Andrew Bernstein's lecture

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    Marty Lewinter

    I liked much of what Andrew Bernstein had to say.

    It was unprofessional of him to display anger but, to his credit, he apologized, albeit in a soppy way.

    His silly joke that he was afraid to hug the man he yelled at for fear of the gay phenomenon (which I used as an example of a question out of the domain of philosophy) was in poor taste.

    I also objected to his truck-driver, Brooklyn manner of speaking, but that shouldn’t detract from the ideas he discussed.

    He didn’t sufficiently address the issue I raised about the division of labor that ought to exist among intellectuals.

    In this vein, while I consider Ayn Rand one of the greatest philosophers to have walked the earth and I love her novels, she should not have (at the Ford Forum) said that she found homosexuality personally disgusting. She was not qualified to say this to a crowd that gathered to absorb her philosophical wisdom. It would have been another matter if she gave reasons for her opinion. Anti-gay sentiment was harmful in the early days of the movement and was fueled by her off-the-cuff insult.

    As someone said about famous singers who promote lefty-liberal causes, “Shut up and sing!” so I say to philosophy professors, just do a great job as a philosopher. That’s why we buy their books and attend their lectures.

    I am curious to get other people’s reactions to last Thursday’s presentation.

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