Bowing to repeated listener requests for an Ayn Rand episode, on the eve of 6/9/13 the regular PEL foursome started our discussion, got tired after a couple of hours, and recorded some more on 6/13. We plan to edit the result heavily enough to reduce the amount of frustrated kvetching (“Is that actually supposed to be an argument? Why does she think just saying that and moving on is in any way adequate?”), but it’s not going to make objectivism fans happy, I can tell you. Know that we did make an honest attempt at engaging the material, though it was hard going, and not in the way that difficult passages in Heidegger are.
Rand offers up a foundationalist system that is is supposed to be in accord with modern science and based on empirically evident premises and clear reasoning from those that anyone who isn’t being self-deceptive or otherwise dense should be able to reproduce. Every perception we have reveals to us that the world exists (thus skepticism is incoherent and impossible as a practical matter), and a properly scientific understanding of concepts will show us that all legitimate tools of thought are based on abstractions from perceptual experience of concrete objects.