Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Timely Meditations for the Very Vigilant

On the argument of the necessity for showing a "united front" at the ARI, the Hsiehs also say that
The range of views that ARI should support under its "one consistent position" policy is a separate question. We regard this policy as wholly proper for Objectivist principles and their public policy applications. Diana has serious concerns about applying it to new philosophic or other scholarly work, however good, including The Logical Leap.

Well, as far as principles go, there is the "metaphysical" and the "man-made," or,
objective principles versus Objectivist principles. I certainly wouldn't want to hear the ARI supporting voodoo and communism, but then...well, here are some salient quotes from the "reason for the season" herself...

If you want to influence a country's intellectual trend, the first step is to bring order to your own ideas and integrate them into a consistent case, to the best of your knowledge and ability. This does not mean memorizing and recitingslogans and principles, Objectivist or otherwise; knowledge necessarily includes the ability to apply abstract principles to
concrete problems, to recognize theprinciples in specific issues, to demonstrate
them, and to advocate a consistent course of action.
But what about the need for an ARI in the first place?

Above all, do not join the wrong ideological groups or movements, in order to “do something.” By “ideological” (in this context), I mean groups or movements proclaiming some vaguely generalized, undefined (and, usually, contradictory) political goals...The only groups one may properly join today are ad hoc committees, i.e., groups organized to achieve a single, specific, clearly defined goal, on which men of differing views can
agree. In such cases, no one may attempt to ascribe his views to the entire
membership, or to use the group to serve some hidden ideological purpose (and
this has to be watched very, very vigilantly).

Why does this even need to be reiterated among Objectivists? But I guess they can't have anarcho-vigilantes running around, second-guessing intellectual heirs...

And so, I

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