|Chris, James Lennox did raise questions about your "scholarship" because he did understand what your "unpromising conjecture" was based on. I don't think he would have written in Reason if he didn't. |
You even give an example of it in your second to last paragraph in post 194. Ayn Rand went to school while still in Russia and read books. Wow, really, you figured that out. But it has nothing to do with your thesis. Now as Lennex said--
"But the direct evidence that the youthful Ayn Rand was positively influenced, through Lossky, by the "dialectical antidualism" of early 20th century Russian philosophy is thin. In Part Two, however, such influences are taken for granted: "Though Rand rejected much of the content of Lossky's philosophy, her own system retained an exhaustive and dialectical form that reflected her roots," writes Sciabarra. [this is based on what evidence, Bankout] And, later, "[A]s I have demonstrated, [Where was the demonstration, Blankout] Rand's philosophy...was a historical product of her revolt against formal dualism." [Evidence???]
LOL, I think you need to actually "demonstrate" something, not just say the equivalent of "because I say so."
Your book is really a lot of historical facts, a number of which are of questionable scholarship, and with NO demonstrated evidence for your thesis. That is Lennox's problem with your "scholarship." You provide no evidence for your work.
Lennox:"Yet the language of Kantian/Hegelian "dialectic," a language Ayn Rand explicitly attacked, is repeatedly used by Sciabarra to characterize her method. In this presentation of her thought, she "transcends opposites," "developing antinomies," "recognizes interpenetration of opposites," "works toward a new synthesis," "traces internal relations." All of this is used as evidence that she is "true to her dialectical roots." Such characterization are reinforced by constant claims of alleged similarities to Hegel, Marx, Marxist historians, Weber, even Trotsky. [The key word is alleged because you provide no evidence] The effect of those comparisons is clear. Absent the requisite direct evidence for a philosophical connection to "her Russian roots," Sciabarra intertwines such claims of kinship with dialectical redescriptions of Rand's ideas, thus giving the appearance of indirect evidence for such a connection. In dealing with the obvious objections that she explicitly rejected this philosophical approach, Sciabarra claims that she simply misunderstood it. But this undercuts his central historical thesis. [You don't need to make sense] Had she have so thoroughly absorbed a "dialectical sensibility" from her teachers, how could she so completely misunderstand it? When [RR] is insightful and illuminating about Objectivism, as it sometimes is, it is in spite of this misguided historiography, rather than because of it."
And in Part Three.
"Once again, next to a candid admission that there is "no available evidence" of any such influence, he is insistence that her "assessment of the nature of power" would be akin to that of Hegal and Marx because of her dialectical approach."
I think Lennex knows your "scholarship" to well.
But you argument is good: a respected philosopher at one of the top schools of philosophy doesn't understand philosophy.
p.s. If you wear Barbara Branden's shoes you don't become BB, your just a guy wearing old lady shoes.