Merry Andrew wrote:
I think I am being misread. I never intended to compare Ayn Rand to Hitler nor her viewpoint to his. Nor to Mao ZeDong, for that matter. I was merely giving examples of other people who could claim the mantle of philosopher if Ayn Rand is to be included in that coterie.
I apologize if I've offended you by misreading your intent. Your example's politics are so completely opposite Ayn Rand, I mistakenly thought they needed correcting. At any rate; I think a clarification was justified.
Ayn Rand's political beliefs were merely an extension of her philosophy. Her philosophy's elevation of selfish, successful, gifted people should naturally make her unpopular with the masses. I see no validity to an argument that supposes popularity has any bearing on whether or not she was a true philosopher. Even the supposition that she is unpopular is, in fact, incorrect. My First Printings of her books are some of the most valuable books in my collection. All hardcover printings of her work hold there value better than most (check it out).
As for the argument that;
Merry Andrew wrote:
I've never heard Ayn Rand described as a 'pholosopher' by anyone who was serious about the study of philosophy. I suppose one could stretch and broaden the definition of 'philosopher' to include any human being capable of (more or less) rational thought.
No stretching or broadening is necessary.
Main Entry: philosophy
Inflected Form(s): plural -phies
Etymology: Middle English philosophie, from Old French, from Latin philosophia, from Greek, from philosophos philosopher
Date: 14th century
1 a (1) : all learning exclusive of technical precepts and practical arts (2) : the sciences and liberal arts exclusive of medicine, law, and theology <a doctor of philosophy> (3) : the 4-year college course of a major seminary b (1) archaic : PHYSICAL SCIENCE (2) : ETHICS c : a discipline comprising as its core logic, aesthetics, ethics, metaphysics, and epistemology
2 a : pursuit of wisdom b : a search for a general understanding of values and reality by chiefly speculative rather than observational means c : an analysis of the grounds of and concepts expressing fundamental beliefs
3 a : a system of philosophical concepts b : a theory underlying or regarding a sphere of activity or thought <the philosophy of war> <philosophy of science>
4 a : the most general beliefs, concepts, and attitudes of an individual or group b : calmness of temper and judgment befitting a philosopher
As you can see; there is scarcely a definition that Ayn Rand doesn't fit.
Just in case you haven't figured it out yet, LOL, Ayn Rand is by far my favorite philosopher.