Life, Liberty, Pursuit of Happiness, but Not Property. Many libertarians, Objectivists, and other defenders of free-market capitalism think property is on the list with life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. It’s not. And it shouldn’t be.
Inalienable Rights, Civil Rights, and Guns. Here is the right way to think about gun rights. First, we need to understand the difference and the relationship between inborn inalienable rights and government-instituted civil rights.
How Best to Attack Ayn Rand’s System. Ayn Rand has a distinctive method of arguing. If it’s valid, her system stands. If not, it comes crashing down.
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.
For several years at Stanford University, I taught a seminar on the history of scientific methods and a seminar on moral foundations of capitalism. In 2011, I taught a course on history of science at Stevens Institute of Technology. In fall 2012, I taught the capitalism seminar for the Political Theory Project at Brown University and then the following year a seminar on Ayn Rand.
Board of Advisors, College of Arts and Letters, Stevens Institute of Technology • Occasional referee for HOPOS • Consulting, then Contributing, Editor, The Objective Standard, 2007–11 • Founder and Chairman, Anthem Foundation for Objectivist Scholarship, 2001–10 • Board Member, Ayn Rand Institute, 2004–10 • Advisor, John P. McCaskey Foundation
“A great class. One of the best I’ve ever taken and by a wide margin the most thought provoking.” • “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 never had as much fun doing readings, writing papers and learning as I did in these two courses.” • “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.”
After 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, but I also teach some history of 20th century political philosophy.