I had lunch with Hospers in Los Angeles in 1996, shortly after graduating from college, and enjoyed his gentleness and intelligence.
In 2004, the Atlasphere published a lengthy article by him titled “Election 2004: The Case for Bush.”
Jesse Walker offers a brief tribute at Reason.com.
Reviewing the correspondence from Hospers that I’ve seen over the years, I came across this interesting tidbit from him (a reply to Richard Allen on the old We The Living discussion group) about Rand’s take on Charlie Chaplin:
No, Rand didn’t care for the ‘silent comedians’. Several times in our conversations the topic of Chaplin came up — all negative. At first I thought that his political leftism was the main issue — that along with his preference for girls a generation ‘too young’ for him. These all had an influence on her low estimate of Chaplin.
But the main thing was his art, not his life: it was repellent to her that Chaplin celebrated (or seemed to) the ‘hero’ as helpless victim, not in charge of his fate but being buffeted about on the whims of circumstance, always reacting but not initiating action. She didn’t find his antics cute or even funny. Not only did she dislike ‘Modern Times’ as an indictment of capitalism, she found his parody on Hitler in ‘The Great Dictator’ (after the ‘little tramp’ had been abandoned) unworthy of even a single smile.
Rest in peace, Dr. Hospers. And thank you.