Ayn Rand and Academic Philosophers

University of Texas philosophy professor Keith Burgess-Jackson, blogging at Anal Philosopher, has posted a considerate and fair-minded response to the question “Why do so many academic philosophers dismiss Ayn Rand?

(As he later clarifies, these comments explore philosophers’ nonrational grounds for dismissing Rand. And a later thread notes our interview with Mimi Reisel Gladstein touching on this same subject.)

One interesting excerpt:

Deep down, philosophers, like other writers, want to be read. Ayn Rand is read. Many more people have read her work than that of John Rawls, W. V. O. Quine, and other darlings of academic philosophy. I?m only speculating, but I think philosophers envy Rand?s literary success. People despise and belittle those they envy. Rand also had (and has) disciples. Many of them. Philosophers, like other scholars, want disciples to carry on their work and to disseminate their views, but most have only a few, if any. No self-respecting philosopher would admit it, but there is a great deal of envy of Rand in the discipline.

See Burgess-Jackson’s full commentary for additional illumination.