October 2015   I’m now teaching in Columbia’s famous Core Curriculum—and having a lot of fun doing so.   Laura J Snyder and I got married September 12 in a lovely rooftop wedding!  





Natural Rights, Civil Rights, and Gay Marriage

Gay marriages should be legal and legally endorsed. But the recent United States Supreme Court ruling is the wrong way to get there. The right way would involve a Court and a Constitution that recognize natural human rights, civil rights, and the difference.


Induction Without the Uniformity Principle

How to Think Through and Argue About Public Policies

The History of Induction

Mill Came to Bury Induction, Not to Praise It.

Free Will: A Kind of Will

More . . .

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The main theme of my research is that the philosophical problem of induction is an artifact of a bad turn taken in the early 19th century, by which induction came to be conceived as a logic of propositional inference that depends on a suppressed uniformity principle. In antiquity and from Bacon to Whewell, induction was instead conceived as a logic of classification.


In 2015–16, I’ll teach Contemporary Civilization in the Core Curriculum at Columbia University. From 2012 through 2014, I taught one seminar every fall for the Political Theory Project at Brown University. Two were on 20th-century defenders of capitalism, one on Ayn Rand specifically. I taught similar seminars and ones on history of scientific method for several years at Stanford University. In 2011, I taught a course on history of science at Stevens Institute of Technology.


Board of Advisors, College of Arts and Letters, Stevens Institute of Technology • Occasional referee for HOPOS • Founder and Chairman, Anthem Foundation for Objectivist Scholarship, 2001–10 • Board Member, Ayn Rand Institute, 2004–10 • Advisor, John P. McCaskey Foundation

Students’ Comments

“By far the most challenging and most rewarding course I’ve taken thus far at Stanford.” • “One of the best classes I’ve taken at Brown!” • “I’ve always liked precision of logic but wasn’t aware how it could be applied to morality.” • “It’s one of those classes that changes the way you look at things.”

Photograph of JohnAfter spending twenty years in the computer business, I went back to school and got a PhD in history from Stanford. I mostly now research the history of philosophy of science. I blog once a month on various topics from (what I think is) an Objectivist perspective.


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