File under “who knew”?

by Daniel on April 24, 2006

Surprising news:

The Objectivist Academic Centre of the Ayn Rand Institute now offers accredited courses for which college credits can be granted.

Very very surprising news:

The financial support arrangements and tuition waivers are rather generous.

If any CT readers want to apply for a grant from the Ayn Rand Institute the form is here. Although I suppose this may be a trick; if you apply for a grant you thereby prove yourself to be unworthy of one.

(PS: If any other editors change the category of this post away from “Philosophy” I will throw a hissy fit of epic and heroic, life-affirming proportions.)



bi 04.24.06 at 2:23 am

What I want to know is, is there a course module that focusses on the novels’ strip scenes?


Alan 04.24.06 at 3:10 am

Daniel, in most taxonomies your post would belong under the heading “philosophy”, because objectivism is one of the “f##k you” schools of philosophy.


Tim Worstall 04.24.06 at 3:21 am

Bugger. Someone’s handing out free money and there I am, having just filed a piece that’s rude about them.


abb1 04.24.06 at 3:26 am

If Professor Peikoff is a featured speaker there, I would attend – for the sheer comic value.


lurker 04.24.06 at 4:35 am

Do we get to see the motor?


Zephania 04.24.06 at 6:03 am

Philosophical argument … is the Rand school peddling _unofficial truth_?

(What is truth; who gets to say; is state sponsored _normative_ education legitimate etc etc etc …)

What about Hans-Herman Hoppe, can you get a state grant to go on one of his courses?


mb 04.24.06 at 6:18 am

“Apply” for a grant? I will seize one!


Maurice Meilleur 04.24.06 at 6:51 am

Very snarky . . . but what would those poor Objectivists have the right to expect from a website named after a quotation from Kant?


Daniel 04.24.06 at 7:07 am

In principle I am sure the Randites will claim that they are being purely selfish in giving this financial aid because it helps their cause of Randianism. But this has always sounded pretty unconvincing, even when put into the mouths of the characters in Atlas Shrugged for dramatic reasons (as in, it’s not actually possible to have a viable novel entirely about people who only care about themselves all the time)


lurker 04.24.06 at 7:36 am

What if time.

What if Professor Peikoff were playing the role of Karl Rove?


Nat Whilk 04.24.06 at 7:42 am

What Randian multimillionaire rock lyricist recently wrote a book that was “generously supported by the Canada Council, the Ontario Arts Council, and the Government of Canada through the Book Publishing Industry Development Program”?


Barry 04.24.06 at 8:02 am

Daniel, the important, life-affirming thing is that your rant will last several hundred pages. Long enough to stun, if not kill, even the most hardened philosphy professors.


ben alpers 04.24.06 at 9:07 am

I don’t think most historians today would rank Herbert Hoover as one of the three worst presidents in U.S. history. Indeed, I think he’d just crack the bottom ten.

The last major poll of historians on good and bad presidents was conducted by Arthur Schlesinger in 1996 (you can see results of it here). Historians were asked to rate presidents as Great, Near Great, Average, Below Average, or Failure. Hoover ended up as the fifth worst president behind Harding (the worst), Buchanan, Andrew Johson, and Nixon (of course Dubya was not yet in the running). But among the seven presidents rated as overall failures in the poll, Hoover received the fewest historians ranking him as a failure (10 of 32). Nine historians ranked him as Below Average; eleven ranked him average (two historians apparently didn’t rank him at all).

If anything, Hoover’s reputation has improved moderately since then. The current line on Hoover (to the extent there is one) is that while he failed to respond effectively to horrendous economic events that were largely out of his control, he was not the hidebound ideologue that his older reputation might suggest (though after his presidency, Hoover became more ideologically rigid). See, for example, David M. Kennedy’s fairly sympathetic portrait of Hoover in his history of the Great Depression, Freedom from Fear.


ben alpers 04.24.06 at 9:07 am

Oops! Please ignore that last post…it belongs in another thread (obviously).


Chris Williams 04.24.06 at 11:06 am

Perhaps the grant application process is a formative assessment designed to reveal the depths of second-handery that the potential initiate has plumbed – apply for a complete course waiver plus a maintenance grant, and they will automatically put you on the Remedial Selfishness Studies module (AYN 101), ask for a 10% discount and you’re enrolled on Reasonably Practical Rudeness (AYN 305) instead.


luci 04.24.06 at 1:21 pm

Nat: gotta be Neil Peart from Rush. I believe Ayn Rand is even mentioned in the liner notes in one of their late 70’s albums. Don’t ask why I know this.


mealworm 04.24.06 at 7:31 pm

Is anyone here going to blog about the Finnish entry in this year’s Eurovision song contest? I saw the article in the NYT and can’t wait to see what you have to say about it.


aaron 04.24.06 at 11:34 pm

It would be wrong not to try to get a grant that is available. You don’t need to support a system to take advantage of it.

Also, there’s nothing wrong with people deciding for themselves to fund/support a grant or financial aid. It’s funding them through taxes that is considered wrong.


dr ngo 04.25.06 at 12:32 am

On a related topic, the president of Meredith College in Raleigh, North Carolina, recently negotiated a substantial grant from a rich local libertarian (?) to support a course on capitalist philosophy (IIRC) with the writings of Ms. Rand being required reading.

Alas for her (= the president, but also the late Ms. Rand) the faculty, uppity liberals that they presumably are, voted to reject the stipulation on the readings, despite the president’s dire warning that they would thereupon lose the whole grant.

So FWIW unfettered capitalism can’t quite purchase academia outright yet, even at a small liberal arts college for women.


Daniel 04.25.06 at 1:38 am

Also, there’s nothing wrong with people deciding for themselves to fund/support a grant or financial aid.

That would be the normal libertarian point of view, but in Randianism, all forms of charity and in particular all grants disbursed on the basis of need are by that token evil.


Alex Tabarrok 04.26.06 at 6:31 pm

Contra Daniel, Objectivism does not consider charity to be a vice. On the contrary, charity is considered to be a virtue but a minor one; minor in relation to productivity upon which it depends. What Rand is against is charity as a duty.

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