Rawstory has reprinted the article Clinical psychologist explains how Ayn Rand helped turn the US into a selfish and greedy nation.
The good news is that I’ve seen ex-Rand fans grasp the damage that Rand’s philosophy has done to their lives and to then exorcize it from their psyche. Can the United States as a nation do the same thing?
As a reformed fan of Ayn Rand who had an epiphany in sophomore year of college in 1962, I found this explanation of her life and influence to be fascinating and in agreement with what I now think of her.
I was surprised to read the following in the middle of the article:
If Rand really believed that the Socratic Method described by Plato of discovering accurate definitions and clear thinking did not qualify as “reason,” why then did she regularly attempt it with her Collective?
I, too, believe that the Socratic Method described by Plato of discovering definitions does not qualify as reason. In fact I wrote a humanities paper in my freshman year of college making this exact point. I got the glorious grade of D from a professor who, come to find out, thought that Plato’s description of circular reasoning was great logic. (I guess he actually must have liked my paper a little. The D was better than the Fs he gave all my other papers. My sister who was on her way to getting a Master of Arts degree helped me to raise my grade on that final paper.)
I later found that Plato’s idea of logic is now known as syllogism, and does not get much respect from logicians these days.
I mentioned this in a previous post What Kind of Academic Background Does Elizabeth Warren Have? In that post I quoted an explanation that proved through a form of syllogism called a sorites that you cannot make a heap of sand by pouring more sand on.
So what I am left with is a feeling of assurance that Ayn Rand was a charlatan, and Socratic logic is not a good basis for the Supreme Court to use to make decisions. I guess that is not cognitive dissonance if I don’t believe in Ayn Rand anymore and the fact that she disparaged, but used a form of logic that I also do not believe in.