I’ve been getting caught up with my podcasts and reading this week, which has been quite a challenge really.
Peikoff.com Episode 326 – After missing last week, this podcast is back with Yaron Brook answering questions on:
- Saving and investing. He references a course he gave on investing some years ago which is available at the Ayn Rand e-store.
- What does he mean by a foreign policy that protects individual rights?
- Veterans benefits
- Difference between Ukraine and Russia
Philosophy in Action Radio Chat: Responsibility and Luck chapter 3 – Dr. Diana Hsieh continues her podcast series discussing her book Responsibility and Luck: A Defense of Praise and Blame. This is a very fascinating book which I am enjoying reading. In Chapter 3 Diana takes a step back to look at one of the supposed problems with moral luck which is the “control condition,” the standard to which people must conform to in order to be liable for praise or blame. (i.e., if you do not control the action, then you cannot be praised or blamed)
Philosophy in Action Q&A Radio – Each week Dr. Diana Hsieh and Greg Perkins answer questions on a variety of issues, apply rational thought to everyday life. This week they take on questions regarding:
- One thought to many in Egoism
- Drunk driving in a free society
- Dogs vs private property (a much more interesting question than these few words may suggest)
- Rapid fire questions, where Diana answers in a more “off the cuff” manner, on American exceptionalism, dignity and caveat emptor.
As I mentioned at the top, it has been challenging to keep up with everything this week as there has been a lot of reading involved.
Responsibility and Luck: A Defense of Praise and Blame by Diana Hsieh – I am trying to keep up with Diana’s podcast reviewing each chapter of her book by actually having read the chapter before listening to the podcast. This is fascinating book that I would encourage anyone with an interest in philosophical issues to pick up and read.
Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand– I am re-reading Atlas as part of the Atlas Shrugged Summer Reading Program from the Ayn Rand Institute. Each week you receive an email with that week’s “assignment” along with questions to keep in mind as you read. It also includes a brief discussion of answers to the previous week’s questions. (I notice that Atlas Shrugged is #1 on the Amazon best sellers list for political philosophy. Not bad for a book written almost 60 years ago.)
How We Know: Epistemology on an Objectivist Foundation by Harry Binswanger – Another fascinating book if you are interested in philosophical questions about the nature of reality and how we know it. I just started in on the section about how we form concepts of consciousness. There is an interesting podcast series from the Objectivism Seminar which I am way way behind on. They are up to 10 sessions so far and only part way through chapter 2 and I have only listened to 4 so far (middle of chapter 1).
The Count of Monte Criso by Alexandre Dumas – I am trying to begin reading some older “classic” literature and since I have read The Three Musketeers when I was much younger and I liked the film version of Monte Cristo starring Jim Caviezel, I decided to read the book. Immediately apparent is that the book is far far different from the film version in a lot of ways. Compared to the book, the way the Count seeks revenge in the film is quick and painless. One aspect I found interesting was the depiction of travel within France in the early 19th century and comparing that to descriptions of travel within the United States during roughly the same time period. It gives a real sense of why the freedom of movement, something we take for granted, was important to the founders.
During my daily commute, such as it is, I have been listening to talks given by Ayn Rand. The one that strikes me the most is her Conservatism: An Obituary which was given in December 1960, just after Kennedy defeated Nixon in the presidential elections. It amazes me how similar issues were in 1960 to what they are today. In many places in the talk you could easily substitute today’s politicians and her comments would still make sense and be applicable. This talk and Q&A period give lie to the idea that Ayn Rand’s ideas are not applicable to today.