|"Binswanger's work on the relationship between evolutionary biology and teleology, or Gotthelf's work straightening out Thomist misunderstandings of Aristotle, are valuable beyond anything in the two examples you cited." |
I have to disagree. Binswanger's work in evolutionary biology and teleology is interesting, but far from outstanding. In fact, if memory serves, his book completely omits discussion of the "etiological versus propensity" accounts of function, which is perhaps the most crucial issue in contemporary teleology. Check out the work of Ruth Millikan for a superb analysis of teleology in the light of Darwinism.
The monographs published by TOC, especially the ones written by Neera Badhwar and Roderick Long, are far superior to anything published by ARI. Of course, that is to be expected, given that both of these monographs are sympathetic yet critical reevaluations of Rand's ethics--something that ARI avoids like the plague. Tara Smith's _Viable Values_ is a nice exposition of the Objectivist metaethics, but it certainly has not had any impact on academia. People like Eric Mack, Douglas Den Uyl, Douglas Rasmussen, and Fred Miller have done much more for Randian philosophy in academia than anyone from ARI. The fact of the matter is not simply that professional philosophers are hostile to Rand (they are often hostile to her name, but her arguments are not rejected out of hand if they are not aware the arguments are hers or inspired by her), but that the uncritical presentation of Rand's arguments by ARI types completely turns them off. Even if Tara Smith's book was perfect, it would still be poorly received because it does not contain one critical word against Rand. I understand that I am likely preaching to the converted here, but I think that Kelley refocusing on philosophical work is a good thing--the best thing that TOC can do is publish more scholarly work and support the work of Randian scholars.