The Atlas Society (TAS) offers a monthly Research Workshop online for advanced scholars. In the Research Workshop in Objectivist Philosophy, we discuss new and classic writings deepening and extending Objectivism.
The Research Workshop is open to scholars with a systematic understanding of Objectivism.
The workshop meets monthly as an online seminar centering on discussion of a new paper or an agreed-upon reading. Atlas Society programs director William R Thomas (at right) organizes the workshop and moderates the discussion. Each session features a certain intellectual lead or writer whose work is being discussed. One key goal is to foster the production of new published scholarly work written from an Objectivist perspective.
Over the past 12 months the workshop has met eleven times (it took time off for the December holidays). The participants are mostly professional scholars with advanced degrees. Some hold academic positions, others conduct scholarship independently or in a think-tank ambiance. Graduate students and advanced undergraduates are also welcome and often participate. Most participants have spoken at our past Atlas Summits or Summer Seminars, or attended past TAS Graduate Seminars, or both.
Many of the recently discussed papers have been published or will be published soon in venues including "Steve Jobs and Philosophy" from Open Court Press, The Journal of Ayn Rand Studies, Reason Papers, and elsewhere.
The most recent workshop discussed a paper by William Schultz, a doctoral student in clinical psychology. The paper critiques the prevalent notion that the mind should only be analyzed in terms of brain states, instead of, say, thoughts or feelings. Schultz argues against this view in the abstract, holding the that the mind is real, and he marshals evidence from many empirical studies to show that when patients or clinicians believe that only brain states matter, depressed patients have worse outcomes than when patients and clinicians believe that the mind exists and has agency.
Anyone interested in taking part is welcome to contact William R Thomas at (202) 296-7263.
Here is a list of the past year's workshops:
April 23, 2015, William Schultz (Doctoral student, psychology, Argosy U), "Neuroessentialism."
March 26, 2015, Alexander R. Cohen (independent scholar), "The Right to Fair Trial."
February 26, 2015, David Kelley and Raymond Raad (Psychiatrist in private practice) led a discussion of the Objectivist theory of emotions in light of new psychological research.
January 22, 2015, Carrie-Ann Biondi (Professor of Philosophy, Marymount Manhattan College), “Where There’s a Will, There’s a Way: Why Aristotle Doesn’t Really Believe in ‘Weakness of Will”
November 21, 2014, Jason R. Walker, (visiting professor of philosophy, QingHua U), “iMiser: The Morality of Charity and the Case of Steve Jobs” (Essay for Steve Jobs and Philosophy, Shawn E. Klein, ed.)
October 17, David S. Ross (Professor of Mathematics, Rochester Institute of Technology), “On the Objective Foundations of Arithmetic.”
September 19, 2014, Robert Campbell (Professor of Psychology, Clemson University), “The Prohibition Against Psychologizing.”
August 21, 2014, Stephen Hicks, (Professor of Philosophy, Rockford University) “Steve Jobs and Education.” (Essay for Steve Jobs and Philosophy, Shawn E. Klein, ed.)
July 17, 2014, Discussion of (independent scholar) David Harriman's The Logical Leap: Induction in Physics, Chapter 1
June 26, 2014, Carrie-Ann Biondi (Professor of Philosophy, Marymount Manhattan College) “Counter-Culture, Charisma, and Capitalism: The Non-Paradox of Steve Jobs’s Success.” (Essay for Steve Jobs and Philosophy, Shawn E. Klein, ed.)
May 29, 2014, David Kelley, "Reply to Ole Martin Moen" (on life versus happiness as the ultimate value)