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Thursday, July 2, 2009 - 7:27pmSanction this postReply
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Do check out Professor Jennifer Burns at the title link for this thread. She is a pleasure to listen to. Here is the link to her website with links to her podcasts. Her smile is not unpleasant to look at either!

fixed, thanks Teresa
(Edited by Ted Keer on 7/02, 8:13pm)




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Thursday, July 2, 2009 - 7:41pmSanction this postReply
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Here are her lectures available free from Berekely

Introductory Lecture History 7B - Spring 2006: US History: from Civil War to Present Free
The Civil War and Its Aftermath; Emancipation History 7B - Spring 2006: US History: from Civil War to Present Free
Reconstruction History 7B - Spring 2006: US History: from Civil War to Present Free
The Conquest of the West History 7B - Spring 2006: US History: from Civil War to Present Free
The Settling of the West History 7B - Spring 2006: US History: from Civil War to Present Free
Economics of Industrialization History 7B - Spring 2006: US History: from Civil War to Present Free
The 'New South' History 7B - Spring 2006: US History: from Civil War to Present Free
Gilded Age Politics History 7B - Spring 2006: US History: from Civil War to Present Free
Workers and Unions History 7B - Spring 2006: US History: from Civil War to Present Free
Immigrant Culture History 7B - Spring 2006: US History: from Civil War to Present Free
Meaning of Whiteness History 7B - Spring 2006: US History: from Civil War to Present Free
Social Thought in the Gilded Age History 7B - Spring 2006: US History: from Civil War to Present Free
Progressivism History 7B - Spring 2006: US History: from Civil War to Present Free
Victorian Women History 7B - Spring 2006: US History: from Civil War to Present Free
Spanish American War History 7B - Spring 2006: US History: from Civil War to Present Free
The Election of 1912 History 7B - Spring 2006: US History: from Civil War to Present Free
Midterm Review Lecture History 7B - Spring 2006: US History: from Civil War to Present Free
The Great War History 7B - Spring 2006: US History: from Civil War to Present Free
The Roaring 20's and The Scopes Trial History 7B - Spring 2006: US History: from Civil War to Present Free
The 1920's: The Jazz Age History 7B - Spring 2006: US History: from Civil War to Present Free
The Great Depression and New Deal History 7B - Spring 2006: US History: from Civil War to Present Free
New Deal, Part 2 History 7B - Spring 2006: US History: from Civil War to Present Free
WWII: The War Economy History 7B - Spring 2006: US History: from Civil War to Present Free
WWII: Pacific Front History 7B - Spring 2006: US History: from Civil War to Present Free
WWII: The Good War? History 7B - Spring 2006: US History: from Civil War to Present Free
Emergence of the Postwar Order History 7B - Spring 2006: US History: from Civil War to Present Free
Cold War: The Domestic Front History 7B - Spring 2006: US History: from Civil War to Present Free
In the Shadow of the Bomb: 1950s Culture History 7B - Spring 2006: US History: from Civil War to Present Free
Building a Movement: Civil Rights Part 1 History 7B - Spring 2006: US History: from Civil War to Present Free
Reconstruction Redux: Civil Rights Part 2 History 7B - Spring 2006: US History: from Civil War to Present Free
Barry Goldwater and the Rise of the Right History 7B - Spring 2006: US History: from Civil War to Present Free
1960s Protest: From Reform to Revolution History 7B - Spring 2006: US History: from Civil War to Present Free
Feminism and Antifeminism History 7B - Spring 2006: US History: from Civil War to Present Free
The Vietnam War History 7B - Spring 2006: US History: from Civil War to Present Free
Rise and Fall of Richard Nixon History 7B - Spring 2006: US History: from Civil War to Present Free
Iranian Hostage Crisis History 7B - Spring 2006: US History: from Civil War to Present Free
The Religious Right History 7B - Spring 2006: US History: from Civil War to Present Free
Conservatism Reborn - From Reagan to W. Bush II History 7B - Spring 2006: US History: from Civil War to Present Free
Concluding Lecture: 9/11 and Beyond History 7B - Spring 2006: US History: from Civil War to Present Free





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Post 2

Thursday, July 2, 2009 - 7:52pmSanction this postReply
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Link to Jennifer Burns site here.

Ted's link wasn't working for some reason.

Nice interview.  Burns knows her Rand, that's for sure. 




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Thursday, July 2, 2009 - 8:57pmSanction this postReply
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Enjoyable interview. Thanks!

jt



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Post 4

Thursday, July 2, 2009 - 9:02pmSanction this postReply
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The thanks button is the little orange one to the right, Jay. Just because I am now celebrating having more than a myriad Atlas Points does not mean they have lost all marginal utility.



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Post 5

Friday, July 3, 2009 - 2:30amSanction this postReply
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http://itunes.berkeley.edu/



Post 6

Friday, July 3, 2009 - 4:38pmSanction this postReply
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This one???

: )



Post 7

Sunday, July 5, 2009 - 7:45amSanction this postReply
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Teresa,

It's true that Burns knows Rand more than most. But as "Morpheus" says in the movie, the Matrix, there's a difference between knowing the path and walking the path. Burns knows a ton of facts, but that doesn't mean that she understands Objectivism. From her WBUR interview I would ascertain that she knows isolated arguments and codified responses. There are 4 subjects in which Burns' answers were 'sketchy':

(1) Burns said that long-term, wide-spread scandals like the Bernie Madoff scandal weren't covered by Rand

-- But that's a misunderstanding of Rand. Rand implicitly covered such things, even if she didn't explicitly have a con-man work for years in duping dozens of individuals out of millions of dollars. Rand covered it philosophically, rather than existentially.


(2) Burns said that, in her emphasis on trade, the notion of a loving benevolence toward one's family and children weren't covered by Rand

-- But again, Rand covered these things implicitly and philosophically, though not explicitly.


(3) Burns said that Rand's "emphasis on rationality led her to really denigrate emotional knowledge."

-- But, as has been worked out here and elsewhere, that is not a good understanding of Rand's integrated view of rationality and emotion and knowledge. Burns goes on to say that if Rand wasn't so empirical, then she'd be more true to herself, though not in so few words (she conjectured that the affair might not have happened if Rand was more in tune with her emotions). This is basically dime-store psychologizing from the bleachers. Folks sitting way up in the bleachers can barely see the game, let alone make bold conjecture regarding the aspirations and motivations of the players on the field.


(4) Burns said that Rand is, at least historically if not factually, a "gateway drug to life on the Right." A dispensable 'starter-kit.' She went on to mention how many fall away from Objectivism as they question the proper placement of religion in man's life (or in their own life). She mentioned how so much in life was left out in Rand.

-- But think about that for a moment. Think about judging a painting as poor not because its creation lacked artistic skill, not because it doesn't capture real beauty or concretize metaphysical values, but because the painting, itself, does not include the whole of existence. Because there's so much more in the world than that painting. It's an immature evaluation to do that.


In sum, Burns is a hot chick, but I wouldn't court her unless she got a philosophical tune-up first.

:-)

Ed



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Post 8

Sunday, July 5, 2009 - 8:34amSanction this postReply
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Yeah, Ed -

(1) Burns said that long-term, wide-spread scandals like the Bernie Madoff scandal weren't covered by Rand

I agree with you that problems like this are indeed covered implicitly by Rand.

(2) Burns said that, in her emphasis on trade, the notion of a loving benevolence toward one's family and children weren't covered by Rand

Same here, and with the rest of your points. However, Burns doesn't claim to be an expert on Objectivism, or of Rand's ideas as such, but her understanding is far better than others at the university level. She's a history professor and professional, not a philosopher. I take her overview as generally supportive of Rand's ideas, and her analytical mistakes forgivable, as I sense they stem from a lack of integration, or mis-integration. There's no wild criticism, or far reaching effort to paint Rand a loon.  I can only hope Burns interest in Rand's thought continues.  Objectivism could use more history professionals.

No doubt she's sorting through mail outlining, in scathing detail, the mistakes you've brought up, Ed.  :)  (Geeze, I hope they're kind, and give Burns the benefit of doubt...)




Post 9

Sunday, July 5, 2009 - 9:27amSanction this postReply
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Robert, thanks so much for posting the link to Burns lectures on iTunes. I downloaded a bunch, and am listening to the introduction right now.  She's very pleasant listening.



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Post 10

Sunday, July 5, 2009 - 10:31amSanction this postReply
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Teresa,

I see your point about her value and I, too, hope that her critics are kind and give her the benefit of the doubt. She's primarily an historian (not a philosopher) and it's great that she's been so focused on Rand as to give Rand more exposure.

The trouble with folks who don't quite get it (Objectivism), though, is that your "friends" can do you more damage than your enemies. That was Rand's point about viciously attacking Libertarians -- who share some of her premises. If you are really close, but wrong, you destroy more value than those who are totally way off-base in their criticisms.

It's a damn paradox.

Ed




Post 11

Monday, July 6, 2009 - 7:01amSanction this postReply
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Ed T. wrote:
(1) Burns said that long-term, wide-spread scandals like the Bernie Madoff scandal weren't covered by Rand

-- But that's a misunderstanding of Rand. Rand implicitly covered such things, even if she didn't explicitly have a con-man work for years in duping dozens of individuals out of millions of dollars. Rand covered it philosophically, rather than existentially.
This is a preliminary response, since I haven't heard the Burns thing yet and I am on a trip. I think Burns has a decent point here. Where did Rand write about crooks not in cahoots with government? I don't recall any in Atlas Shrugged.
(2) Burns said that, in her emphasis on trade, the notion of a loving benevolence toward one's family and children weren't covered by Rand

-- But again, Rand covered these things implicitly and philosophically, though not explicitly.
Rand said little explicitly about these things, which I believe is Burns' point. Look at the main characters in her novels. Roark and Galt had no family. The only family in Atlas she said much about was the Reardens, and that was a pretty negative portrayal. Dagny Taggart admired her father or grandfather, but look at her relationship with her brother.
(3) Burns said that Rand's "emphasis on rationality led her to really denigrate emotional knowledge."

-- But, as has been worked out here and elsewhere, that is not a good understanding of Rand's integrated view of rationality and emotion and knowledge.
Again I think Burns has a point. Look at the main characters of her novels like Roark and Galt.




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Post 12

Monday, July 6, 2009 - 7:50amSanction this postReply
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Merlin,

Some things might be (incorrectly) inferred from a reading of the novels, but Rand's discussion of such issues did not end after publishing the novels. Rand's subsequent, more explicit opinions are certainly available to Burns.

jt



Post 13

Tuesday, July 7, 2009 - 5:44amSanction this postReply
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Jay's right. It's inappropriate to judge Rand as a thinker based on the adequacies or deficiencies of her novels. It'd be like saying that Seurat's pointillism:



... being nothing other than a collective of dots, makes him (as a thinker) unintegrated.

Ed




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