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Why Do Philosophers Keep Getting Ayn Rand Wrong?

Podcast audio:

In this episode of New Ideal Live, Mike Mazza and Aaron Smith discuss Mazza’s recently published article about why academic philosophers tend to get Rand’s ideas wrong so frequently and the parochialism involved in many of their critiques.

Among the topics covered:

  • What Mazza aimed to explain in this article;
  • Why responding to academic critics is important;
  • What it means for philosophers to engage in parochialism;
  • How the methods of academic philosophers are poorly suited to understanding Rand;
  • The inductive structure of Rand’s arguments;
  • The multiple factors behind philosophers’ dismissal of Rand’s ideas;
  • Why the parochialism issue is particularly important to identify;
  • Why historians of philosophy tend not to make the mistake of parochialism;
  • How even Objectivists can be parochial and what they should do to avoid it.

Mentioned in this podcast are the New Ideal articles “Why Can’t Professional Philosophers Get Rand Right?” by Mazza and “Why Massimo Pigliucci Gets Ayn Rand Wrong” by Smith, plus the book A Companion to Ayn Rand edited by Allan Gotthelf and Gregory Salmieri (specifically Chapter 1, “An Introduction to the Study of Ayn Rand”). The podcast was recorded on April 18, 2024. Listen and subscribe from your mobile device on Apple PodcastsGoogle Podcasts, Spotify or Stitcher. Watch archived podcasts here.


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Tristan de Liege

Tristan de Liège, PhD in philosophy, is a junior fellow at the Ayn Rand Institute.

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