The concept of “surrender” in Ayn Rand’s Fountainhead: A Discussion

I’m not on Facebook, but most of my friends are, and some of them tell me that genuinely philosophical discussions take place there. I wasn’t apt to believe that until co-blogger Carrie-Ann Biondi drew my attention to an extended discussion she’d had on Facebook with her friend Kurt Keefner (and others) on the concept of “surrender” in Ayn Rand’s Fountainhead. Eventually, their discussion turned into a series of essays. In the spirit of seeing-as-believing (it isn’t, but never mind) Carrie-Ann, Kurt, and I have decided to cross-post the essays, Carrie-Ann proposing an interpretation of Rand-on-surrender, and Kurt commenting on it–including the exquisite graphics both of them used to supplement what they wrote. Though the original discussion began sometime in July on Facebook, the essays were first posted yesterday at Kurt’s blog, “Become Who You Are.”

Carrie-Ann, as I’ve mentioned before, is an Associate Professor of Philosophy and Chair of the Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies at Marymount Manhattan College. She’s also my co-editor at Reason Papers (which I swear to God is coming out imminently), and co-director at our (still-fledgling) Metro-Area Research Workshop of New York and New Jersey. She was also co-director with me of the now-defunct Institute for Objectivist Studies, and has put up with me for many years in a variety of other ways. She’s published academic work on Aristotle’s Politics, on patriotism, and on Harry Potter (among other things), and has interests (as you’re about to read) in the work of Ayn Rand.

I’ve never met Kurt before in person, but I know him by his work and e-reputation, and can remember having one very illuminating e-conversation with him about fifteen years ago about Rand and/versus Nozick on rights as “boundaries” (cf. Anarchy, State, and Utopia, p. 57). His blog is a trove of insights on topics related to ethics and literature, and he’s the author of an imminently forthcoming book called Killing Cool: Fantasy Versus Reality in American Life.   

I’ll be posting their essays–you guessed it–imminently.

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