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David Sloan Wilson

David S. Wilson’s ‘Sequel’: Atlas Hugged or Atlas Mugged?

In this episode of New Ideal Live, Keith Lockitch and Ben Bayer discuss biologist David Sloan Wilson’s so-called sequel to Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged.

Among the topics covered:

  • What Wilson’s book, Atlas Hugged, is about — and why it’s worth analyzing;
  • Whether the book can be considered a “sequel” to Rand’s novel;
  • How Wilson’s novel rewrites crucial events of the original, especially the story of John Galt;
  • Whether artistic license or parody are compatible with intellectual critique;
  • Wilson’s caricature of Rand’s views of happiness, productiveness, and individualism;
  • The “philosophical obtuseness” of Wilson’s argument for collectivism;
  • Why Wilson’s collectivism is defensible only by the denial of free will;
  • Miscellaneous questions and answers.

Mentioned in the discussion were Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged, Leonard Peikoff’s Objectivism: The Philosophy of Ayn Rand, Allan Gotthelf and Gregory Salmieri’s A Companion to Ayn Rand, and Gotthelf and James Lennox’s Metaethics, Egoism and Virtue. Also mentioned were Ben Bayer’s essay “Real Philosophers Don’t Just Reflect the Trendy Consensus” and Elan Journo’s essay “When Tribal Journalists Try to ‘Cancel’ Ayn Rand.”

This podcast was recorded on March 3, 2021. Listen to the discussion below. Listen and subscribe from your mobile device on Apple PodcastsGoogle PodcastsSpotify or Stitcher. Watch archived podcasts here.

Podcast audio:


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Agustina Vergara Cid

Agustina Vergara Cid, LLB and LLM, is an associate fellow at the Ayn Rand Institute and an opinion columnist at the Orange County Register.

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