Tara Smith Receives $300K for Ayn Rand Research

From Statesman.com:

A $300,000 fellowship for research on Ayn Rand’s philosophy of objectivism has been awarded to Tara Smith, a professor of philosophy at UT [University of Texas] and author of “Ayn Rand’s Normative Ethics: The Virtuous Egoist.”

The fellowship brings the California-based Anthem Foundation’s total contribution to the university to $900,000 through 2010. The foundation supports the study of Rand, a Russian-born author and philosopher who died in 1982.

The award coincides with the 50th anniversary of the publication of “Atlas Shrugged,” Rand’s signature work on the role of the mind in human existence. The philosophy of objectivism holds reason as the only source of human knowledge, rational self-interest as the proper end of human action and respect for individual rights as the guiding principle for the political domain, Smith said.

Congratulations to Dr. Smith.

The article doesn’t specify who the donor was, but I would guess BB&T figured in there somewhere.

I look forward to seeing what kinds of intellectual candy come out of this grant.

UPDATE (Oct 9): I just received this e-mail with information about the donor:

I saw your post on Atlasphere about the Fellowship for the Study of Objectivism at the University of Texas at Austin. Congratulations to Tara Smith indeed.

You said, â??The article doesnâ??t specify who the donor was, but I would guess BB&T figured in there somewhere.â?

The donor is not BB&T but the Anthem Foundation for Objectivist Scholarship, a 501c3 non-profit foundation I founded in 2001 that has supported Objectivist research and teaching at several top philosophy and political science departments, including ones at Princeton University, the University of Colorado at Boulder, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, the University of Pittsburgh, Brown University, Rhodes College, the University of Warwick in the UK, and the University of Auckland in New Zealand.

The Foundation now has about 150 active donors, all individuals (and in a few cases their employersâ?? matching gift programs). Maybe you or your readers would like to join us. (Contributions can be sent to Anthem Foundation for Objectivist Scholarship, 900 E Hamilton Ave Ste 100, Campbell, CA 95008.) Weâ??d love to have your help.

The UT Fellowship, now in its seventh year, is just one of the programs weâ??ve supported. Together they have been remarkably successful getting Ayn Rand more respect in some very influential philosophy programs. This past summer the Chronicle of Higher Education highlighted our efforts and success in a cover article entitled â??Ayn Randâ??s Revival.â?

Regards,

John

John P. McCaskey, PhD
President, Anthem Foundation for Objectivist Scholarship