Rebirth of Reason

Sanctions: 2
Posted by Bill Perry on 4/02, 6:20am

I am no longer employed by, or affiliated with The Objectivist Center.  Nor will I be attending their summer seminar. There are several exceptions to this.  First I am technically a member of TOC under its rules until sometime in August due to previous donations.  Second I wrote an article about Terry Goodkind which should appear in an upcoming issue of the magazine.  (I wrote the article in October.)  If there are any letters to the editor concerning the article I may reply. Finally I have agreed to answer questions from the center about work I did, as well as the location of files in my former office and on my computer.  I have also agreed to forward any e-mail I receive regarding TOC to the appropriate person there.  I have specifically not agreed to give any advice about any matter.


I do not intend to use this announcement to criticize TOC.  I left because of a variety of issues.  Most of them pertain to my growing disagreement with David Kelley’s views about judgment and toleration.  My view of the application of justice is far different than David Kelley’s view.


I intend to take about a year to consider certain issues in Objectivism.  I am about to complete a basic philosophical education course of my own design, which will better enable me to evaluate those issues.  The course included working through John Hospers’ Philosophical Analysis, David Kelley’s The Art of Reasoning, and the entire nine- volume A History of Philosophy by Frederick Copleston.  (I am in the ninth volume of Copleston.)


I am then going to re-examine issues in Objectivism.   I may write about them, but I don’t intend to publish or post anything from May 1, 2006-April 30, 2007.  Nor do I intend to participate in any Objectivist conferences.  My only contact with Objectivist groups of any sort will be attendance at Arizona Objectivists and other local groups.  If I post anything on any website it will be about applications only, or about non-philosophical issues.


However, I will be writing a few things and posting them on SOLO Passion between now and May 1.  I will discuss what I write until that date. 


The issues I intend to explore during my “sabbatical” are:


  • What is the difference between self absorption and rational self interest?

  • How does keeping one’s commitments relate to the Objectivist ethics?

  • Why are so many Objectivists angry at Ayn Rand? 

  • Is it appropriate for Objectivist organizations to attempt to influence public debate on political issues—as groups? 
  • I want to more closely examine the open-closed system issue.  Why are the closed system advocates producing more scholarly works about Objectivism than the open system advocates?  What is the status of those works within the philosophy?

  • I may further refine my position about judgment.  It is pretty well developed at this point given my past background as a prosecutor, defense attorney, and judge.  I want to clarify it in writing.

    During the time that I am doing this analysis I will only be discussing these issues and other issues about the philosophy with close friends.  If I have spent the night in your home, or you have stayed in mine you qualify.


    However, I am making a limited time offer to anyone who donated to The Objectivist Center when I was employed there from February 2004-March 17, 2006. If you donated in whole or in part because I was employed by TOC, I will answer any questions you have about the Center, and why I left through April 30, 2006.  All answers will be by private e-mail or telephone conversation, and are solely for the use of the person asking the question, or his family members.


    Bill Perry

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