Lord of the Blings

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It's looking increasingly like a sure thing that Ayn Rand's scrappy band of multi-millionaire underdogs will finally make it to the big screen within the next few years. Erstwhile colleague David M. Brown of Laissez Faire Books has the scoop, including news that to accomodate the epic scope of Atlas Shrugged, it will be filmed as a trilogy. Given the way Rand broke the book up, that raises the intriguing possibility that audiences will be queued up for summer blockbusters titled Non-Contradiction, Either-Or, and A is A. I will gladly pay cash moneyβ€”and possibly even gold bullionβ€”to hear a trailer with Peter Cullen growling, basso profundo, "This summer… the movie event you've been waiting for… Non-Contradiction!" Let's just hope they have the good sense to reserve the extended Galtalogue for a DVD extra.

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  1. So is the second movie in the trilogy just going to be one long monologue?

  2. Melodrama goes over well with the masses so it should do well.

  3. A more hideous idea I’ve never heard. It is a too long rant that makes three or four very good observations.

    My concern is that it will create backlash largely because of its paper thin characterizations. “So, hungry people are looters, eh?” Egad.

  4. Not a chance this thing will ever see the inside of theater. If it does get made (which I also highly doubt) it will end up as a direct to DVD Left Behind-ish release.

    Jason, I forgot that the characterizations in most Hollywood movies are so rife with depth and pathos…

  5. Also, since when is Laizze Faire books the new source for Hollywood news?
    An executive decision was made on a Jolie vehicle without every west coast rag ejaculating the words “Angelina Trilogy!” in a dozen flying logos?

    At least the Shrugged movie that didn’t happen in the 90s was covered in Variety.

  6. So will the Objectivists be lining up for days before the premier? I wonder what their costumes will look like.

    And will Triumph the Insult Dog be there to heckle them?

  7. I have some altnerative titles:

    Ayn Rand Is Superior To All Other Persons Past, Present Or Future

    Ayn Rand Was Never Wrong

    Disagreeing With Ayn Rand Is Evil

  8. Sanchez, you whim-worshipping, Anti-Life second-hander! Your sarcasm betrays your Anti-Capitalism, Anti-Man worldview, exposing your naked nihilism to a world of idiot altruists and their achievement-hating comerades!

  9. I think the interesting question is which of the various “Objectivist” groups will denounce the movie in the face of praise from one of the others?
    O’ism has more schisms and less rationality than the Catholic Church.

    hugs,
    Shirley Knott

  10. Fifty years after its publication, “libertarians” still feel threatened by it. More, please.

  11. I think I will wait until all the movies come out as extra-long extended versions on DVD.

    I’ll have my wife, dressed in leather, lash me down to the couch and force me to watch all three in a row. And she’ll make sure that I show absolutely no sign of weakness.

    That would be cool.

  12. If they do like Lord of the Rings, the first and third movies will be fairly accurate, but the second movie will be about John Galt having a temporary lapse and joining the Communist Party.

  13. They are so going to fuck this up. But in the mean time, cheap laughs…

    How the movie was pitched:
    It’s an epic melodrama and we don’t meet the hero till the third movie. The protagonists are all self-righteous pricks, while the antagonists are affable vampires (figuratively speaking). It’s an action-tragedy that turns into a science-fiction comedy in the third act. It’s The Aviator meets The Incredibles!
    Well, whad’ya think?

    You say this thing has vampires eh?

  14. I kind of liked Atlas Shrugged (but I read it so looonngg ago and before I discoverd more decent and thoughtful libertarians like Hayek). But I also think Ayn Rand has probably done more harm than good for the movement. I can’t count how many times I’ve tried to talk to a non-libertarian about libertarianism instead found myself fending off straw. So many conversations have started like this: “So you’re a libertarian eh? It’s kind of a fascist philosophy of Ayn Rand right? She wasn’t a fascist? Right, but poor people don’t matter, isn’t that right?” Ad nauseum. I agree with Ligon: be prepared for the hate.

  15. More alternate titles (w/ suggested casting):

    Atlas Mugged w/ Jim Carrey as John Galt, Amy Sedaris as Dagny Taggart and George Lopez as Francisco d’Anconia

    Atlas Drugged w/ Robert Downey, Jr. as John Galt, Liza Minelli as Dagny Taggart and Cheech Marin as Francisco d’Anconia

  16. So, something that is exceptionally libertarian, with definite sympathies for limited government, rationality and that finally portrays business in a good light, and all you idiots can do it pile on it?

    Hey, Shirley, on the rationality part your wrong. On the schisms part, you can insert libertarian in there and the statement remains factual.

    Cultist ? that was funny.
    PL ? knock it off, you know you?re being intellectually dishonest,

  17. So, something that is exceptionally libertarian, with definite sympathies for limited government, rationality and that finally portrays business in a good light, and all you idiots can do it pile on it?

    Hey, Shirley, on the rationality part you’re wrong. On the schisms part, you can insert libertarian in there and the statement remains factual.

    Cultist ? that was funny.
    PL ? knock it off, you know you?re being intellectually dishonest,

  18. thoreau,

    Assuming you’re referring to Faramir, he was a pretty minor character in LotR…and in the book there was little to no conflict in the Frodo-Sam thread of the story. It worked in the print medium, but it wouldn’t work on film.

  19. PhilLip,

    Did an objectivist touch you in a bad place in the past?

  20. Ayn Randian,

    No I’m not.

  21. D.A.: I think we have a better chance at seeing the Hip Hop epic Shruggin’.

  22. Jeff,
    That opens the door to Shruggin’ 2: Objectivist Boogaloo

  23. crimethink-

    I wasn’t referring to anything in particular, just the fact that the second movie had some HUGE deviations from the book, plus a bunch of added stuff that wasn’t in the book.

    Removing stuff is understandable. Small additions are understandable. Adding a ton of new stuff while removing a bunch of good stuff is just wrong.

    And there was lots of conflict in Frodo and Sam’s story. It all involved Gollum.

    Anyway, if they do this like LotR, the second movie will bear no resemblance to the book, but the first and third movies will be pretty good.

  24. JeffP:

    “Jason, I forgot that the characterizations in most Hollywood movies are so rife with depth and pathos…”

    LOL Well, there is that. Maybe what I mean is that the characterizations are thin in a way that is easily perceived to be nasty.

  25. crimethink-

    I wasn’t referring to anything in particular, just the fact that the second movie had some HUGE deviations from the book, plus a bunch of added stuff that wasn’t in the book.

    Removing stuff is understandable. Small additions are understandable. Adding a ton of new stuff while removing a bunch of good stuff is just wrong.

    And there was lots of conflict in Frodo and Sam’s story. It all involved Gollum.

    Anyway, if they do this like LotR, the second movie will bear no resemblance to the book, but the first and third movies will be pretty good.

  26. I can only hope this thing gets released at the same time as the movie version of “State of Fear”. Just to watch the entire population of Berkley have a stroke.

  27. crimethink-

    I wasn’t referring to anything in particular, just the fact that the second movie had some HUGE deviations from the book, plus a bunch of added stuff that wasn’t in the book.

    Removing stuff is understandable. Small additions are understandable. Adding a ton of new stuff while removing a bunch of good stuff is just wrong.

    And there was lots of conflict in Frodo and Sam’s story. It all involved Gollum.

    Anyway, if they do this like LotR, the second movie will bear no resemblance to the book, but the first and third movies will be pretty good.

  28. “So, something that is exceptionally libertarian, with definite sympathies for limited government, rationality and that finally portrays business in a good light, and all you idiots can do it pile on it?”

    Good novels can sometimes become good movies.

    Third-rate novels filled with one-dimensional characters, onerous monologues, blatant sensationalism, and disturbing sex scenes become the kind of movies that will be parodied and ridiculed by statists and used to weaken the argument for freedom.

    You should understand if you’ve ever watched “Reefer Madness” – an absolutely wretched movie that is now used to mock the very argument that it was intended to support.

  29. I can only hope this thing gets released at the same time as the movie version of “State of Fear”. Just to watch the entire population of Berkley have a stroke.

  30. And will someone please make a film of Elvis Shrugged?

    http://www.comicsutra.com/cs/stripped/strippedv1i17.htm

  31. “This summer, coming to a theater near you…”
    Fade in on black screen with “WHO IS JOHN GALT” written in Art Deco-style white letters.
    “One man, who would stop the engine of the world…”
    Cut to montage of explosions, Wyatt’s Torch, and a train rushing into a tunnel. Visuals are overlayed with nu-metal “Here comes the BOOM” type song.
    “He would lead the men of the mind…and a few women”
    Cut to from behind shot of blond man sitting at a radio microphone.
    “One woman would try to destroy him”
    Cut to Angelina Jolie wearing a simple black business suit striding down a train platform. A bum approaches and asks, “Who is John Galt?” She raises her riding crop and swings towards his face. Cut to random explosion, and the image of a large calendar on a sooty skyscraper.
    “This July, let Warner Brothers take you to a place you’ve never been..”
    Cut to shot of rocky mountains, and a small plane sputtering as it seemingly passes through a mountainside. Cut to inside view of the plane looking down at a small villiage.
    “In a world that is falling apart..”
    Cut to images of welfare mooching second-handers in bread lines, CGI shot of train derailing, buildings crumbling, random explosions, people listening to a Mozart symphony. Our final shot is from inside a train tunnel as a locomotive bears down on us. Visble on the front are the letters “TT”. The train passes in a burst of sound. We see flashes of light, hear breaks squeal, and something that could be an explosion.
    “Find out: Who Is John Galt!”
    Fade to black screen, with lettering, “I swear by my life my love of it…”
    Cue one more explosion.

  32. Russ R thinks it’s third rate.

    It must be so.

    Thanks for the enlightenment…six million copies sold and still in print; that means nothing.

  33. Number 6, not sure if you’re going for sarcasm (a riding crop…goodness), but the rest of that was awesome, sarcasm or not.

  34. Ayn Randian,

    You know, the Bible has way more copies in print and has been around a lot longer. Then there is Dianetics. πŸ™‚

  35. The Hollywood version will feature:
    A precocious smart-alec kid.
    Blackfoot’s “Train Train” (possibly remade by Coldplay)
    A fight atop the coal car.
    A conspicuous lack of cigarettes.
    An unscheduled appearance by Michael Caine.

  36. Randian-A mixture of sarcasm and seriousness, I guess. The riding crop, the Mozart, and the nu-metal soundtrack were jokes. The rest is just kind of how I imagine the trailer being. Glad you enjoyed it, though.

    It’s fascinating to me how much emotion comes up among libertarian types when Rand’s name is mentioned. Nothing else, not even religion of HFCS seems to spark the same sort of ire.

  37. “An unscheduled appearance by Michael Caine.”

    Nothing wrong with that!

  38. Whoever said this is going straight to DVD is a goddamn retard. This is the second most influential book next to the bible. The movie will more than likely do no justice to the book but jesus christ straight to DVD?!??!? What a dumb ass!

  39. It’s fascinating to me how much emotion comes up among libertarian types when Rand’s name is mentioned.

    On grylliade, Eric the 0.5b suggested that the real “Are you a libertarian?” test should have one question: “What do you think of Ayn Rand?”

    If you have a strong enough opinion on Rand (one way or the other) to answer with more than one or two sentences, then you’re probably a libertarian πŸ™‚

  40. Thoreau-Makes perfect sense to me.

  41. Ha, thanks PL. (I thought of that as soon as I posted…I should know better than to try to slip one by Reasonistas, they’re sharp).

    For a serious moment, don’t we practically beg famous people to support libertarian ideas as a way of having them highlighted? And now a movie, from an award-winning studio, with two of the most recognizable screenfolk around touting explicit libertarian ideals upon which this very magazine was founded comes along, and all some can do is laugh about it?

    Disclosure; I, yes I, don’t even really care for Shrugged; I find Rand’s non-fiction exhilarating and much, much better. Read the “Voice of Reason” sometime; the war on healthcare, the fact that there’s no discernible difference between Rs and Ds; and lots of other things we discuss daily she was talking about in the freakin’ 70s. She had an amazing mind and I can’t wait for a mass-marketed film to finally expose people to new ideas.

  42. greg,

    It is not the second most influential book behind the Bible. The survey that this claim was based on wasn’t scientific; it was the sort of survey that MSNBC runs. In other words, that claim is a myth.

    Number 6,

    I don’t think anyone here is being emotional about the issue.

  43. Hey Ayn Randian — I’ll stand by my claims, especially in light of the exceptionally rational and thorough debunking you provided.
    And if you think Rand’s non-fiction is sterling, try reading some of the original thinkers from whom she stole her material.
    As far as I can see, there’s nothing in Objectivism that is both true and original.
    Even her famous ‘measurement ommission’ notion is second hand, and badly bowdlerized in the taking.
    Ayn Rand a serious and genuine thinker? One might as well consider Jim Carrey a serious Shakespearean actor. Or Lord Keynes a committed capitalist.

    hugs,
    Shirley Knott

  44. OK PL lemme guess your a christian who thinks this country is based off christian ideals right?

  45. PhiLip-See Shirley’s comment as evidence of my contention. Emotional may not be the right word, but many libs are, at the very least, passionate on this subject.

  46. You want thorough?

    if you think Rand’s non-fiction is sterling, try reading some of the original thinkers from whom she stole her material.

    Prove she stole anything. Where’s your link or a reference?

    Even her famous ‘measurement ommission’ notion is second hand, and badly bowdlerized in the taking.

    Who is it second-hand from? And if it is second-hand, how is it lacking from the original, and in what ways? Again, a link please.

    Ayn Rand a serious and genuine thinker? One might as well consider Jim Carrey a serious Shakespearean actor. Or Lord Keynes a committed capitalist.

    A vile and untrue ad hominem. So rational…so thorough…you’re a paragon of thought, Shirley.

  47. Greg- Oh man….just prepare for an e-bitchslap.

  48. I find that the most libertarians who despise Rand are either christians or anarchists both of which are equally retarded.

  49. or they may just have a dislike for dogmatic atheist whackadoodles!

    at least that’s my excuse. that said:

    A TRILOGY? WHAT THE FUCK ARE THEY PUTTING IN THE DOPE IN HOLLYWOOD?

  50. Okay, I have to admit that I was pretty horrified when I heard rumbles about Jolie being cast as Dagny Taggart… but, Number 6, you’ve almost got me convinced. πŸ™‚

    As for the Objectivist/Anti-Objectivist pissing match that’s just sprung up, both of you, please chill out and remember that we’re all (most of us, at least) on the same side here, working towards freedom. Right?

  51. Nothing brings out the hacks and imbeciles like an Ayn Rand post. I swear I hear banjo music playing somewhere.

  52. greg,

    Heh. I am an atheist.

    Ha ha ha.

    Ha ha ha.

    Ha ha ha.

    Number 6,

    I really needed that laugh. There’s your emotion. πŸ™‚

  53. Number 6 is right, Greg. You must not be here often.

    Phil Lip, don’t start until I’ve gotten some beer and popcorn.

  54. greg,

    I’m not an anarchist either.

    I am fairly troubled by the cultish nature of what Rand has wrought and significant problems associated with her philosophical claims.

  55. Clean Hands – I think that’s part of my point. Again, not to sound like a broken record, but a big studio puts out a movie with huge star-power that is explicitly about libertarian ideals! and most people want to talk about how bad Rand was. If we’re on the same side, celebrate the movie and encourage friends to see it; stop tearing down something that could expose the world to libertarian ideas on a mass scale.

  56. So, we got a badly written polemic novel that appeals a fanatical group of worshipers being made into a movie. Sigh… Didn’t we learn anything from the “Left Behind” movie or “Battlefield Earth?”

  57. Am I the only one here who’s cautiously optimistic about this?

    Seriously. If nothing else, from a stylistic standpoint alone (costumes, sets, design) this has hardcore potential to be an excellent movie.

    Was Rand heavy-handed and irritating?

    Yeah.

    Was she the deepest libertarian-type thinker?

    No?

    Oh well.

    I guess you’ll just have to just hold out for that big screen adaptation of Human Action.

    Bitch all you like about this, but, there are a lot of people, myself included, who’ve come to libertarianism via the Objectivist route. Assuming a movie version remains true to the roots of the book, I would expect others to start thinking of things in those terms as well.

    Jesus Christ. Can’t you people at least take some joy from the fact that a pro-liberty novel might get the bigscreen treatment?

    Or should I just see this thread as a microcosm of why libertarianism continues to be a political non-starter outside of coffee shops and bars?

  58. Edit: …appeal to a fanatical…

  59. Re: Comment by: Number 6 at July 14, 2006 11:21 AM

    YEA! [claps hands]
    That was awesome.

  60. Solitudinarian,

    Ha ha ha. πŸ™‚

  61. Whoever said this is going straight to DVD is a goddamn retard. This is the second most influential book next to the bible.

    Ah, that explains why there are so many more Objectivists than Muslims.

  62. Rand wrote shitty pulp novels, had an unhealthy fixation with rough sex, bought into her own legend, fostered a number of mutually destructive relationships, and eventually disowned all her friends.

    Hence, man’s life is not the standard of value, and A is certainly not A.

  63. Oh, and FWIW, I do not consider myself an Objectivist.

  64. in one post mediageek makes half my argument.

    If you’re ever in Columbus, mediageek, let me know and I will buy you a six-pack.

  65. Mediageek-I tend to agree with you. Rand certainly influenced my thinking, although I’m not an objectivist. If they actually do this movie, I’ll go see it.

  66. What gets me is how most of you hacks probably came in your pants about “V” and somehow your pussies get chapped at the idea of an AS movie.

  67. Again, not to sound like a broken record, but a big studio puts out a movie with huge star-power that is explicitly about libertarian ideals! and most people want to talk about how bad Rand was. If we’re on the same side, celebrate the movie and encourage friends to see it;

    Not sure I’d assume that’s going to be the effect, or even the intent. I remember how excited some of us Heinlein geeks were to hear that Starship Troopers was going to be made into a movie. The script twisted the book until people who weren’t familiar with his books thought Heinlein was a goosestepping fascist.

    Atlas Shrugged already caricatures most of its characters. Imagine what Hollywood can do with them, if the screenwriter’s in a pissy mood.

  68. AR-

    Cool!

    I think that a lot of people in this thread are just embarassed that they read Atlas Shrugged in high school or college, and don’t want to admit that they liked it.

    Hell, I think they should give Ragnar his own movie.

  69. “I remember how excited some of us Heinlein geeks were to hear that Starship Troopers was going to be made into a movie. “

    And if Paul Verhoeven* were writing/directing this, I’d feel the same way.

    While I’m hesitant to take the article at it’s word that the scriptwriters are doing their best to be true to the original works, I’ll still hew to my original line of being cautiously optimistic.

    *Fucking condescending asshole. His movies suck. Even Robocop.

  70. “I remember how excited some of us Heinlein geeks were to hear that Starship Troopers was going to be made into a movie. “

    And if Paul Verhoeven* were writing/directing this, I’d feel the same way.

    While I’m hesitant to take the article at it’s word that the scriptwriters are doing their best to be true to the original works, I’ll still hew to my original line of being cautiously optimistic.

    *Fucking condescending asshole. His movies suck. Even Robocop.

  71. Number 6,

    If I were dependent on the writings of Rand to become a libertarian I wouldn’t have become one. Then again, by the time I got around to Rand I was already fairly heavy into *gasp* Kant. πŸ™‚

  72. Greg: I was just thinking about how V got creamed for being too much Shrugged when it came out.
    However, there is zero (not near-zero) chance that three Shrugged movies are going to be playing at the cineplex near you, at least not under Hollywood’s current system. I don’t care who stars or who directs. Not gonna happen.

  73. Jeff I don’t think a movie of Jolie shitting in a bucket would go straight to video.

  74. unrelated: starship troopers is a great movie. dunno if i could get through the books. (sci fi generally doesn’t interest me, unless it’s of the wsb gay sex magick variety)

    i was never able to get into rand’s fiction. and her nonfiction writing seems more or less pointless given the wealth of better alternatives. pro-freedom or not, being a bad writer is a far worse sin than having shitty politics. maybe i should read it, but there’s lots of stuff in the western canon i should get around to first.

  75. Mediageek. NO! We CANNOT be happy about this movie! Don’t you understand! She was SICK SICK SICK! And a HYPOCRITE! And a FREAK! MY GOD WHAT”S WRONG WITH YOU PEOP-
    (clutches chest)
    (foams at mouth)
    (falls over)

  76. Hey, I love Rand. While I’ve found fault with her and moved on, one of the larger shrines in my pantheon remains dedicated to her.

    I don’t dismiss the notion that this could be a huge success. Even that it could lead to greater acceptance of libertarian ideas. It could, but I seriously doubt it. I doubt it because there are ten thousand was to fuck it up.

  77. How to say this delicately …

    The claims about its influence vs. the Bible are almost certainly overblown, but I think we can agree that AS is surprisingly influential. It is surprising in that its message seems to have some stickiness.

    I suspect that the stickiness of the book has to do with its simplified world view. Such a world view has great appeal to people in late highschool / early college who are just waking up as political beings. People tend to read Rand at just the right time.

    I don’t think she is much a of a writer, frankly, and she is a pretty horrible novelist. Her philosophy is hurt by her insistence that she had the whole answer, when in fact what she had were a couple of really valueable observations. There is nothing wrong with that at all. Very few people have successfully interjected important ideas into public discourse as successfully.

    Recognition of the perversity of altruism is very important. The self as a value is important. Her description of the problem of collectivism is very important and very accurate.

    She should have stopped somewhere about there. Her attacks on Kant were absurd – she clearly didn’t even understand his argument about the world in itself. Just saying that “objective reality” is obvious is not a refutation of the Critique of Pure Reason. The insistence that reason alone was enough to understand the world just side steps all western philosophy from Descarte forward. Hello? Empiricism?

    At the end of the day, Rand is important for describing the problem and its implications better than most have – but for me her image is tarnished by a boat load of oversimplified claims.

  78. yeah, this is more or less why people who are into rand scare the shit out of me.

    i mean, fuck, sorry i made fun of your jesus. won’t happen again.

  79. greg,

    I’ve never seen “V” (if by that you mean “V for Vendetta” – I did see the “lizards invade” mini-series when I was a kid though πŸ™‚ ).

  80. Disclosure: With full recognition of all its flaws and ridiculousness, I love Atlas Shrugged. People having been telling me since I was a teenager that I will get over it, but I still love it.

    I’m sure any movie they make is going to be pretty awful. Jolie is a terrible choice for Dagny Taggart I’d prefer someone like Jodie Foster if the movie had any chance of being good, which it doesn’t.

    Still, it will be fun to see how they dramatize a book that’s already melodramatic.

  81. I think he means lizards V, which is what I referenced above. The whole scientist-as-scapegoat and engineers vanishing into an underground movement were bashed for being too much like Shrugged.

  82. With full recognition of all its flaws and ridiculousness, I love Atlas Shrugged.

    Me too. Problem is, all of the flaws and ridiculousness are going to be magnified on the big screen, as compared to the good stuff. I think that the anachronism of the book–passenger trains, for pete’s sake!!–will detract from the movie’s message by turning into something like the libertarian version of “Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow.” Which interestingly also featured the delectable Ms. Jolie.

  83. Ligon, before you spout of sheer nonsense about Rand?s beliefs on epistemology, you might want to actually know what the hell you?re talking about! Rand said reason is enough, but you?re spouting off about rationalism. In fact, Rand said that empiricism and rationalism had to go hand-in-hand, and there is no a priori knowledge, which kind of just makes you look like an idiot for not even knowing basic philosophy terms. When she said reason, she meant knowing where your emotions come from rather than acting by whim or impulse.

    You say she made oversimplifications: cite one, with evidence and say why. Other than that, you?re just jumping on the ?she?s alright but was too much? boat.

  84. Ligon, before you spout of sheer nonsense about Rand?s beliefs on epistemology, you might want to actually know what the hell you?re talking about! Rand said reason is enough, but you?re spouting off about rationalism. In fact, Rand said that empiricism and rationalism had to go hand-in-hand, and there is no a priori knowledge, which kind of just makes you look like an idiot for not even knowing basic philosophy terms. When she said reason, she meant knowing where your emotions come from rather than acting by whim or impulse.

    You say she made oversimplifications: cite one, with evidence and say why. Other than that, you?re just jumping on the ?she?s alright but was too much? boat.

  85. ATR, Jodie Foster is exactly who I pictured as Dagny.

    Of course, Jolie is more likely to go along with the sex scenes.

    Can you see Scarlett Johansson cast as Cheryl Brooks (James’ wife)?

  86. I generally agree with Mr. Ligon’s assessment of Rand. I also happened to enjoy Atlas Shrugged, even including the monolog / harangue. (I even kinda like the film version of The Fountainhead.) Objectivism shares many attitudes and conclusions with libertarianism, and whatever anyone’s opinion of Objectivism, per se, may be, we should generally welcome political allies where we find them. But none of that translates into holding out much hope for an Atlas Shrugged movie.

    First, is this being done as a vanity project — a labor of love by true believers, or with the aim of making a “major motion picture”? The two are not always mutually exclusive, but they sure as hell usually are. If a trilogy is really the project, if Lionsgate and Baldwin are really looking at around $40 million most of which would go in the first part and if additional funding ends up being driven by the guaranteed box office of a major star, then the likelihood of the project turning into, as William Goldman would say, Hollywood Horseshit skyrockets. The only important word in the phrase “motion picture industry” is industry.

    Forget Christianity versus Objectivism. (An astonishingly overreaching and idiotic comparison, by the way.) If this is a true labor of love, the proper analogy to Atlas Shrugged isn’t Gibson’s The Passion of the Christ, it’s Travolta’s Battlefield Earth.

    I would be delighted to see a faithful film adaptation that also worked as a movie. But I don’t see how anyone can seriously argue that it’s likely.

  87. Who is Ann Rand? Has her book ever been on Oprah’s book club list?

  88. Ayn Rand,

    You and Eric Hoffer need to to talk.

  89. It’s A-C-C-O-M-M-O-D-A-T-E.

  90. YEs, Warren. We are now writing the script.

    We are putting in a few changes though.

    We are now holding auditions for a actress to play Anita Blake.

  91. Jeff I don’t think a movie of Jolie shitting in a bucket would go straight to video.

    It’d be on the internet first.

  92. PL ? thanks for the reference?I will certainly look at his works. Despite our reputation, this Objectivist isn?t one who puts his fingers in his ears and hums Rachmaninoff to drown out criticism. If Hoffer has pointed, interesting criticism of concept-formation and selfish ethics, then I am willing to hear him out.

  93. Of course, Jolie is more likely to go along with the sex scenes.

    Clean Hands, Jolie may have been chosen for that reason, but looks-wise she’s all wrong to play Dagny. If this movie DOES get made I reserve my right to remain outraged about the casting choice. I think of Jodie Foster in “Contact” and imagine she’d bring a lot of the same aspects to the role of Dagny

    Can you see Scarlett Johansson cast as Cheryl Brooks (James’ wife)?

    She has the vacant eyes going on, but I don’t think she’s meek enough to play Cheryl.

    A bitchy blonde is also needed to play Lillian rearden

  94. PL ? thanks for the reference?I will certainly look at his works. Despite our reputation, this Objectivist isn?t one who puts his fingers in his ears and hums Rachmaninoff to drown out criticism. If Hoffer has pointed, interesting criticism of concept-formation and selfish ethics, then I am willing to hear him out.

  95. It’s A-C-C-O-M-M-O-D-A-T-E.

  96. CleanHands

    Anne Hathaway as Cheryl Brooks (my epiphany of the hour. Casting my ideal Atlas Shrugged movie is more fun than doing real work)

  97. Gilbert Gottfried as Eddie Willers. In fact, Gilbert is Eddie Willers.

  98. I agree with everyone about the risk that this movie will turn out lousy, despite my enjoyment of the book. But I really really want them to have “Miami 2017” on the soundtrack.

  99. But I really really want them to have “Miami 2017” on the soundtrack.

    If my love of Billy Joel could be combined with my love of Atlas Shrugged, I would have to die happy.

  100. I note that as this thread peters out that neither Ligon nor Shirley Knotts have deigned to answer why they smeared Rand without proof, reason or even a sense of knowing what they were talking about.

  101. ATR, then I think we have to go with Meryl Streep for Lillian Reardon. (Streep and Hathaway had pretty good chemistry in The Devil Wears Prada, as a bonus…)

    But who for Hank Reardon?

  102. They are probably looking for something they can cut and paste off the net.

  103. Viggo Mortensen as Hank Reardon? Or maybe (just maybe) Tom Selleck? (Selleck might be better as John Galt, come to think of it.)

  104. Viggo Mortensen as Hank Reardon?
    Yes. That would work. And Chris Cooper as Galt.
    Antonio Banderas (of course) as D’Anconia. Or Lou Diamond Phillips.
    Ragnar would be hard. I’m thinking maybe Jean Reno.

  105. Hmmm….Lots of interesting stuff in the discussion. Where to begin.

    I liked Atlas Shrugged, not for its philosphy but for giving me the realization that there were other people that thought like me. As a primer for people that don’t think, it’s pretty good if a bit long winded.

    I certainly don’t agree with everything in Ayn’s writings (fic and non), but I find them a fabulous place to begin questioning the status quo. The best piece of advice I’ve read from her was “find out for yourself.” If the movie spurs people to that end, then it’ll be doing something good.

    As far as accuracy goes, LOTR wasn’t bad in bringing in the readers that have never read his stuff. Yeah, I missed some parts, but as a movie treatment it was done pretty well and grabbed the psyche of a moviegoing crowd that generally doesn’t read, especially fantasy. In fact it spurred on purchasing of that genre.

    Wouldn’t a movie that got people thinking, and researching their own beliefs be better than nothing?

    Part of what happened with the LOTR movie to make it work, but won’t happen with AS is the spying fans that badger the director to include important aspects. Remember, the Director had to make allowances for running time and for millions of rabid fans that would have decimated the movie had he taken too many liberties.

    Instead he got rabid fans practically forcing friends to read the books to see what they missed.

    Now: alternate history? Why not, instead, use a current scenario, specifically control and operation of the Internet as a metaphor the the train system? Broken switches would produce the same effect: manual intervention.Reardon Steel could be Reardon optical cable, fast cheap and proprietary, or routing gear. Hell, it could even be a new highly conductive metal ideal for microprocessors. We’re already running into a world where the gov’mint want to interject their protocalls into network hardware, in effect nationalizing private communications.

    Train wrecks are computer malfunctions that crash planes, mismanage hostpital resources, or some such.

    ooo….I hear you all cringing now. I feel the icy stares…but, if you want the ideas made relevant to the attending non-fan, you have to mix in references with which they will recognize and cause them to think.

    You can bet there will be references to modern pop-culture. That’s a given. But how deeply will the references to today’s problems run?

    Atlas Shrugged could easily be twisted into a vacuous period piece where everything libertarians care about is tossed under the carpet as incidental to Jolie’s body in a business suit.

  106. Randian:

    Sorry I had to work there for a few hours. I’m going to leave out the parts of Rand that make sense to answer your snark.

    “In fact, Rand said that empiricism and rationalism had to go hand-in-hand, and there is no a priori knowledge, which kind of just makes you look like an idiot for not even knowing basic philosophy terms. When she said reason, she meant knowing where your emotions come from rather than acting by whim or impulse.”

    Her outright refusal to address Hume on any level is her biggest failing. Hume has a very detailed explanation of why empiricism AND NOT REASON forms the basis of knowledge. Kant went on to illustrate why empirical knowledge can never be applied to the world in itself, which is also criticized but unrefuted by Rand.

    Rand had no clear ideas about epistemology that I ever read. She defined, over and over again Reason as the only way to knowledge. She denied skepticism in favor of a child like belief that if you just think about it, you know what is real and what isn’t. She believed that you could reason yourself to values and that values are facts. She oversimplifies the case by assuming her desired end.

    It is not the case that reason substitutes for skepticism. It is certainly the case that perceptions can be fundamentally deceived. Because you are constrained to view the world through perceptual goggles, it is not the case that you can know much about the world in itself. Is does not tell you anything about ought.

    Did I mention that she rejected skeptical empiricism as invalid, and denied its central role in the entire scientific process?

  107. I may have suggested this before, but what about casting only libertarian actors? I’m not sure who is really libertarian, but Tom Selleck, Kurt Russell, Clint Eastwood, and Drew Carey are supposedly in that category.

    I just tried Google. The Advocates for Self-Government has a list of libertarian celebrities. Accepting that list as true, I note that our casting options for Dagny are quite limited. Quite.

  108. Gee, Ayn Randian, some of us have to work for a living. Alicia would have approved, why don’t you?
    But you know, it’s truly funny to hear someone who did not produce anything more than a dismissive sniff (copyrighted, I believe, by that ignorant twat Rosenbaum), demand better treatment in responses to her petulant little whine?
    Jason hit the high points, but let me point out that if you knew anything at all about modern philosophy (oh, say, post-Descartes), and anything about Rand’s education, you could pretty easily determine that the closest she came to an original philosophical insight was ripped off and bowdlerized from a tradition she scorned.
    Or check out Mises remarks on her “brilliant insight” that man had to earn a living.
    Or her idiocy that only the English language has the phrase “make money”. Surely a Russian Jew would have some minimal familiarity with Yiddish, and should have known the various phrases involving “macht gelt”. But know, Ayn “knew” better.
    You might also take note of the tragically funny response of that ignorant twat to her perceptual delusions caused by medication while hospitalized.
    THAT is truly the sign of a mind suffering from an idee fixe — and a demonstrably incorrect one at that.

    hugs,
    Shirley Knott

  109. Here is why this argument is over before it even began: you obviously have not read enough Rand or Objectivist thought and literature to even intelligently debate the philosophy.

    Her outright refusal to address Hume on any level is her biggest failing.

    She addresses Hume. Strike One

    Kant went on to illustrate why empirical knowledge can never be applied to the world in itself, which is also criticized but unrefuted by Rand.

    Oh he illustrated that, did he? I forgot that Immanuel is now philosophical fact. And she addressed the substance and main focus of what Kant had to say. And just because you think it’s unrefuted doesn’t mean it is. We’ll call this one a foul tip on your part.

    Rand had no clear ideas about epistemology that I ever read.

    Really? She only held forums on concept-formation, measurement-omission and the validity of the senses, all carefully detailed in The Introduction Obejctivist Epistemology. It was probably just too complicated for you. Strike two.

    he defined, over and over again Reason as the only way to knowledge. She denied skepticism in favor of a child like belief that if you just think about it, you know what is real and what isn’t.

    Have you even cracked her nonfiction, or are you just going off of what some half-baked professor told you in Freshman Philosophy? Strike Three.

    If you’re really interested in having this debate, and I am, I recommend two things:

    1 – It’s obvious you’ve never really read Rand. Your statements about what she has and has not done make that painfully clear. Read some.

    2 – Come to rebirthofreason.com and offer your views there; it’s not rabid Randianism, if you think you’ve got it all over Rand I will debate you there. This topic is usually too dry for most and this thread will be gone within a day.

    My real e-mail is here if you are honestly interested.

  110. if you knew anything at all about modern philosophy …you could pretty easily determine that the closest she came to an original philosophical insight was ripped off and bowdlerized from a tradition she scorned.

    Fine, you think I am ignorant about modern philosophy. Educate me. PROVIDE A LINK OR A REFERENCE, Shirley! It’s not tough! Get a poor ignorant soul started.

    Alicia would have approved, why don’t you?

    First, it’s ALISSA. Way to go. Starting off strong. Secondly, I think it’s funny you had it all over me this morning and still have yet to prove where Rand is a second-hander or a thief by simply providing some proof.

    Basically, your post was “Yeah, what Jason said, with some gratuitous insults thrown at Rand, that twat (how intelligent, Shirls); oh yeah, and read Mises! And she may have gotten a phrase wrong!”

    Ha ha ha.

  111. Number 6:

    I like your ideas for the trailer. Unfortunately, you broke the Two Iron Rules of all movie trailers:

    1. “In a world …” should be the very first words you hear from the voice-over.

    2. You need to show Tom Lee Jones doing something.

    Pro Libertate:

    I may have suggested this before, but what about casting only libertarian actors?…

    I was thinking about this too, but as you hinted, it pretty much limits us to casting Drew Carey and Kurt Russell as John Galt and Dagny.

  112. TomMY Lee Jones. Crap.

  113. Sometimes Reardon Metal is just Reardon Metal.

  114. Hank Rearden would be the hardest of the main characters to cast, I think.

    Edward Norton circa Primal Fear would make a decent Eddie Willers. He does brooding well.

  115. “She addresses Hume. Strike One”

    No. She dismisses him without addressing his arguments. She asserts baldly that ought is derivable from is and then fails to do so. What she does is assume her conclusion – that the existence of self implies the primacy of self interest AS A MATTER OF REASON. See Nozick’s critique. She wiffed badly on the is – ought problem.

    She argues that reason applied to sensory data yields concepts and ‘non-concepts’. Yet, she neatly sidesteps such significant issues as Hume’s analysis of the abject failure of reason to justify such rational concepts as causation. In dismissing Humean skepticism, she goes off the ledge. She lauds science but does not pause to note that it has – gasp – quite a bit of faith baked right in.

    This same construction of concepts leads to that most irritating and dangerous of Objectivist tendencies, to dismiss skepticism in favor of what is presented as reason but is in fact faith.

    As for her issues with Kant, well, I can’t shake the idea that she really had issues with Hegel. I’ve never seen a refutation of the Kantian epistemological problem. You head can only be filled through your senses, your sensory data is organized, at a minimum, through space-time processes that are entirely involuntary, and so your apprehension of the world in itself is entirely defined by how your brain/mind constructs your mental world. You can’t take off your space-time goggles. You can’t know what the noumenal world is like independent of your mental processes.

  116. What a shame that Simone Weil did not write fiction. Philosophicla Jew vs, philosophical Jew she wrote better than Ayn, and treated her friends better,

  117. Well, I’m not one of the sharper tacks in the shack on this blog so I missed some of the weaknesses of AS or Rand’s other writings the first time around. I loved her argument and defense of the creative, productive life and the illumined clarity in her defense of the view that one’s life has value in and of itself. And one of my favorite parts of the book was actually the money speech by Fransisco – up until then I knew nothing about economics so it was very illuminating for me.

    That being said, there’s reason to think that a movie like this could do more harm than good for liberty. Libertarians are smeared with labels like “Lamborghini Libertarians” and/or as necessarily being rugged individualists, anti-community, unbridled seflishness, overarching egoism – not of these have much to do with libertarianism. Unfortunately, the works of Rand tend to play into these stereotypes; the tone of Rand’s language, her use of language to describe non-genuises as ‘second-handers’ (her target might have only been ‘political man’ not the ordinary person on the street but these tend to get conflated by the ordinary non-libertarian reader), and in her other writings an implication that only the man of genius matters or that the heart does not have its own intelligence (see some of Branden’s writings on this one). There’s nothing to suggest a celebration of the marvelous web of creativity that everyone – big and small – contributes to in their own way. There’s no appreciation for spontaneity in any form – dismissed as ‘whims.’ In much of Rand’s writings there’s is very little in the way of even a nod towards older, traditional humane values of compassion, charity, or social beneficence. For these reasons, and the reason that the movie could either not include enough of the right elements or be played as camp (Chris Cooper as Galt or a toothless Chris Cooper – ala Adaptation – as Galt?), my enthusiasm for this ‘pro-liberty’ project is dampened.

    That being said, I think it’s unfair to dismiss Rand as a lousy writer or a twat or something else derogatory. She wrote novels that inspired thousands of intelligent people like many people on this blog. She invented her own system of thinking – if not wholly original at least a major innovation; and what is wholly original? (okay, one weakness in her thought was also this point along with her assumption that she was wholly original). She took on major themes of libertarian thought and put them into nearly flesh and blood concrete forms. I don’t think she should be dismissed so lightly or unfairly. But, but….she could have done so much more….

    If only Hayek or Mises had written a novel. I loved to see their thinking about spontaneous orders put into the concrete. But those are more subtle notions, so probably much more difficult to do.

  118. Anyway, if they do this like LotR, the second movie will bear no resemblance to the book, but the first and third movies will be pretty good.

    Except that they’ll cut off the third movie before Galt’s big speech.

  119. Another reason I think Atlas and Rand’s writings in general will not go over well with the general public has to do with the division between made and spontaneous orders. Religion, like capitalism, is largely a spontaneous order. Sure, there were prophets in the major religions who had a radical influence on the older religions, that in some cases led to the development of a new religion, but these revolutions took place within the context of the older evolved traditions. And in some cases, it wasn’t even the prophets intent to create a new religion – such as Jesus, who sought only to reform Judaism.

    Religion, like markets, will not suddenly disappear when someone comes along to try to remake the world anew. If anything, religion is becoming ever more popular. So, a pro-liberty book, that smacks of something like a utopian man-made order polemic, will never really cut it with the general population. A novel that would go hand in hand with other spontaneous orders, that would make the case for capitalism from that vision, would have more hope. But Rand’s vision smacks more of the utopianistic, make the world anew vision – see Galt’s Gulch and her general in-yer-face attack upon religion and any sort of spirituality. Holding up reason as a value is one thing – thinking that it will replace religion, even if the man of genius just goes on strike, is another thing; reason will never replace any sort of spontaneous order, religion especially; trying to make it into a new god, to replace the religion altogether, is recipe for failure. The communists tried to suppress religion and markets, to eliminate them. Both those efforts failed spectacularly. I submit that for similar reasons, that society cannot be simply reinvented by rational means that attempt to subvert evolutionary development, Rand’s version of libertianism will also suffer a similar fate with the general populace.

    Interesting topic. I sometimes wish Hit and Run would slow down on the flow of topics so there was more time to go into some of these in more depth.

  120. Oh, bring on Battlefield Earth in drag.

    Look, I have sympathy for Ayn as a person, she obviously had a hard life and was scarred by the transformation of her mother country. But really – she’s a poor writer with average politics and her followers have a fundamentalist approach to everything that’s rather reminiscent of Trotskyite cults or Lyndon La Roche supports.

    There is no conspiracy about why Rand isn’t taught in university philosophy classes. It has very little to do with with supposed “left-wing academics” but rather because Objectivism cannot provide any interesting or useful answers to contemporary philosophical questions. For example;

    1) Does Objectivism utilise Platonic or Nominalistic approaches to metamathetics, number theory and set theory?

    2) Does Objectivism have anything constituting a considered approach to paraconsistent and/or polyvalent logic?

    3) Does Objectivism have anything to say about Godel’s Incompleteness theorem? How does this affect their own claims to be a “theory of everything”? Is there an objectivist on the planet who even understands the mathematics of the problem?

    4) Is capitalism preferred axiomatically as an economic system or is the choice utilitarian? If it were to be shown in particular contexts to be strongly against felicity, would a preferred system be adopted? Or is it sufficiently deontological to justify the genocide against indigenous people as Rand herself once claimed.

    5) How does Objectivism deal with the facticity that consciousness and language are generated through shared symbolic values? Is their any contribution at all to linguistic philosophy?

    6) Are observations theory laden? If so what does this do the possibility of objective knowledge? If not then how does science advance? How about the relationship between observers and quantum mechanics? What is the objectivist philosophy of science anyhow?

    I could go on but the point should be made to anyone but a fanatic. Ayn Rand contributes next to nothing to contemporary philosophy. Supporters of the political theory should at least have the internal honesty to admit that. I suspect they won’t.

  121. But really – she’s a poor writer with average politics and her followers have a fundamentalist approach to everything that’s rather reminiscent of Trotskyite cults or Lyndon La Roche supports.

    Nod to all but maybe “average.”

    The thing is, and I’ll just begin by acknowledging that I’m far from a Rand scholar (life is too short), is that the notion that Rand would be ignored or shunned by academic philosophers on the basis of personal animus or ideological bias is simply absurd. (Which is not to deny that there is a great deal of background ideological bias among many professional philosophers.) She obviously had read Aristotle and Kant and others, but like many bright people outside the academy she was largely ignorant of the wealth of critical analysis and commentary about these and other major philosophers, and so her own commentary even when she got it right was often greeted, for lack of a better phrase, as old news.

    Ironically, Rand’s admiration of Aristotle and loathing of Kant stemmed from what she shared with both of them — she was a system builder, a “Big Picture” thinker in an age when, at least in the English speaking world, analytic philosophy had rejected the very notion of the Big Picture. That’s not to say there aren’t self-described Kantians or Aristotilians running around today, but in a sense the very idea sounds quaint and pointless — as though thoreau would describe himself as a Newtonian or an Einsteinian.

    In fairness to Rand, I don’t think it is reasonable to have expected a philosophy of mathematics from her, and as far as I know, she was oblivious to mathematical logic. We can do the dance over Kant’s insistence that synthetic a priori knowledge exists because of the meaningful truth of mathematics and Euclidian geometry (“See, Meno, how your slave knows geometry without ever having been taught?”), but his phenomenal (pun intended) attempt to reconcile empiricist and rationalist epistemology aside, my guess is that most people with a post-Wittgensteinian understanding of these, um, problems would just shrug and smile at the realization that Rand was storming a castle that had, for the most part, already been abandoned.

  122. “post-Wittgensteinian understanding of these, um, problems would just shrug and smile at the realization that Rand was storming a castle that had, for the most part, already been abandoned.”

    Of course, there are those who would argue that post Wittgensteinian epistemology is abandonment. πŸ™‚

    Once you aren’t a Realist anymore, which is how I recall PI winding up, I can see how the whole exercise becomes uninteresting.

    So, I think what I’m saying is – Realism, skeptical empiricism, Hume Hume Hume. Nyah Nyah. Or something.

  123. Of course, there are those who would argue that post Wittgenstein’s epistemology is abandonment. πŸ™‚

    Once you aren’t a Realist anymore, which is how I recall PI winding up, I can see how the whole exercise becomes uninteresting.

    The capital R bothers me, but I’d say it isn’t so much realism, properly understood, that W- rejects as empiricism in the whole ‘rationalism versus empiricism’ duet — “Analytic, a priori, less filling!” / “Synthetic, a posteriori, tastes great!” — of early modern philosophy.

    If you mean by abandonment the realization that who and what we are and what our relationship with the world outside us is cannot be reduced to those sorts of tidy looking dichotomies (or, for that matter, Kant’s attempt to reconcile them) or that it simply is the case that the criteria for judging descriptive statements differs from those for analytic statements, normative statements, etc., and that therefore the Big Picture of the Tractatus (and its illegitimate child, logical positivism) is not merely wrong but wrongheaded, then, sure, there is a sort of abandonment going on. Wittgenstein himself says (somewhere in Remarks on the Foundations of Mathematics) “Not empiricism and yet realism in philosophy, that is the hardest thing.”

    And as for Humean skepticism, do you really think we don’t have sufficient grounds for believing in causation or induction? (As opposed, I hasten to add, to a bulletproof theory.) Does anyone really believe that?

  124. “And as for Humean skepticism, do you really think we don’t have sufficient grounds for believing in causation or induction? (As opposed, I hasten to add, to a bulletproof theory.) Does anyone really believe that?”

    It depends on what you mean by sufficient grounds. It is irrational in the most literal sense and it can’t be experienced. Hume goes on to note, and this is the part people gloss over, that you have no choice but to assign causality in the presence of constant conjunction. Skepticism means you have limit your habits of mind to only those that are unavoidable.

    The sterling test of belief is whether you believe something as surely as you believe the apple will fall when you drop it.

  125. “Not empiricism and yet realism in philosophy, that is the hardest thing.”

    My recollection is that Wit in PI claimed that empiricism was a kind of pseudo problem originating with the philosopher’s poor use of language. I thought I remembered in his focus on analyzing descriptive statements, he abandoned the whole realism project. If you have a realism, empiricism rears its head again in fundamental ways. Here I’ll confess that I’m not comfortable with exactly where Wittgenstein wound up because Philosophical Investigations was so focused on what he saw as flaws in constructing the problem. He seemed very dismissive of both empiricism and realism in favor of what seemed to me to be something narrower.

    I’ve felt, musing in my armchair, that while the PI approach moved mountains in analytic philosophy (by reducing it to linguistics ;)), it doesn’t really have much to say about the successes of science, which are really successes of empiricism.

  126. Hume goes on to note, and this is the part people gloss over, that you have no choice but to assign causality in the presence of constant conjunction.

    Indeed. And so the work of the insight that we observe nothing but constant conjunction only ends up being significant if we believed that there had to be something more to establish causation with Cartesian certitude. Well, what would that “more” be? Similarly, Hume’s famous “no ought from an is,” while brilliant as an attack on certain underlying but rarely voiced assumptions about what the nature of normative reasoning and discourse “must be,” ultimately boils down to a specific case of the general principle that you can’t deduce a conclusion that isn’t (to borrow a bit from Kant) already contained in your premises. Big whoop.

    Look, I’m not arguing against empiricism qua scientific method, and I certainly don’t think Wittgenstein was, either. But let’s distinguish empiricism as most working scientists are comfortable with the term from the purely philosophical epistemology that arose largely in reaction to rationalism and which, in turn, drove Kant crazy. Wittgenstein’s attack on empiricism (and rationalism), such as it was, was an attack on the notion that knowledge has to be grounded in one or the other sort of epistemic justification because there has to be some essential quality common to every true assertion of knowledge. Well, what if there isn’t? Why should there be? Who says?

    As for big R Realism, I would ask how you’re using the term — in contrast to what. Solipsism? Idealism? Relativism? Subjectivism? Realism is a very slippery term, you know. But if you mean to suggest that Wittgenstein contended or believed that there is reason to doubt the existence of an external world independent of our knowledge or awareness of it, I’d like to see evidence to support that view.

    Finally — since I’m sure we’ve lost everyone else on this thread — I might note that saying Wittgenstein reduced analytic philosophy to linguistics is rather like saying that Kant reduced it to psychology. True, but only in a glib sort of way that runs a very high risk of missing the whole point.

  127. It’s all pops and buzzes over here, Ridge.

    (But a ‘pro-liberty’ movie that makes libetarians look like souless, humorless, elitist bots…. Yeah, that will be good for liberty)

  128. You did not just say ‘big whoop’ to one of the key observations in ethics in the entire history of thought.

    I’ll have to brush up on Wit. I did in fact come away with the impression that he couldn’t get at realism in the objective independent reality way.

    I submit that empiricism qua scientific method goes hand in hand with philosophical empiricism. You believe that it functions a the way to know your outside world.

  129. You did not just say ‘big whoop’ to one of the key observations in ethics in the entire history of thought.

    Sure I did. But I also called it brilliant. I was only putting it into perspective. The notion that one cannot deduce what is not already implicit in one’s premises is the argument, isn’t it?

    I’ll have to brush up on Wit. I did in fact come away with the impression that he couldn’t get at realism in the objective independent reality way.

    Mind you, I don’t think W- asserts as a philosophical truth (whatever the hell that is) that “there exists an objective independent reality.” He would be far more likely to greet such an assertion with “As opposed to what?” or “Why would you even say that?” But what I certainly want to contend is that claims that he ends up believing or that his position leads necessarily to a sort of radical skepticism, relativism or subjectivism are simply false.

    I submit that empiricism qua scientific method goes hand in hand with philosophical empiricism.

    Sure it does. Problem is that philosophical empiricism tries to prove too much. I might as easily say philosophical rationalism goes hand in hand with mathematics or logic.

  130. “Problem is that philosophical empiricism tries to prove too much.”

    It is that connection I’m interested in. Humean skepticism was very much of the form, “well, it’s all we’ve got.” If that isn’t the case, what exactly should we use in its stead, and why wouldn’t the alternative approach work to refute scientific claims empirically derived? Is there something else we should trust as much?

  131. Wittgenstein is hard …

  132. Is hard to understand.

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