The entry on Ayn Rand that Neera Badhwar and I co-authored for the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy is now online.
While we each wrote a bit of everything, Neera was the principal author for the sections on ethics and social-political philosophy, as well as for the biographical section, while I was the principal author for the sections on metaphysics, epistemology, and aesthetics.
Looking the piece over I see that we devoted something like 35 paragraphs to metaphysics and epistemology, 34 paragraphs to ethics, and only 11 to social-political. That seems about right to me, but will probably surprise many readers who are accustomed to thinking of Rand as primarily a political thinker.
P.S. – Our bibliography may seem a bit eccentric, in that some of the items we left out are clearly more important than some of the items we included. True, but not exactly our preference. Our initial bibliography was much more complete, but we were asked by the editors to cut it down; then after we’d cut it down, an anonymous referee asked us to add more secondary-lit citations on certain particular points, so the bibliography got selectively re-expanded. Hinc illæ lachrymæ.
How much got devoted to aesthetics?
Only two paragraphs (an unhappy choice but our space was limited — and if something has to be shortchanged, that’s always it).
William Bradford wrote a piece in Liberty some years ago that casts considerable doubt on the story that the Italian film version of We the Living was banned by the Fascist government.
I’ve read that, and Bradford raises some good questions; but I don’t find his grounds (mostly ex silentio) for dismissing Ferrara’s testimony as convincing as he seems to. (Incidentally, an interview with Ferrara appears on the We the Living dvd.)
With the publication of this article does Ayn Rand now qualify as a “serious” thinker in philosophy?
Well, she evidently qualifies according to the SEP. YMMV.