Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Why people who know philosophy don't like to talk about Ayn Rand

Randoids are often pissed off because people criticize her and yet often don't want to go through the trouble of conducting a critique of her that draws on all her major works as well as her minor ones. There's a reason folks don't want to do this, and it's quite simple: from virtually the first paragraph in her works on philosophy it's apparent that her arguments are so bad, so flawed, and so ignorant that there's little motivation to keep on and on and on unless a person is a masochist who enjoys punishment. Her writing isn't real philosophy. It's not even real intellectualism. It's something that Rand thought was profound and thought was insightful but is ignorant of basic philosophical ideas and history. Her work is basically very similar to someone who read a summary of Enlightenment philosophy on the back of a cereal box, decided she knew what was being talked about, and then procedes to write article after article, and book after book, based on this assumed knowledge.

It's bad. It's fucking bad. There's almost no parallel to how stupid Rand is with regards to philosophy. People who know philosophy likely see Rand as someone who's not worth the time in responding to. But if you don't have any background in philosophy, i.e. you're a high school student, it might seem profound.

* in other words, most people who know philosophy would be more likely to claw their eyes out than to give a full on treatment to Ayn Rand's philosophical ideas.

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