Blame It on Gerald Dworkin for Blaming It on Ayn Rand

My apologies to Brian Leiter for crediting him for the guilt-by-free-association “Blame it on Ayn Rand” post that appeared on his blog. It was written by a different professional philosopher, Gerald Dworkin, who has replied on Leiter’s blog with some interesting dictionary reading. Leiter does think the “point in the original post was apt,” so perhaps he deserves partial credit.

Both Dworkin and Leiter are very interested in the fact that I left grad school in philosophy, but neither has anything intelligent to say in defense of Dworkin’s risible claim about the roots of the financial crisis — a causal claim that has nothing much to do with philosophy. Leiter adds with his typical threatening charm that I am incompetent to interview philosophers on Bloggingheads TV. It’s interesting that none of the philosophers I have interviewed have given any indication of my incompetence, and clearly that can’t be because philosophers are especially gracious as a class. If either Dworkin or Leiter would like to appear on Free Will and discuss Ayn Rand, the causes of the collapse of the financial system, or any other topic, I would be delighted to have them on. If I fail to keep up competently with either of these genuinely accomplished scholars, they will be able to expose my failings in real time. I really mean this. Here is the invitation… Prof. Leiter, Prof. Dworkin: I would very much like to have a civil discussion with each of you on a set of topics of your choosing. But I would especially like to explore your thoughts on the role of ideology as a cause of the financial crisis.

Author: Will Wilkinson

Vice President for Research at the Niskanen Center