Reason as the Leading Motive

Press Release: The Power of Ideas

Posted by Jerry on August 14, 2006

Faiyaz Hardwarewala published the press release for the book launch on the Yahoo! Groups site: Objectivism in India. Here is the press release in full:

The Power of Ideas

Book release: Ayn Rand at 100, edited by Prof Tibor Machan

New Delhi: 16 August 2006, 6.30 pm

Venue: Gulmohar Hall, India Habitat Centre, Lodhi Road, New Delhi

Mumbai: 17 August 2006, 7 pm

Venue: Crossword Bookstore, NS Patkar Marg, near Kemps Corner Flyover, Mumbai

Chennai: 18 August 2006, 7 pm

Venue: Shanmugasundaram Hall, Gokhale Shastri Institute, Mylapore, Chennai

“My philosophy, in essence, is the concept of man as a heroic being, with his own happiness as the moral purpose of his life, with productive achievement his noblest activity, and reason as his only absolute”,
wrote Ayn Rand.

Starting 2 February 2005, the birth centenary of the American novelist and philosopher, Ayn Rand, has been commemorated around the world. As part of that effort, Liberty Institute seeks to bring out a volume with contributions from an international panel of scholars. The objective is to assess the continuing relevance and understand the ever- lasting popularity of this iconic author, one of the 20th Century’s biggest names.

Rand’s books continue to be in print, even in pirated versions, 50 years after they were first published. The key to her enduring popularity is the fact she is arguably the most practical of all philosophers. She showed that for principles to be meaningful, they need to be effective in practice, and that practice without being rooted in rational principles would be futile. One-time associate of Rand, the former chairman of the US Federal Reserve, Alan Greenspan, has said that Rand had been the first to show that the free market was also moral.

The book, Ayn Rand at 100, is now being released in India at a series of events in Delhi, Mumbai and Chennai, between August 16, 17 and 18, 2006. Prof. Tibor Machan, R.C. Hollies Professor of Business Ethics at Chapman University, California, who was, at one time, a student of Rand’s in the 1960s, will be participating in these events which are being hosted in partnership with the Friedrich Naumann Foundation.

In association with the India Habitat Centre, the book will be released in Delhi at IHC, on 16 August 2006, at 6.30pm. Mrs Sushma Berlia, president of PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry, will release the book. In Mumbai, Dr Indira Hinduja, the pioneering physician who introduced the in-vitro fertilisation technique in India, will release the book. And in Chennai, the launch is to be done by Mr K. Jaisim, a renowned architect, whose firm is called Fountainhead Architects. The participation of successful professionals like these illustrates the practical dimension of Rand’s intellectual contribution.

Scholars from around the world have contributed essays on Rand and her ideas, in this book. The writers, academics and philosophers most of them, have discussed the impact Rand has had on them, on the author’s contribution to philosophy and, not least in importance, Rand’s Indian connection. We hope it will be useful to both Objectivists and the seeking, perceptive reader.

Prof Bibek Debroy evaluates just what Rand has meant and continues to mean for the many Indians who read and absorb her precepts, noting that the author – philosopher’s non- fiction doesn’t seem to hold as much appeal as her fiction does.

Prof Tibor Machan observes in his essay that there is more to reality than just what the senses can record, even if what that is needs to be fully squared with what the senses can record. Rand, he goes to show, brought this fact to our attention forcefully through her works.

J E Chesher seeks to place the ideas of Rand and her belief, that one ought to live one’s life as intelligently, thoughtfully and rationally as possible, vis-a-vis those of Hegel, Kant, Hobbes and Aristotle.

Ayn Rand and Ludwig von Mises share the distinction of being the leading advocates of laissez-faire capitalism in the Twentieth Century; indeed, in any century. Prof George Riesman does a comparative study.

Prof Robert White does a masterly summing of Rand’s contribution to liberal thought, using her works of fiction.

Roderick T. Long, for his part, argues that there is nothing impossible in the supposition that similar affinities might be found between Rand and the great philosophers of India, despite her antipathy toward the associated religious traditions.

Chris Matthew Sciabarra states that, on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of Rand’s birth, it is important to remember that her conception of human freedom depended on a grand vision of the psychological, moral, and cultural factors necessary to its achievement.

Fred Seddon takes us through a personal journey on how he discovered Rand.

Elaine Sternberg takes one of Rand’s key premise ‘A is A,’ and underlines its essential truth. Rand, says Sternberg, provided valuable elucidation of a number of fundamentally important ideas and outlined a comprehensive, realist metaphysics.

Douglas J. Den Uyle defines Rand’s ethics, metaphysics and optimism about the human race through the example of one of her towering heroes, The Fountainhead’s Howard Roark.

Ayn Rand at 100, edited by Tibor Machan

Co-published with Pragun, an unit of DK Publishers Distributors (P) Ltd, Delhi

Liberty Institute

C-4/8 Sahyadri, Plot 5, Sector 12, Dwarka

New Delhi 110075. India

Tel: 91-11-25079215, Email: libertyinstitute@gmail.com

Web site: www.LibertyIndia.org


One Response to “Press Release: The Power of Ideas”

  1. inlivenout said

    Thanks for the info.

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