I can often run into people that state that Ayn Rand was a writer, not a philosopher, or she made no real contributions to philosophy. Is it possible we could list some of Ayn Rand's prominent philosophical accomplishments (either uniquely her own or even in cases where she has succeeded based on applying Objectivism to foundations placed by other thinkers) and distribute them into the branches? I have not yet had the pleasure to read Introduction to an Objectivist Epistemology however I only became recently aware that Rand has supposedly solved "the problem of universals", for instance. I am well aware, for instance, that her most prominent achievements are supposed to be in the area of concept-formation.
Solved Problem of Universals -(potential brief explanation here) Concept Formation (potential brief explanation) Unit measurement/ommission
Further development of a coherent system for individual rights within a laissez-faire society (potential brief explanation).
I would like to do what was done in another thread, have a bunch of people answer this question, and then have someone reorganize all of these answers into a single master list, as is being done with...I believe..the book list.
Rand's philosophical accomplishments are too many to list here, but I'll name a few of the top ones:
For a more comprehensive treatment, I refer to you to the series on this topic published in The Objectivist Forum shortly after her death in 1982.
Harry Binswanger's article, referenced by Jason Crawford, is — I say unabashedly — a brilliant analysis. It's worth paying for the whole volume, just for that one article, which he intended initially as a two-part article but ended up devoting the better part of four issues to.
I get no kudos or kickbacks for this, but (as a philosophy professor) I find The Objectivist Forum to be the most idea-dense and user-friendly Objectivist periodical since Ayn Rand's own works. Everyone should have it.
answered Nov 11 '10 at 12:21
Robert Garmong ♦