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Peterson, Salmieri, Brook: Philosophy and the Soul

Objectivist intellectuals engaged in lively discussion with one of today’s most talked-about authors at the recent Objectivist Summer Conference 2018 in Newport Beach, California. Jordan Peterson, author of 12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos, joined a panel discussion with philosopher Greg Salmieri and talk show host Yaron Brook, addressing a range of topics notable for their philosophic depth.

Moderated by YouTube host Dave Rubin, “Philosophy and the Human Soul” was seen live by more than six hundred conference attendees and streamed on the Rubin Report channel, yielding a total video audience exceeding 210,000 as of this writing.

The panelists discussed such themes as individualism and self-responsibility, economic inequality, free will, religion and atheism, the nature of reason, the “is/ought” problem in philosophy, and methods of conceptual classification.

“This event was a big highlight for us at the Ayn Rand Institute,” said CEO Tal Tsfany. “Thanks to Ayn Rand, Objectivist intellectuals have unique perspectives on philosophy’s fundamental questions, and it’s incredibly satisfying to see non-Objectivists like Peterson engaging with our ideas, even being challenged on some of their core beliefs.”

Peterson is a professor of psychology at the University of Toronto. Salmieri, who teaches at Rutgers University as well as in ARI’s Objectivist Academic Center program, is a fellow at the Anthem Foundation for Objectivist Scholarship and co-editor of A Companion to Ayn Rand in the Blackwell Companions to Philosophy series. Brook is the chairman of ARI’s board of directors and host of the Yaron Brook Show.

“This kind of event is only one of the many ways that ARI engages with thought leaders and issues of the day,” Tsfany said. “Our online publication, New Ideal, regularly addresses current controversies with content of interest to a variety of audiences.” For example, recent New Ideal articles have dealt with the issue of finding morality and happiness without God, author Steven Pinker’s views on free will, the controversy surrounding Facebook and the Russian influence scandal, and the nature of the jihadist movement.

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Tom Bowden

Tom Bowden, JD and former civil litigator, is a research fellow and publishing manager at the Ayn Rand Institute. He is also a coeditor of Illuminating Ayn Rand (2022) and a contributing editor of New Ideal.

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