Reason Papers 43:1, JARS 23: Bromance, Romance, Scholarship

I’m very happy to announce the publication of Reason Papers 43:1 (Spring 2023), and the final, double issue of the Journal of Ayn Rand Studies (JARS) 23:1-2. There are a bunch of interconnections between these two journals, and connections back to PoT. Being the gossip hag that I am, I’m going to give you the juicy back story (romance, bromance, and all), so hold on to your hat.

The main piece of backstory here is that both journals bear a connection to Ayn Rand and the (American) Objectivist movement. (The preceding links go to Wikipedia, which was founded by Jimmy Wales, who was also a member of the Objectivist movement. You can’t make this shit up.) Reason Papers was founded in 1974 by Tibor Machan, a fervent Randian; JARS was founded in 1999 by Chris Sciabarra, a fervent Rand scholar. Many of the people associated with Policy of Truth were once Randians, associated in some way with one or both journals and/or the Objectivist movement. Whatever our proximity to or distance from Rand and Objectivism at this point, many of us still a bear a close relation to one another, and so, still find ourselves arguing about Rand and related topics (Aristotelianism, libertarianism, aesthetic Romanticism, etc.), whether as impartial scholars, as Rand-sympathizers, or as critics or even antagonists of Objectivism.

To give you an idea of the density and complexity of these connections: Carrie-Ann Biondi and I were for about a decade co-editors of Reason Papers; we first met in the early 1990s, at the start of our graduate careers, when we were both (in very different ways) students of Fred Miller, a Randian and Aristotle scholar for many years at Bowling Green State University in Ohio; Carrie-Ann and I were married for seven years (arguably at Fred’s instigation); and Carrie-Ann is technically still a blogger for PoT.

Got that? In any case, Carrie-Ann is guest editor of the present issue of Reason Papers, which is a Festschrift for Fred, and features two separate symposia, one on (Fred’s work on) Kant and another on (Fred’s work on) Aristotle. The Kant symposium has an article by PoT blogger Stephen Boydstun; the Aristotle symposium has one by PoT blogger David Riesbeck. Here’s a link to the full issue, as a 296 page PDF (opens in a new window), and here’s a link to the archives of the journal as a whole going back to 1974, which gives access to each individual article on its own (also opens in a new window). Make sure to read Carrie-Ann’s “Editorial and Appreciation,” which contains even more back story than I’ve already given you. Because too much backstory is never enough.

Both Reason Papers and PoT have long had a “bromance” relationship with Chris Sciabarra and his journal JARS. Much of this backstory, frankly, has the makings of a Harlequin romance, but on a more scholarly note, suffice it to say that PoT-heads Stephen Boydstun and Roderick Long have written for JARS, and Roderick is on the journal’s masthead. (There may be other connections between PoT, RP, and JARS, but those are the ones I know off the top of my head.) JARS has just finished its twenty (plus)-year run with a Venti– (possibly Trenta)-sized double issue, featuring a book review (among many other things) by PoTster Roderick Long (scroll down). Scroll down in this link for information on the recent double issue (and other past issues). Here’s a link to a post from Sciabarra’s blog from a few weeks back, offering a retrospective on the project.

So there you go. Lots to read and think about. Get started, dammit!

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