Reason versus "Self-Ownership"

September 16, 2008 by · 6 Comments 

There are those who believe that the mind cannot exist independently of the activities of the brain; that the mind and the brain are one; that the mind and the body are one. There are also those who believe that the mind and the body are separable or separate – for example those who believe that there is a soul which inhabits the body at birth, or perhaps at baptism, and which leaves the body when the mind dies. Your position on the separability of mind and body has a logical implication for your position on “self-ownership”. The reverse is also true: your position on the validity of the concept “self-ownership” implies your agreement with, or disagreement with, an underlying assumption concerning the separability or non-separability of mind and body. Read more

An Objectivist on a Life Boat

August 27, 2008 by · 9 Comments 

On August 26, 2008, I released a video that addressed the assertion – sometimes heard even amongst students of Objectivist philosophy – that “ethics don’t apply in life boat scenarios” or other emergencies. In the video, I spoke extemporaneously, but I thought my argument should nonetheless be made available in written format, for googlers and others who may prefer to read philosophical arguments, rather than to listen to them or to watch them. What follows is, for the most part (about 99% of it), a transcription of what I said in the video. However, I have removed contractions in most places and, in a small number of places where the spoken word left some ambiguity as to my meaning, I have made my meaning more clear. Read more

Atlas Shrugged, Freedom, and the Reincarnation of Whitaker Chambers

August 2, 2008 by · 6 Comments 

In an article titled “On Libertarian Bolshevism”, conservative blogger Adam T. Yoshida argues that we see two approaches being proposed to achieve a free society that not only are doomed to fail, but also make it more difficult for a “Reactionary Libertarian” to achieve a freer society. Yoshida implies that the Reactionary Libertarian has an approach that can achieve freedom in a society that is either indifferent to, or hostile to, the goal of a free society: “going back to some older social structures and institutions”. Read more

Just Registered: Reason's Harvest…dot COM

June 25, 2008 by · 3 Comments 

I am happy to announce that, today, I registered the domain name That domain’s temporary home page will be replaced over the coming weeks as I approach an as-yet not determined launch date. However, in what follows, I provide a little background about why I have registered the site. Read more

Consent, Coercion & Legal Tender: Understanding Money & Banking, Part 6

June 8, 2008 by · 1 Comment 

Late last night I released Part 6 of my Understanding Money & Banking video series. Titled “Consent, Coercion & Legal Tender“, it deals only with currency (as opposed to credit). In particular it focusses one of the key differences between paper bank notes and gold/silver coins: the source of the value of each. Read more