.
The good news for subscribers is that there will be only a modest rise in subscription rates. Our domestic rates have been the same since our very first issue in 1999, and JARS will remain affordable for all those whose support we have valued deeply.
We will always be profoundly indebted to those who made this journal possible, especially to the late Bill Bradford [PDF link], whose vision continues to inspire us. We know that our new partnership with PSUP will vastly increase our exposure in the international community of scholars, providing a means for preserving all of the contributions of our authors, and a context for the ever-growing electronic dissemination of our content.

Taking a page from the songbook of Ol' Blue Eyes, I know that, for The Journal of Ayn Rand Studies, "The Best is Yet to Come."

Announcement also posted on the Liberty & Power Group Blog.

April 09, 2012

Multilingual Appeal

A brief essay I wrote back in July of 2004, "The First Landing of Ayn Rand in Japan!," which discusses the first Japanese translation of The Fountainhead, was just, itself, translated into Romanian, courtesy of Alexandra Seremina. Readers of the language will get a lot more out of the reading than I will, I suspect, but I'm very grateful to have this on the web.

Here's the Romanian translation of my essay: "Prima aterizare A AYN RAND IN JAPONIA!"

Enjoy!

January 31, 2012

The Journal of Ayn Rand Studies: New Issue

The Journal of Ayn Rand Studies concludes its 11th year with an all-new issue: Volume 11, Number 2. Subscribers should be receiving the issue in the coming weeks. It features these provocative essays:

Sacrifice and the Apocalypse: A Girardian Reading of Atlas Shrugged - Oliver Gerland III

Objectivism and Christianity - Eric B. Dent

The Sim-Dif Model and Comparison - Merlin Jetton

What About Suicide Bombers? A Terse Response to a Terse Objection - Marc Champagne

The Six Million Dollar Rand (Review of 100 Voices: An Oral History of Ayn Rand) - Neil Parille

Flourishing and Synthesis (Review of Ed Younkins's book, Flourishing and Happiness in a Free Society) - Allen Mendenhall

New JARS! Volume 11, Number 2

The JARS website features both abstracts and contributor biographies for the current issue.

Those who have been following JARS developments know that it is now our policy to publish back issues on our site, fully accessible and free of charge to all those who visit us online. Since electronic publication of essays from our back issues lags by a full volume, I am pleased to announce today the online availability of Volume 10, Number 2, the culminating "Tenth Anniversary" issue of JARS that presented a terrific symposium on Friedrich Nietzsche and Ayn Rand. The essays are archived here; authors include Stephen R. C. Hicks, Lester Hunt, Adam Reed, Peter Saint-Andre, Roger E. Bissell, and Robert Powell.

But please don't wait a year to see our new issue online; it's available now! Subscribe today! You can subscribe via Paypal on our home page or subscription page, or by printing and filling out this form and mailing it in with your check or money order.

I should note also that The Journal of Ayn Rand Studies is now being abstracted in a variety of indexes managed by ProQuest. Our scholarly reach is expanding with each newly published issue.

July 28, 2011

The Journal of Ayn Rand Studies: The Second Decade Begins ...

The Journal of Ayn Rand Studies begins its second decade with the publication of a brand new issue. As explained in my Preface to the Eleventh Year, the journal has dispensed with its Northern-hemisphere-centric "Fall" and "Spring" publication schedule, opting for real-time dates and the addition of an overall "Issue Number."

The new issue, dedicated to the memory of one of our founding Advisory Board members, philosopher John Hospers, features exciting essays in Rand studies, including:

Prometheus: Ayn Rand’s Ethic of Creation, by philosophy professor James Montmarquet

Ayn Rand’s Economic Thought, by economics professor Samuel Bostaph

A Political Standard for Absolute Political Freedom, by Dr. Robert Hartford

Ayn Rand, Religion, and Libertarianism, by economics professor Walter Block

The Rewriting of Ayn Rand’s Spoken Answers, by psychology professor Robert L. Campbell

Essays on Atlas Shrugged, by philosophy professor Fred Seddon

The Journal Begins Its Second Decade!

The JARS website features both abstracts and contributor biographies for the current issue.

Those who have been following JARS developments know that it is now our policy to publish back issues on our site, fully accessible and free of charge to all those who visit us online. However, publication on the site lags by a full volume, which means that online publication of the current issue won't occur for at least a year, depending on the timeliness of our publication schedule.

But the good news is that just as Volume 11, Number 1 (Issue 21) appears, those who wish to read Volume 10, Number 1 (the first of two Tenth Anniversary Issues) can now access its essays here! And what an issue that was, with key essays by Roger E. Bissell, Robert L. Campbell, Kathleen Touchstone, J. H. Huebert, Fred Seddon and Roderick Long, Douglas Den Uyl and Douglas B. Rasmussen, and Peter E. Vedder. So, in a way, every announcement of a new issue of JARS brings with it an announcement that the journal will be simultaneously publishing a back issue on its website.

It also means, however, that if you want to get in on the excitement now, don't wait a year! The new issue should start making its appearance in subscriber mailboxes by mid-to-late August. So if you have let your subscription lapse, renew today, by filling out this form and mailing it in with your check or money order. Better still: Take advantage of our online Paypal Express Service (see the drop-down menu here). Our basic individual domestic rate has been the same since our very first issue, unchanged in over ten years! So act now! (Lapsed subscribers and those in need of renewal after receipt of the new issue will be hearing from us in the mail.)

Finally, it delights me to announce that with this newest issue, The Journal of Ayn Rand Studies begins a fruitful relationship with Scopus, "the world's largest abstract and citation database" of peer-reviewed research literature and quality web sources. Scopus covers nearly 18,000 titles from more than 5,000 publishers, providing "smart tools to track analyze and visualize research." Scopus will actually be abstracting and indexing JARS issues going back to 2009, providing researchers with "tools to sort, refine and quickly identify results ..."

With the addition of Scopus, and our ongoing relationship with EBSCO, JARS is now covered, in whole or in part, by 21 abstracting and indexing services in the humanities and social sciences.

I remember that in the early days of our existence, we worked diligently, clamoring at the doors of major abstracting and indexing services with the hope that they would add JARS to their databases. Such coverage is essential: It not only expands the visibility of the journal; it provides greater incentive to a diverse array of scholars to submit their papers to our peer-review process. Today, as our global reach continues to expand, it is all the more gratifying that abstracting and indexing services routinely approach JARS with invitations to add the journal to their databases.

This is an achievement that has been made possible by a team of editors, advisors, peer readers, authors, and very loyal subscribers. I extend my deepest, heartfelt appreciation to all those who have contributed to our growing success.

On to the second decade ... and beyond!

July 27, 2011

New(ish) Encyclopedia Entries

I have a very big announcement tomorrow about a brand new issue of a very special journal, but before getting to that, I just wanted to take note of a few encyclopedia entries, written by yours truly, which were recently published, and are now available on my site in .pdf versions:

"Libertarianism," Encyclopedia of Political Science, edited by George Thomas Kurian (Washington, DC: CQ Press, 2011), Volume 3: H-M: 965-66

"Ayn Rand," Encyclopedia of Political Science, edited by George Thomas Kurian (Washington, DC: CQ Press, 2011), Volume 5: R-Z: 1422-23.

"Murray Rothbard," Encyclopedia of Political Science, edited by George Thomas Kurian (Washington, DC: CQ Press, 2011), Volume 5: R-Z: 1489.

Oh, and this entry...

"Ayn Rand," American Countercultures: An Encyclopedia of Nonconformists, Alternative Lifestyles, and Radical Ideas in U.S. History, edited by Gina Misiroglu (Armonk, New York: M. E. Sharpe, Inc.; Sharpe Reference, 2009).

... is included in an encyclopedia (noted above) that won the RUSA Award for Best Reference Work, given by the American Library Association.

June 30, 2011

John Hospers, RIP

Philosopher John Hospers passed away on June 12, 2011. John was known for his work on libertarianism, and for being the first Presidential candidate of the Libertarian Party (and the only LP candidate to date, to receive, in 1972, with his running mate Tonie Nathan, an electoral vote from a rogue elector, Roger McBride, who, himself, went on to be an LP Presidential candidate 4 years later).

To me, John was a gentle man, a friend, and a colleague. He gave me much encouragement and support when I was writing my book, Ayn Rand: The Russian Radical, and he was among the founding Advisory Board members of The Journal of Ayn Rand Studies.

My deepest condolences to his family and friends.

February 26, 2011

The 1,500th Notablog Entry: Announcing The New JARS Archives!

This marks the 1,500th blog entry here at Notablog, though I was writing Notablog-ish entries (here, here, here, and here) long before I officially inaugurated this particular one. And, yes, more than half of these entries have had something to do with music, dancing, or entertainment, rather than politics, philosophy, or economics. I genuinely appreciate the radical sensibility of anarchist Emma Goldman, to whom is attributed the statement: "If I can't dance, I don't want to be in your revolution!"

I want to thank readers for their continued interest in Notablog.

Today, on the occasion of the 1500th entry, I want to take this opportunity to announce some new developments over at The Journal of Ayn Rand Studies. As explained here, the journal underwent a number of major changes in 2009, including three moves (from Port Townsend, Washington to Reno, Nevada, to Brooklyn, New York). The second issue celebrating our tenth anniversary year was not released until mid-2010, a year late, and our next issue, which inaugurates the eleventh volume, will be published in mid-2011.

As of today, however, the journal is making available PDFs of every essay to have ever appeared since our first issue, published in September 1999. Take a look at our various Tables of Contents here.

For the past ten years, these back issues were available as hard copies, but our stock dwindled considerably. By mid-2004, EBSCO Publishing, the world's most prolific aggregator of full-text journals, magazines, and other sources, began publishing the full text of The Journal of Ayn Rand Studies on their databases. Current issues will continue to be published in hard copy and sent to subscribers, just as they will continue to appear electronically with EBSCO. But since EBSCO does not carry electronic back issues from Volume 1, Number 1 (Fall 1999) to Volume 5, Number 1 (Fall 2003), and since it has become increasingly difficult to find hard copies of these issues, we have decided to make PDFs of all of our back issues freely accessible as archives on our website (PDFs of the later issues are of higher quality because the journal is now prepared as PDF-ready for our printer... ).

Publication on our site will lag by a full volume (which will mean at least a year, depending on the timeliness of our publication schedule... ). In other words, those who seek to read Volume 10, Number 1 on the website will have to wait until Volume 11, Number 1 is published. And so on ...

Therefore, those who want to keep current with JARS will have to maintain their subscriptions or to purchase single issues when they become available. But those who wish to access any articles published prior to Volume 10, Number 1 can now do so, immediately, and free of charge.

With the journal now indexed in whole or in part by many abstracting services in the humanities and the social sciences, the availability of essays from our first decade will make it easier for scholars to research various topics in Rand studies.

March 19, 2010

JARS Tenth Anniversary Celebration Concludes

Spring is here (as of 1:32 pm EDT tomorrow), and that means the Spring issue of The Journal of Ayn Rand Studies is here too!

Ah, if only publication schedules were as reliable as the Vernal Equinox. As reported here, the journal moved from Port Townsend, Washington to Reno, Nevada, and now all operations are out of Brooklyn, New York. I've had a few bumps in the road of my own to deal with, but I'm happy to report that the new issue is finally at the printer. This is our long-awaited symposium on Ayn Rand and Friedrich Nietzsche, and we should be getting the issue off to subscribers within the next two weeks. And yes, it is a Spring issue, even if our year is off a bit.

Our Tenth Anniversary Year Concludes!

Readers will be treated to a provocative discussion of the relationship between the two thinkers, featuring the following essays and authors:

Egoism in Nietzsche and Rand - Stephen R. C. Hicks

Egoism in Nietzsche and Rand: A Somewhat Different Approach - Lester Hunt

Ronald E. Merrill and the Discovery of Ayn Rand’s Nietzschean Period - Adam Reed

Nietzsche, Rand, and the Ethics of the Great Task - Peter Saint-Andre

Will the Real Apollo Please Stand Up? Rand, Nietzsche, and the Reason-Emotion Dichotomy - Roger E. Bissell

Embracing Power Roles Naturally: Rand’s Nietzschean Heroes and Villains - Robert Powell

Abstracts for the new issue appear here; contributor biographies can be found here.

Our publication schedule will be getting back to normal in the coming months. A few back issues are still available, though hard copies are going fast, and we are working hard to digitize our oldest issues for the benefit of our readers. Most importantly, our subscription databases are up to date, and we encourage new subscribers to take advantage of our new Paypal Express (see our subscription page).

Subscribe today!

December 17, 2009

A JARS Grows in Brooklyn

The Journal of Ayn Rand Studies has undergone a number of changes over the past year, not the least of which has been geographic! The office moved from Port Townsend, Washington to Reno, Nevada. Now, all business, subscription, and editorial queries should be directed to:

The Journal of Ayn Rand Studies
P. O. Box 230052
Brooklyn, New York 11223

Yes, Brooklyn! :)

Our Spring 2009 issue is obviously very late, but it should be out to subscribers early in the new year. Subscription databases are being updated, so if you've made an inquiry that has gone unanswered for a while, be patient. A batch of materials and letters went out this week, and more will go out in the coming weeks. If you'd like a subscription to the journal, fill out this form and mail it in today!

The next issue will complete our Tenth Anniversary celebration. It features a special symposium on Ayn Rand and Friedrich Nietzsche, with special guest editor Lester Hunt. Essays by Hunt, Stephen R. C. Hicks, Peter Saint-Andre, Roger E. Bissell, and Robert Powell are included.

More information on the issue will be posted here and at the JARS website soon. Stay tuned! And Happy Holidays from your friends and colleagues at The Journal of Ayn Rand Studies.

April 30, 2009

A Crisis of Political Economy (in The Freeman)

My essay, "A Crisis of Political Economy," which made its debut here on Notablog, appears in a slightly edited form in the May 2009 issue of The Freeman: Ideas on Liberty. Check it out here.

September 04, 2008

The Encyclopedia of Libertarianism

I am pleased to see that The Encyclopedia of Libertarianism has finally been published!

The Encyclopedia of Libertarianism

SAGE says the following about the volume, whose editor-in-chief is Ronald Hamowy:

As a continuation of the older tradition of classical liberalism, libertarian thinking draws on a rich body of thought and scholarship. Contemporary libertarian scholars are continuing that tradition by making substantial contributions to such fields as philosophy, jurisprudence, economics, evolutionary psychology, political theory, and history, in both academia and politics. With more than 300 A-to-Z signed entries written by top scholars, The Encyclopedia of Libertarianism is purposed to be a useful compilation of and introduction to libertarian scholarship. The Encyclopedia starts with an introductory essay offering an extensive historical and thematic overview of key thinkers, events, and publications in the development of libertarian thought. The Reader's Guide groups content for researchers and students alike, allowing them to study libertarianism topically, biographically, and by public policy issues.

I authored two pieces for the book, which was a project for the Cato Institute: one on Nathaniel Branden, and the other on Ayn Rand.

July 08, 2008

New Spring 2008 Journal of Ayn Rand Studies

"But I thought this was summer, Sciabarra!" Yeah, well. Welcome to the New Spring! That is, the new Spring 2008 issue of The Journal of Ayn Rand Studies! This issue completes the ninth volume of JARS, a precursor to our Tenth Anniversary Year!

New JARS: Volume 9, Number 2

The Table of Contents is as follows:

Completing the American Revolution: The Significance of Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged at its Fiftieth Anniversary - David N. Mayer

Rand and MacIntyre on Moral Agency - Ron Beadle

Rand on Hume's Moral Skepticism - Tibor R. Machan

Toward the Development of a Paradigm of Human Flourishing in a Free Society - Edward W. Younkins

Missing the Mark: Salsman's Review of the Great Depression - Larry Sechrest

Reviews and Discussions

Defending Advertising (review of Jerry Kirkpatrick's book, In Defense of Advertising) - Juliusz Jablecki

Reply to Juliusz Jablecki: The Connection between Advertising and Objectivist Epistemology - Jerry Kirkpatrick

Rejoinder to Jerry Kirkpatrick: Advertising, Capitalism, and Christianity - Juliusz Jablecki

Reply to Stephen E. Parrish, "God and Objectivism: A Critique of Objectivist Philosophy of Religion" (Spring 2007) and Patrick Toner, "Objectivist Atheology" (Spring 2007):
Not Even False: A Commentary on Parrish and Toner - Adam Reed

Rejoinder to Adam Reed: What's Good for the Goose and Related Matters - Stephen E. Parrish

Rejoinder to Adam Reed: God-Talk and the Arbitrary - Patrick Toner

You can read abstracts of the above articles here, and mini-biographies of our contributors here. And don't forget that in due course, EBSCO will offer our newest issue through their databases! Check out your institutional and local libraries!

Noted at L&P.

February 19, 2008

JARS Call for Papers: Ayn Rand and War

The new issue of The Journal of Ayn Rand Studies has been published (see here). It marks the beginning of our ninth year.

This means, of course, that next year, JARS will be celebrating its Tenth Anniversary. As part of our Tenth Anniversary year, we are already scheduled to publish a major symposium on "Ayn Rand and Friedrich Nietzsche."

We are also issuing another Call for Papers on the topic of "Ayn Rand, Objectivism, and War." The deadline for proposals is July 1, 2008; the deadline for papers is October 15, 2008.

We are interested in papers that cover any aspect of this very broad topic: Rand's view of war; defenses or critiques of Rand-influenced views of "just war," the current war or past wars, terrorism, "collateral damage," torture, the relationship between domestic and foreign policy, etc.

We are less interested in discussions of "current events"—except insofar as they illustrate broader principles. Remember that we are a semi-annual and that the state of "current events" will change considerably before these essays are brought to print.

Submissions should adhere to our style guidelines; proposals should be submitted via email to me: chris DOT sciabarra AT nyu DOT edu

Cross-posted at L&P.

New Journal of Ayn Rand Studies: Vol. 9, No. 1

I am delighted to announce the publication of the Fall 2007 issue of The Journal of Ayn Rand Studies. Yes, it's a little late, but, I think, well worth the wait.

New JARS: Vol. 9, No. 1

The Table of Contents is as follows:

To Think or Not: A Structural Resolution to the Mind-Body and Free Will-Determinism Problem - Neil K. Goodell
Ayn Rand and "The Objective": A Closer Look at the Intrinsic-Objective-Subjective Trichotomy - Roger E. Bissell
Self-as-Organism and Sense of Self: Toward a Differential Conception - Andrew Schwartz
Society: Toward an Objective View - Susan Love Brown
A Critique of Ayn Rand’s Theory of Intellectual Property Rights - Timothy Sandefur

Reviews
Self-Directedness and the Human Good - Peter E. Vedder
Ayn Rand, Novelist - Peter Saint-Andre

Discussion
Reply to Fred Seddon, "Recent Writings on Ethics": On Behalf of Ethical Intuitionism - Michael Huemer
Rejoinder to Michael Huemer: Neglecting Rand's Metaethics - Fred Seddon

Abstracts of the above articles can be found here; contributor biographies are available here.

Cross-posted at L&P.

November 02, 2007

Homonograph Available Again!

By an arrangement with the publisher, my "homonograph," Ayn Rand, Homosexuality, and Human Liberation, is finally available at Amazon.com at a price that is considerably lower than those $46.95 or $59.95 collectible copies being sold on that site by used booksellers.

For those who are interested in learning more about the homonograph, check out the homo home page here, along with a listing of its table of contents and various reviews.

Point your browser to the book cover below and click yourself over to Amazon.com:

Homonograph Available at Amazon.com

August 14, 2007

EBSCO and a New Journal of Ayn Rand Studies

I'm delighted to announce that The Journal of Ayn Rand Studies Foundation has entered into an electronic licensing relationship with EBSCO Publishing, the world's most prolific aggregator of full-text journals, magazines, and other sources. Starting with our next issue, in addition to our regular print version, the full text of The Journal of Ayn Rand Studies will be found on EBSCO Publishing's databases. And, in time, we look forward to seeing all of the articles from our past issues available in this format as well.

In the meanwhile, a crazy Spring and an even crazier Summer (did somebody say a Tornado in BROOKLYN!!!???) could not prevent the publication of the new issue of The Journal of Ayn Rand Studies.

New Spring 2007 JARS

Volume 8, Number 2 features the following essays and contributors:

God and Objectivism: A Critique of Objectivist Philosophy of Religion - Stephen E. Parrish

Objectivist Atheology - Patrick Toner

Merely Metaphorical? Ayn Rand, Isabel Paterson, and the Language of Theory - Stephen Cox

Isabel Paterson and the Idea of America - David T. Beito

Recent Writings on Ethics - Fred Seddon

Unilateral Transfers and a Reinterpretation of Objectivist Ethics - Eren Ozgen

Reply to Tibor R. Machan, "Rand and Choice" (Spring 2006), Eric Mack, "More Problematic Arguments in Randian Ethics" (Spring 2006), and Douglas B. Rasmussen, "Regarding Choice and the Foundation of Morality: Reflections on Rand's Ethics" (Spring 2006):
Objectivity and the Proof of Egoism - Robert Hartford

Rejoinder to Robert Hartford:
A Brief Comment on Hartford - Tibor R. Machan

Rejoinder to Robert Hartford:
Rand's Metaethics - Douglas B. Rasmussen

Reply to David Graham and Nathan Nobis, "Putting Humans First?" (Fall 2006):
Putting Humans First? YES! - John Altick

Rejoinder to John Altick:
Animals and Rights - David Graham and Nathan Nobis

Check out the abstracts for the above articles here and the contributor biographies here.

Cross-posted to L&P.

June 25, 2007

Atlas Shrugged Companion Published

I have finally received my own copy of a new book edited by Edward W. Younkins entitled Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged: A Philosophical and Literary Companion, published by Ashgate. I understand the book is already going into a second printing. It includes contributions from writers such as Douglas B. Rasmussen, Fred Seddon, Lester H. Hunt, Tibor R. Machan, Roderick T. Long, Mimi Reisel Gladstein, Jeff Riggenbach, Kirsti Minsaas, Roger E. Bissell, Peter J. Boettke, Larry J. Sechrest, Steven Horwitz, Karen Michalson, Peter Saint-Andre, Susan Love Brown, Robert L. Campbell, Stephen Cox, Douglas J. Den Uyl, Walter Block, and, of course, Ed Younkins too. Oh, and I have a contribution in the book, published as Chapter 2, entitled "Atlas Shrugged: Manifesto for a New Radicalism," which expands upon dialectical themes I've explored in previous works, especially my reconstruction of Rand's social analysis as a "tri-level model."

New Atlas Shrugged Companion Published

I noticed that all of the contributors mentioned above have something in common... they have all been published in The Journal of Ayn Rand Studies! And some of them are either editors or advisors to the journal. (The Spring 2007 issue will be out a little late; I will post its contents and the cover design on my blog before too long.)

In any event, I have not read the new Younkins anthology yet, but the range of topics, from the philosophical, political, and aesthetic to the literary, economic, and historical, is quite impressive. The book's appearance coincides with the 50th anniversary year of the publication of Rand's magnum opus.

Cross-posted at L&P.

March 23, 2007

Ayn Rand Goes Swedish

Late last year, Mattias Svensson, a friend and former student, proposed to translate one of my articles on Ayn Rand for Voltaire, a magazine with 30,000 subscribers published in Sweden. The magazine is put out by Power and Culture; the director of the organization, Boris Benulic, decided to do a Rand-themed issue, with Mattias as the guest editor.

Mattias translated a revised version of my essay, "Atlas Shrugged: Manifesto for a New Radicalism." The full English version of that essay appears in a forthcoming anthology, edited by Edward W. Younkins, entitled Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged: A Philosophical and Literary Companion (Ashgate, 2007) (and a shortened, edited version of this essay also appears in The Freeman and in Tibor Machan's edited collection, Ayn Rand at 100).

Sciabarra Essay in Voltaire

In any event, if you are inclined to read the Swedish essay, which looks even prettier in the glossy magazine's March/April 2007 issue, it now appears online, starting here.

My thanks to Mattias and to Voltaire for a job well done.

Also noted at Liberty and Power Group Blog. (And a shout out "welcome" to Lester Hunt, who joins L&P.)

November 17, 2006

New Fall 2006 Journal of Ayn Rand Studies

The new Fall 2006 issue of The Journal of Ayn Rand Studies has been published. The issue includes essays from contributors such as Steven H. Shmurak, Marc Champagne, Fred Seddon (two from Fred!), Algirdas Degutis, Susan Love Brown, David Graham & Nathan Nobis, Kirsti Minsaas, Greg Nyquist, Gregory M. Browne and Roderick T. Long. And I'm delighted to report that with this issue, Roderick joins the Editorial Board of JARS!

New Fall 2006 JARS!  Features a Special CD-ROM Presentation!

Here is the Fall line-up:

Demystifying Emotion: Introducing the Affect Theory of Silvan Tomkins to Objectivists - Steven H. Shmurak
(Shmurak's article is accompanied by a special CD-ROM presentation)

Some Convergences and Divergences in the Realism of Charles Peirce and Ayn Rand - Marc Champagne

Rand and Rescher on Truth - Fred Seddon

Deconstructing Postmodern Xenophilia - Algirdas Degutis

Reviews
Essays on Ayn Rand’s Fiction - Susan Love Brown

Putting Humans First? - David Graham and Nathan Nobis

Ayn Rand as Literary Mentor - Kirsti Minsaas

Discussion
Reply to Fred Seddon, “Nyquist Contra Rand”
Rand and Empirical Responsibility - Greg Nyquist

Rejoinder to Greg Nyquist
Nyquist Contra Rand, Part II - Fred Seddon

Reply to Roderick T. Long, “Reference and Necessity: A Rand-Kripke Synthesis”
The ‘Grotesque’ Dichotomies Still Unbeautified - Gregory M. Browne

Rejoinder to Gregory M. Browne
A Beauty Contest for Dichotomies: Browne’s Terminological Revolutions - Roderick T. Long

Check out the abstracts for the new issue here, and the contributor biographies here.

Cross-posted to L&P.

June 10, 2006

The Books of Summer

I'm in the process of writing several encyclopedia articles as well as a few journal and magazine pieces (more information on these essays to follow in the coming weeks). And I've got brand new peer reader assignments too! And fuhgedabout the editing! Oy!

But I've found the time to write a brief contribution to a new Liberty magazine feature called "The Books of Summer." Among the books I recommend for summer reading are those authored by the Holzers, Rasmussen and Den Uyl, and Rozsa. Read all about it in the July 2006 issue of the magazine! (Subscribe here.)

May 22, 2006

Journal of Ayn Rand Studies' Spring 2006 Issue

It gives me great pleasure to announce the publication of the Spring 2006 issue of The Journal of Ayn Rand Studies. The issue features a dialogue on Ayn Rand's ethics, with contributions from Tibor R. Machan, Frank Bubb, Eric Mack, Douglas B. Rasmussen, Robert H. Bass, Chris Cathcart, and Robert L. Campbell. In addition, there are articles covering topics in epistemology (Merlin Jetton) and literature (Kurt Keefner and Peter Saint-Andre). Other contributors include Sheldon Richman on Thomas Szasz and Ayn Rand; Max Hocutt on postmodernism; Steven Yates on capitalism and commerce; and David M. Brown on the new Ayn Rand Q&A book.

The issue opens with my own tribute to R. W. Bradford, without whom The Journal of Ayn Rand Studies would never have been founded. This Spring 2006 issue is dedicated to the memory of Bradford, Joan Kennedy Taylor, and Chris Tame. A PDF of my tribute piece is available here.

For subscription information, see here.

Cross-posted to L&P. See also the Ayn Rand Meta-Blog.

April 09, 2006

Passionate About JARS

Not to be sacrilegious or anything, but HALLELUAH and HOSANNA IN THE HIGHEST (the Western Palm Sunday has arrived, hasn't it?). I finished preparing the Spring 2006 issue of The Journal of Ayn Rand Studies, and I am delighted that it's now going into production. Readers should expect it sometime in the late Spring.

It's going to be a really nice issue for those who are especially interested in Ayn Rand's ethics. JARS had published two critical essays on Rand's ethics some time ago, one written by Eric Mack and the other by Douglas Rasmussen. The essays elicited replies in the forthcoming issue from Tibor Machan and Frank Bubb, and both Mack and Rasmussen have written rejoinders. In addition, we have a very interesting exchange on the issue of egoism and individual rights, which features a contribution from Robert Bass, replies from Chris Cathcart and Robert Campbell, and a rejoinder from Bass.

The second half of the issue features essays on epistemology (Jetton), Rand's descriptive style (Saint-Andre), Atlas Shrugged and Quo Vadis (Keefner), Thomas Szasz and Ayn Rand (Sheldon Richman), and reviews of Stephen Hicks's book on postmodernism (Hocutt), Ed Younkins's book Capitalism and Commerce (Yates), and Robert Mayhew's edited volume on Rand's Q&A's (Brown).

Abstracts and contributor biographies will be made available online when the issue is published and ready for shipment.

Meanwhile, I was just alerted to an ongoing debate at SOLO-Passion, which, apparently, has given rise to some familiar criticism of JARS, a journal that remains near and dear to my heart.

As readers of Notablog are well aware, I resolved at the beginning of December 2005 that I would not be posting to forums anymore. Aside from the occasional cross-post to Liberty and Power Group Blog or the Mises Economics Blog, I have stopped posting to the nearly two dozen forums on which I was once an avid participant. My reputation for spreading myself around led SOLO founder Lindsay Perigo to once dub me "Her Royal Whoreness." Well, this whore has retired to the quiet life of research, writing, and editing. There are just so many hours in the day, and I have chosen to focus my efforts on the things that are most important: My work done my way on my time. Naturally, therefore, Notablog has become the primary place for my regular musings on everything from music to foreign policy.

On a personal note, I should add, however, that my absence from the various forums on which I used to participate has also been necessitated by ongoing serious health problems, which have compelled me to be extremely selective about the kind of time I devote to various activities. Since making these various adjustments in my time, my schedule, and my priorities, I have been feeling more invigorated, both emotionally and intellectually, and ever more productive.

Nevertheless, since JARS has been one of the activities on which I've focused, and since JARS is also the target of much criticism on that particular SOLO-Passion forum noted above, I'd like to make a few general comments in response to the various participants on that thread. I do not intend to engage in any discussion at SOLO-Passion or any other forums for the reasons I have just outlined.

First, Lindsay Perigo and I have had a very long dispute about the character of my work, and I don't expect it will ever be resolved to our mutual satisfaction. That said, however, I don't believe that he has read more than an issue or two of JARS (and, quite frankly, too many JARS critics don't seem to be on our subscription list, so it leaves me wondering how they are able to make such sweeping generalizations about the quality of the scholarship therein). In any event, to dismiss JARS as a haven of "pomo-wankers" is, I think, a slap in the face to so many writers who have graced our pages, including such people as Erika Holzer, George Reisman, Larry Sechrest, Kirsti Minsaas, Mimi Gladstein, Tibor Machan, Douglas Rasmussen, Eric Mack, Marsha Enright, John Enright, John Hospers, Adam Reed, Stephen Hicks, Fred Seddon, Lester Hunt, Ari Armstrong, Edward Younkins, Robert White, and so many others. Dare I say it, but many of these writers have appeared in the pages of The Free Radical, and have been published on SOLO. And last I saw, there was no explosion of "pomo-wanking" going on at SOLO.

Second, with regard to Diana Hsieh's criticisms of JARS: Over time, it has become very clear to readers that I have had some very serious disagreements with Diana, someone to whom I once acted as a mentor of sorts. Diana is now participating regularly at SOLO-Passion; she also runs the Noodlefood blog. Diana remarked at SOLO that she had promised not to comment "on The Russian Radical or the scholarship in the Journal of Ayn Rand Studies ... steer[ing] clear of such criticisms out of consideration for [her] past friendship [with me]." But I think anybody with half a brain could see the fundamental differences that have emerged between Diana and me on many, many significant questions. As my mother used to say: You'd have to be deaf, dumb, blind, and stupid not to know where those differences lie. Diana and I do not have to spend hours upon hours doing a point-counterpoint in order to articulate those differences.

Because I am so focused on my own work at this time, I have taken a very laissez-faire attitude toward all this. I used to spend an inordinate amount of time engaging my interlocutors. But I've learned that there is only so much that one can say in any given context. Ultimately, my work speaks for itself. It is published in books, articles, encyclopedias, and journals. Much of it is accessible on the web as well. Form your own conclusions, go your own way, do your own thing. If I spent my time answering every criticism or every comment on my work, I'd not have enough time to breathe, let alone research, write, and edit.

Finally, for those who wonder, like Phil Coates, whether JARS articles are generally available: We do hope to get many of these articles online over the course of time, but some are already linked from the JARS site. Just go to any particular indexed issue and click into any hyperlinked title. (I should add that all of JARS' contributors have the right to make their articles available on any website or as a reprint in any anthology.)

Our institutional subscriptions are climbing, as are our individual subscriptions, both domestically and globally. And we are now indexed by over a dozen abstracting services in the humanities and social sciences, including three new additions, which had been very resistant to placing JARS in their indices. See here for more information.

Well, that's all for now.

Comments welcome.

January 27, 2006

Wonderful News for JARS

When The Journal of Ayn Rand Studies was first published in the Fall of 1999, its Founding Editors (Bill Bradford, Stephen Cox, and some guy named Chris Matthew Sciabarra) and its Board of Advisors knew that we had our work cut out for us. We were the first interdisciplinary scholarly periodical ever established as a forum for the critical discussion of Ayn Rand's ideas. As we state in our credo, JARS is ...

A nonpartisan journal devoted to the study of Ayn Rand and her times. The journal is not aligned with any advocacy group, institute, or person. It welcomes papers from every discipline and from a variety of interpretive and critical perspectives. It aims to foster scholarly dialogue through a respectful exchange of ideas. The journal is published semi-annually, in the fall and the spring.

One of the most important achievements of any academic journal is its ability to be added to the indices of established abstracting services. This is a way of bolstering a journal's reputation as a serious organ of scholarly discussion, while contributing to the acceptance of that journal's subject matter as worthy of such discussion.

In its first few years of operation, JARS was able to add over a dozen of these services, including: CSA Worldwide Political Science Abstracts, IBR (International Bibliography of Book Reviews of Scholarly Literature in the Humanities and Social Sciences), IBZ (International Bibliography of Periodical Literature in the Humanities and Social Sciences), International Bibliography of the Social Sciences, International Political Science Abstracts, The Left Index, The Philosopher's Index, MLA International Bibliography, MLA Directory of Periodicals, Sociological Abstracts, Social Services Abstracts, and Women's Studies International.

Coverage in such indices facilitates the expansion of JARS citations, and, by consequence, Ayn Rand references, within the global marketplace of academic scholarship.

This has a two-fold benefit: First, it means that the works of those who write for JARS are being made readily available as resources for future Rand scholarship. As citations to JARS articles expand in the scholarly literature, more and more scholars will find these references for use in their own work.

Second, it means that JARS will continue to attract established scholars who seek to write about Rand in journals that are reputable, and, thus, fully indexed and abstracted by services used by their fellow academics in various fields of concentration.

Though we have had success in expanding our reach in scholarly indices, it has been an uphill battle to get JARS added to three of the most prestigious of indices: the Arts & Humanities Citation Index, Current Contents/Arts & Humanities, and the Social Sciences Citation Index.

In fact, some years ago, we approached those organizations of Thomson Scientific with the requisite three consecutive issues in the hopes that they would add JARS to their lists of the world's leading journals. The first three-issue review failed; JARS was still too young to join the global ranks.

As time passed, we decided to submit JARS for a second hearing at Thomson Scientific. The review process is a profoundly rigorous one. Yet, having failed to achieve our goals the first time around, we were confident that the journal's timely publication and improved quality would facilitate its acceptance in a second evaluation.

Today, I am proud to announce that the Journal of Ayn Rand Studies has been selected as a new addition to three of the most prestigious indices in the international community of scholars.

o The journal will be fully abstracted and indexed by the Arts & Humanities Citation Index:

The Arts & Humanities Citation Index (A&HCI ) and Arts & Humanities Search provide access to current and retrospective bibliographic information and cited references found in nearly 1,130 of the world's leading arts & humanities journals. They also cover individually selected, relevant items from approximately 7,000 of the world's leading science and social sciences journals.

o The journal will be fully abstracted and indexed by Current Contents/Arts & Humanities:

Current Contents / Arts & Humanities provides access to complete bibliographic information from articles, editorials, meeting abstracts, commentaries, and all other significant items in recently published editions of over 1,120 of the world's leading arts and humanities journals and books from a broad range of categories.

o And, finally, abstracts of relevant journal articles centered on the social sciences (economics, political science, psychology, etc.) will be selectively included in the Social Sciences Citation Index:

The Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI) and Social SciSearch provide access to current and retrospective bibliographic information, author abstracts, and cited references found in over 1,700 of the world's leading scholarly social sciences journals covering more than 50 disciplines. They also cover individually selected, relevant items from approximately 3,300 of the world's leading science and technology journals.

It will take a few months for the journal's contents to begin appearing in these high quality indices, but JARS will soon be included in their databases. The journal coverage begins with Volume 6, No. 2, the Spring 2005 issue.

I am utterly delighted by this wonderful news.

FYI: Our forthcoming issue, which will include a symposium on Ayn Rand's ethics, will be published in the late Spring.

Comments welcome. Also cited by The Atlasphere.

January 19, 2006

The New Individualist and More News

Continuing with new announcements, I received the newest issue of The New Individualist, a publication of The Objectivist Center, which recently debuted a newly designed website. Lots of news in that sentence!

In any event, I enjoyed the magazine quite a bit and was impressed with the fact that it seeks to broaden its audience, publishing provocative essays by Objectivists and non-Objectivists alike.

I like the fact that there are many different publications in the growing Randian universe, each with its own character, and I read many of these periodicals regularly: The Intellectual Activist, Impact, Free Radical, etc. I don't agree with everything I read, but that's not the point. The more important point is that Rand's work has inspired not a static intellectual monolith, but a dynamic, ever-differentiating marketplace of ideas.

Speaking of periodicals, I'm currently working on the Spring 2006 issue of The Journal of Ayn Rand Studies, which will include a multilayered discussion of Ayn Rand's ethics. It will be published in the late Spring. I'll have more to say about that issue soon enough.

Comments welcome.

The Industrial Radical

I've been a bit behind in my reading and my work in general, so I'm finally getting to a few new points of information. I was pleased to see Roderick Long's announcement at L&P of the new periodical, "The Industrial Radical," and not just because he states: "'Industrial' in Herbert Spencers sense, 'Radical' in Chris Sciabarras sense."

There is a very real need to reclaim the "radical" label in defense of liberty. As Hayek once said, "we are bound all the time to question fundamentals ... it must be our privilege to be radical."

Read up on this new magazine here.

Comments welcome.

December 05, 2005

The Freeman: Dialectics and Liberty

The September 2005 issue of The Freeman includes my essay, "Dialectics and Liberty," which offers an introduction to dialectical method and its role in the works of such writers as F. A. Hayek and Ayn Rand. That essay finally makes its cyber-debut today! Another in a series of essays and interviews on the occasion of the tenth anniversary of the publication of my books Marx, Hayek, and Utopia and Ayn Rand: The Russian Radical, the article is available as a PDF here:

"Dialectics and Liberty"

Comments welcome. Cross-posted to L&P, with comments here. Also noted at Rational Review.

September 13, 2005

New JARS: The Seventh Volume Begins

The temperatures are going to hit 90 degrees again in New York City on this late summer day. But Autumn is arriving a little early.

Today, the Fall 2005 issue of The Journal of Ayn Rand Studies has been published. It begins our seventh volume, our seventh year.

Here is the Table of Contents:

The Rand Transcript, Revisited - Chris Matthew Sciabarra

Mimesis and Expression in Ayn Rands Theory of Art - Kirsti Minsaas

Langer and Camus: Unexpected Post-Kantian Affinities with Rands Aesthetics - Roger E. Bissell

The Facts of Reality: Logic and History in Objectivist Debates about Government - Nicholas Dykes

Ayn Rand versus Adam Smith - Robert White

Feser on Nozick - Peter Jaworski

Kant on Faith - Fred Seddon

Seddon on Rand - Kevin Hill

Reference and Necessity: A Rand-Kripke Synthesis - Roderick T. Long

Reply to Ari Armstrong: How to Be a Perceptual Realist - Michael Huemer

Rejoinder to Michael Huemer: Direct Realism and Causation - Ari Armstrong

Abstracts for this issue are available here; contributor biographies can be found here.

Print-out and mail-in your subscription form today!

Comments welcome. Also noted at L&P, SOLO HQ, Humanities.Philosophy.Objectivism Usenet Group, and the Ayn Rand Meta-Blog.

September 08, 2005

The New Aristos

The new Aristos has been posted here. As readers know, it is now an online journal of the arts, edited by Louis Torres and Michelle Marder Kamhi, both of whom have been contributors to The Journal of Ayn Rand Studies.

Of course, I noticed immediately that Lou and Michelle had some very kind words of praise on the occasion of the tenth anniversary of my book, Ayn Rand: The Russian Radical. Those reflections are posted on their "Notes and Comments" page.

All in all, a good read.

August 18, 2005

My Interview at Sunni's Salon

The tenth anniversary celebrations continue this afternoon with the publication of my interview at Sunni's Salon. I have known Sunni Maravillosa for a long time, and she's a total sweetheart. Her interview of me is comprehensive, wide-ranging, sometimes intimate, and always entertaining.

The 8-page interview starts here.

Comments welcome.

July 15, 2005

Ifeminist Newsletter

Speaking of feminism, women, and women philosophers, I note that the Ifeminist Newsletter has been suspended from distribution for a variety of regulatory reasons. Read Wendy McElroy's comments here (and follow-up posts here).

To keep up with the Ifeminist news, point your browser here.

Comments welcome.

June 30, 2005

Reason Papers Online

Aeon Skoble has announced at L&P that Reason Papers is now online with a new website. Check it out here.

Fine job! It's still one of my favorite publications. I look forward especially to dipping into its rich archives.

Comments welcome.

June 16, 2005

Pro Musica Sana #61

For those who don't know about the Miklos Rozsa Society or its wonderful periodical, Pro Musica Sana, there is a real treat in the new issue (#61): A superb and detailed analysis of Miklos Rozsa's film score to "Ben-Hur." I left a brief comment at The Rozsa Forum singing the praises of the new issue.

Comments welcome.

June 03, 2005

Rand in The Encyclopedia of New York State

My reference entry on "Rand, Ayn" has been published in The Encyclopedia of New York State, just out from Syracuse University Press. I have posted a background summary and an image of the cover and the article here.

I have several other encyclopedia articles on the way on Rand, Marx, and libertarianism; keep abreast of all things "Forthcoming."

Comments welcome. Noted also at SOLO HQ.

Update: See discussion at SOLO HQ here, where I state here, here, and here, among other things, my displeasure over the lack of capitalization of "Objectivism":

... when I submitted the piece to Syracuse University Press, I did, in fact, capitalize "O" in Objectivist. It is capitalized in all of my published work, and it is a matter of stylistic policy in The Journal of Ayn Rand Studies to capitalize the "O"--so that we don't confuse it with the more generic "classical objectivism" in philosophical discourse, which Rand actually renamed "intrinsicism." Alas, I never saw proofs on this article---so that stylistic change was made without my knowledge, or approval. Small price to pay, I think.

December 07, 2004

Total Freedom Reviewed in RAE

The Review of Austrian Economics has published a review, written by Steven Horwitz, of my book Total Freedom: Toward a Dialectical Libertarianism. Excerpts from this rather good review are posted to my site here. RAE is published by Kluwer Academic Publishers. (See also Roderick Long's L&P post on the new RAE issue here.)

October 28, 2004

New Centenary Issue of The Journal of Ayn Rand Studies

As announced at SOLO HQ, L&P, the Ayn Rand Meta-Blog and a host of other lists, Volume 6, Number 1 of The Journal of Ayn Rand Studies has just been published. This issue is the first of two symposia celebrating the Ayn Rand Centenary (which is marked, officially, on 2 February 2005). It is entitled "Ayn Rand: Literary and Cultural Impact," and it features articles from such contributors as Erika Holzer, Stephen Cox, Jeff Riggenbach, Matthew Stoloff, Kirsti Minsaas, Cathy Young, Bernice Rosenthal, Alexandra York, and yours truly.

My own introductory essay to the current issue is entitled "The Illustrated Rand." It is a much expanded discussion of an earlier Atlasphere essay entitled "The Cultural Ascendancy of Ayn Rand."

Keep your eyes open for JARS's second Rand Centenary issue, which will be published in early 2005. It is entitled "Ayn Rand Among the Austrians," and will include contributions from Walter Block, Peter J. Boettke, Steven Horwitz, Roderick T. Long, George Reisman, Larry J. Sechrest, Leland Yeager, Ed Younkins, and others.

For information on JARS subscriptions, click here.

October 12, 2004

Coming Soon: JARS Fall 2004

In a few weeks, the new Journal of Ayn Rand Studies will be published. It will be the first of two special issues devoted to the Ayn Rand Centenary (officially celebrated on February 2, 2005). This first issue is entitled "Ayn Rand: Literary and Cultural Impact." The second Centenary issue will be published in Spring 2005; it is entitled "Ayn Rand Among the Austrians." Fully detailed announcements, with information on contributors and tables of contents, will be published soon.

Meanwhile, a very happy and healthy birthday to one of my esteemed colleagues, a member of the JARS Board of Advisors from the beginning, and a great pal: Larry Sechrest.

October 07, 2004

Mario Lanza: An American Tragedy

In addition to my pick for song of the day, and its accompanying essay, SOLO HQ has published today an essay of mine that appears in the current issue of The Free Radical. That essay, "Like a Man Possessed," is a review of an extraordinary book by Armando Cesari: Mario Lanza: An American Tragedy. (A PDF version is available here.) It dramatizes the effects on one man's life of the lethal dichotomy between "serious" art and "popular" entertainment. Take a look at the follow-up comments as well. (My essay is also noted at L&P here, with regard to the effects of government actions on Lanza's life.)

This material is all published on the 45th anniversary of Lanza's death, which is marked by James Kilbourne at SOLO HQ, and in follow-up discussion here. See also this item on the Mario Lanza mural in Philadelphia.

Update #1 (October 7th): A couple of more thoughts on my broad musical tastes here, here, here, and here.

Update #2 (October 8th): A few more follow-ups... see Peter Cresswell's essay and discussions here, here, here, here and here