Sunday, April 15, 2007

The ARI Wrap Up

Some interesting new finds at the Ayn Rand Institute:

The first site is designed to introduce new readers, specifically students, to the novels and ideas of Ayn Rand. It provides an essentialized, easy to view guide for users to navigate and explore. It features most of the same content that is presented on the Institute's site but there is also some new features as well. A couple such features include a look at why her philosophy is unique, differing from all other philosophies before it and a look at her unique novels . A section discussing her approach to philosophy:
To most modern philosophers philosophy is disconnected from life—nothing more than an analysis of language, or speculation about the unknowable, or an intellectual game—which is why most people think philosophy is “just a lot of theory” (i.e., a waste of time).

To Ayn Rand, by contrast, philosophy is a matter of life and death. On her view, philosophy studies the fundamental nature of existence, of man and of man’s relationship to existence. “A philosophy,” such as Ayn Rand’s philosophy of Objectivism, is a systematic, integrated view of existence—what used to be called “a philosophy of life.” Far from being a useless game, philosophy, to Ayn Rand, is the determining factor in an individual’s character and happiness and in every aspect of a culture, including history, politics, education. Philosophic ideas are important because one’s life is important, and philosophy is a practical necessity for living.[emphasis added]
It is exactly this approach and the certainty with which Ayn Rand conveys it that attracts so many individuals to her philosophy and view of life.

The second site is actually a part of all those mail-in inserts found in all of Ayn Rand's books. It takes you to a single page informational request form as part of the ARI. But the kicker is that you can receive a free audiocassette copy of Ayn Rand's address given to the USMA graduating class at West Point, entitled "Philosophy: Who Needs It".

The last link refers to the panel discussion I mentioned previously. Those at the ARI seem to be making an exception in this instance by providing this streaming lecture available to everyone even if you're not a registered user. Considering the nature of the lecture and its widespread mention in the blogosphere this seems rather apt. But of course I must invite any non-registered visitors to take the time to register. There are many more valuable lectures available on that page.

Updates: minor grammatical errors