In this essay, the authors analyze and interpret facsimiles of important original documents—published here for the first time—that are deeply relevant to the education of the young Ayn Rand at the University of Petrograd. This definitive reading of source material provides significant documentation of Rand’s courses, teachers, and textbooks—and what she might have learned from them. Other original source materials are revealed to advance further investigations of this key period in Rand’s life. Recent commentary on Rand’s education in Gary H. (...) Merrill’s book, False Wisdom, is also considered. (shrink)
Analyzes the intellectual roots and philosophy of Ayn Rand. Second edition adds a new preface and an analysis of transcripts documenting Rand's education at Petrograd State University"--Provided by publisher.
This introduction to the twentieth anniversary volume of The Journal of Ayn Rand Studies celebrates the creating and sustaining of a forum in which writers coming from virtually every discipline, representing a diverse range of critical perspectives, have advanced the scholarly study of Ayn Rand and her times.
Building upon his previous books about Marx, Hayek, and Rand, _Total Freedom_ completes what _Lingua Franca_ has called Sciabarra’s "epic scholarly quest" to reclaim dialectics, usually associated with the Marxian left, as a methodology that can revivify libertarian thought. Part One surveys the history of dialectics from the ancient Greeks through the Austrian school of economics. Part Two investigates in detail the work of Murray Rothbard as a leading modern libertarian, in whose thought Sciabarra finds both dialectical and nondialectical elements. (...) Ultimately, Sciabarra aims for a dialectical-libertarian synthesis, highlighting the need to think of the "totality" of interconnections in a dynamic system as the way to ensure human freedom while avoiding "totalitarianism". (shrink)
CHRIS MATTHEW SCIABARRA discusses the major historical significance of his 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.
. The coeditors of this special double issue of the journal focus attention on the need to reassess the work and legacy of Ayn Rand's friend and collaborator Nathaniel Branden. This introduction explains why they asked a diverse group of scholars to examine Branden's entire body of work—from his Randian period through his years as the “father” of the self-esteem movement.
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. (shrink)
Sciabarra responds to critics of the second edition of his book, Ayn Rand: The Russian Radical: Wendy McElroy, who reviewed the book for The Journal of Ayn Rand Studies, and Shoshana Milgram and Gregory Salmieri, whose most recent criticisms appear in A Companion to Ayn Rand. Sciabarra defends both his historical and methodological theses, situating the book within a trilogy of works that define and defend “dialectical libertarianism,” which eschews utopian thinking and embraces a fully radical mode of inquiry. Sciabarra (...) argues that dialectics—the art of context-keeping—figures prominently throughout Rand's literary and philosophical corpus. (shrink)
Since 1999, The Journal of Ayn Rand Studies has published over 250 essays, written by over 130 authors, working across scholarly disciplines and specialties. Starting in 2013 with Volume 13, Number 1, the JARS Foundation will begin a collaboration with Pennsylvania State University Press. PSUP will manage distribution and subscription fulfillment for print and online editions, while the Editorial Board will focus exclusively on journal content. Extensive digital dissemination and preservation of the journal is guaranteed through PSUP partnerships with JSTOR (...) and Project Muse, and the dark archivingofall journal back issues at Stanford's CLOCKSS. (shrink)
These essays explore ways that liberty can be better defended using a dialectical approach. In addition to libertarian theory and dialectics, some of the areas examined include evolutionary biology, psychology, economics, and sociology of the family and of American popular songs, social justice, and political change.
The Journal of Ayn Rand Studies introduces four new Advisory Board members—Laurence I. Gould, Kirsti Minsaas, Aeon J. Skoble, and Edward W. Younkins—as well as a new Associate Editor: Roger E. Bissell. This issue is dedicated to the memory of Advisory Board member and JARS contributor, the late Steven Horwitz.
This thesis develops a radical critique of utopian thinking by examining the dialectical and dualistic methodological elements in Hayekian, Rothbardian, and Marxian theory. Utopianism is defined as an abstract, dualistic, ahistorical form of social thought. Its central failure is its inability to resolve the polarity between its progressive intentions and the emergent, unintended consequences of human interaction. It grants to men an illusory degree of cognitive efficacy in its construction of a new society. Radicalism, however, recognizes socio-historical conditions in any (...) attempt to dialectically transform them. The Hayekian, Rothbardian and Marxian projects are appraised in their capacity to transcend the methodological pitfalls of utopianism. ;The comparison between Hayek, Rothbard and Marx is unusual precisely because each is a major figure in a distinctly different tradition of social analysis. Hayek exemplifies the "evolutionist" perspective which synthesizes insights from Burke, Popper, Polanyi and Scottish liberalism. Despite its inadequate analysis of the state and classes, and its dualistic distinction between "spontaneous" and "designed " order, Hayek's framework constitutes a highly dialectical critique of utopianism which has provocative parallels with the Marxian critique. ;Though Hayek and Rothbard share a belief in free market processes, Rothbard embraces a libertarian perspective which synthesizes the insights of Austrian economics, New Left historical revisionism, and the natural rights philosophies of John Locke and Ayn Rand. Rothbard shares many of the progressive goals of Marx, but his anarchist utopia is an outgrowth of an ahistorical, abstract, dualistic methodology. Rothbard's analysis is far more radical when it uncovers important dialectical relationships between the "coercive" state and the "voluntarist" market. ;Marx's dialectic offers a profoundly radical mode of inquiry. In contrast to both Hayek and Rothbard, Marx views the duality between state and market as historically specific to capitalism. Taking full cognizance of the evolutionist perspective, Marx proposes the immanent emergence of a communism that consists in the triumph of conscious human agency. Yet, Marx's project grants to man a cognitive efficacy which may be beyond his capacity. ;The thesis attempts to transcend the utopian limitations of Hayekian, Rothbardian, and Marxian theories through the development of a truly radical methodology. (shrink)
Chris Matthew Sciabarra surveys discussions of Ayn Rand in the literature on Progressive rock music. He examines critically Edward Macan's Rocking the Classics: English Progressive Rock and the Counterculture, Paul Stump's The Music s All That Matters: A History of Progressive Rock, Carol Selby Price and Robert M. Price's Mystic Rhythms: The Philosophical Vision of Rush, Bill Martin's Listening to the Future: The Time of Progressive Rock, 1968-1978 (1998), and Durrell S. Bowman's essay on the rock band Rush in Kevin (...) Holm-Hudson's Progressive Rock Reconsidered. He argues that the authors show varying degrees of understanding of Rand's brand of "redemptive politics.". (shrink)
Sciabarra replies to the seven respondents to his Fall 2002 essay on Rand, Rush, and progressive rock music. He defends the view that Rand's dialectical orientation underlies a fundamentally radical perspective. Rand shared with the counterculture—especially its libertarian progressive rock representatives—a repudiation of authoritarianism, while embracing the "unknown ideal" of capitalism. Her ability to trace the interrelationships among personal, cultural, and structural factors in social analysis and her repudiation of false alternatives is at the heart of that ideal vision, which (...) transcends left and right. (shrink)
This review of Free Market Revolution: How Ayn Rand’s Ideas Can End Big Government, by Yaron Brook and Don Watkins, lauds its virtues, while criticizing its tendencies toward a partial and one-sided understanding of the nature of the revolution it extols. In bracketing out a deeper analysis of the role of business in the creation of modern corporatist political economy and the debilitating effects of war and the national security state on markets at home and abroad, the authors ultimately fail (...) to provide the more robust defense of freedom that Rand’s project implies. (shrink)
Beginning in 2013, Pennsylvania State University Press will manage design, production, distribution, and subscription fulfillment, in both print and online editions, of The Journal of Rand Studies. This enterprise requires an expansion of the journal's editorial and advisory boards. The Editorial Board— Stephen Cox, Roderick Long, and Chris Sciabarra—welcomes Robert Campbell, while the Board of Advisors welcomes six new members, reflecting its growing interdisciplinary and global reach: David Beito, Peter Boettke, Susan Love Brown, Hannes Gissurarson, Steven Horwitz, and David Mayer, (...) who join founding board members Douglas Den Uyl, Mimi Gladstein, Robert Hessen, Lester Hunt, Eric Mack, and Douglas Rasmussen. (shrink)
In his short review of The Political Philosophy of Herbert Spencer , Timothy Virkkala (May 1999) praises Tim S. Gray's discussion of the great classical liberal's methodology as a synthesis of "individualist" and "holist" approaches to social theory. But Virkkala remarks This method -I'm tempted to call it "dialectical," but Spencer's prose and position seem so far from Hegel's that the term is almost indecent -confuses many readers. But it is surely his strength. Gray is one of the few Spencer (...) scholars to see this method as fundamental, and to present sophisticated analyses of Spencer's syntheses. It is unfortunate that Virkkala refuses to give into his temptation, because crucially significant aspects of Herbert Spencer's work are, indeed, dialectical. (shrink)
In his critique of Ayn Rand: The Russian Radical, David MacGregor argues that my book trivializes dialectical method. He fails to notice the many nondialectical assumptions that pervade contemporary social theory and practice. Dialectics, as a context‐sensitive methodological orientation, can provide tools for a better grasp of systems and processes in the real world—the goal, as I understand it, of the “post‐libertarian” approach Jeffrey Friedman advocates.
ABSTRACT In the coming year, 2023, The Journal of Ayn Rand Studies will publish a double issue that will conclude its twenty-three-year history as the only nonpartisan, interdisciplinary, double-blind, peer-reviewed, biannual periodical devoted to the study of Ayn Rand and her times.
This introduction celebrates the progress of The Journal of Ayn Rand Studies, the only interdisciplinary, double-blind peer-reviewed, university press–published periodical devoted to the study of Ayn Rand and her times. It notes the expansion of the journal's readership and the creation of the new Scholarly Publishing Collective that will further expand the accessibility and visibility of the journal as it enters its third decade of publication.
Chris Matthew Sciabarra responds to Roderick Long's review (Journal of Ayn Rand Studies, Spring 2001) of his Total Freedom: Toward a Dialectical Ubertarianism. Sciabarra argues that the dialectical stress upon context-keeping encompasses both analytic and synthetic activities. He defends his interpretations of Aristotle, Marx, Rothbard, and internal relations, and presents a radical dialectical libertarian alternative— a conception of freedom that is not merely political or economic but also psycho-epistemological, ethical, and cultural.
With this issue, The Journal of Ayn Rand Studies begins a collaboration with the Pennsylvania State University Press, which will manage all aspects of design, production, distribution, and subscription fulfillment. 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.
ABSTRACT The Journal of Ayn Rand Studies concludes its twenty-three-year journey with a grand finale that celebrates its history as the only interdisciplinary, scholarly, double-blind peer-reviewed periodical devoted to the critical discussion of Ayn Rand and her times.
This article surveys the exponential increase in Rand references in scholarly and popular sources to illustrate her cultural ascendancy as an iconic figure. Special attention is paid to Rand's impact on popular literature, television, cartoons, and illustrated media, including comics. Rand's own involvement in illustrated presentations of her ideas is explored, as is her influence on such comic artists as Steve Ditko, Frank Miller, and others. Nathaniel Branden's insights on the role of comics in projecting heroic values are also addressed.
This article surveys Rand's relationship to key thinkers in the Austrian school of economics, including Ludwig von Mises, Murray N. Rothbard, and F. A. Hayek. Austrian theory informs the writings of Rand and her early associates (e.g., Nathaniel Branden, Alan Greenspan, and George Reisman) on topics ranging from monopoly to business cycles. Some post-Randian thinkers (e.g., Richard Salsman), however, have repudiated many of these insights, thus constituting a movement away from the historically close relationship between Objectivism and Austrianism. This symposium (...) explores the distinction between these approaches and the possibilities for a shared vision. (shrink)