Question: Why did Rand focus her criticism on Kant so much compared toothers?
Well, that's a deep one. Any philosopher will say hundreds of things and take hundreds of positions, so you always have to focus on the fundamentals. The most fundamental issue in philosophy is the relationship between our consciousness and reality. This takes us into metaphysical issues of epistemology.
Rand believes that we are capable of objectively coming to know reality. And the criticism that she makes about Kant, is that Kant is a genius at developing arguments that say that that is impossible. He says explicitly that the 'noumenal' world, the real world as itis independently of us, is in principle unknowable to human beings. And he develops very powerful arguments in support of that position.
So, that cutting off of the mind from reality is a great philosophical 'sin' from Rand's position, and that's the most important issue, so that's why she is so harsh with respect to Kant.
Stephen R. C. Hicks, Ph.D., is Professor of Philosophy at Rockford University, Executive Director of the Center for Ethics and Entrepreneurship, and Senior Scholar at The Atlas Society.
He is author of The Art of Reasoning: Readings for Logical Analysis (W. W. Norton & Co., 1998), Explaining Postmodernism: Skepticism and Socialism from Rousseau to Foucault (Scholargy, 2004), Nietzsche and the Nazis (Ockham’s Razor, 2010), Entrepreneurial Living (CEEF, 2016), Liberalism Pro and Con (Connor Court, 2020), Art: Modern, Postmodern, and Beyond (with Michael Newberry, 2021) and Eight Philosophies of Education (2022). He has published in Business Ethics Quarterly, Review of Metaphysics, and The Wall Street Journal. His writings have been translated into 20 languages.
He has been Visiting Professor of Business Ethics at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., Visiting Fellow at the Social Philosophy & Policy Center in Bowling Green, Ohio, Visiting Professor at the University of Kasimir the Great, Poland, Visiting Fellow at Harris Manchester College of Oxford University, England, and Visiting Professor at Jagiellonian University, Poland.
His B.A. and M.A. degrees are from the University of Guelph, Canada. His Ph.D. in Philosophy is from Indiana University, Bloomington, USA.
In 2010, he won his university’s Excellence in Teaching Award.
Instagram Takeover Questions:
Every week we solicit questions from our 100K followers on Instagram (a social media platform popular with young people. Once a month we feature Stephen Hicks' answers to select questions, transcripts below:
Also several articles, selected for likely interest to Objectivist audiences: