Frequently Asked Questions
What is The Objectivism Seminar?
The Objectivism Seminar is a weekly online conference call to systematically work through the philosophy of Ayn Rand via the works of prominent Rand scholars. These moderated one-hour sessions will be recorded and podcast to allow review, catch-up, and even disconnected participation.
How much does it cost?
Nothing! (Well, there’s your time, and the cost of whatever we’re reading. :^)
Do I have to be an Objectivist to participate?
Nope! The purpose of the seminar is to give people a means to critically engage Objectivism and improve their understanding of the philosophy. Anybody who is polite and honest in this effort is welcome; anybody who disrupts others in that endeavor is not. (The process of examining ideas can be challenging enough that we certainly don’t need to have someone being rude or beating us up psychologically while we do it!)
What are the books we’ll be working through?
Please see our archives page to see what we’ve worked through and are currently working on.
How much material will we cover per week? (How heavy is the work load?)
We all have busy lives, so this is designed to be a slow-and-steady project. I hope we can work through a chapter every two weeks, but depending on the material and peoples’ needs and interests, that will vary. In raw numbers, the expected load will be an average of 15 pages of reading and one hour of discussion per week.
When, where, and how do we meet?
Monday evenings 8:00-10:00ish Mountain, we’ll meet in an online conference call so people from anywhere can join in. For those who miss a meeting (and those who want to join in halfway through a book), we’ll have podcast recordings of the sessions available. There are also email lists for discussion, announcements, and behind-the-scenes planning.
What tools will I need?
The Objectivism Seminar is conducted using FreeConferenceCall.com (www.FreeConferenceCall.com/wall/objectivismseminar). This allows us to hold a large conference call for free, with each person connecting by phone, VoIP, Skype, or using FreeConferenceCall’s free VoIP-based web application – and it gives us the ability to record and podcast our sessions for future reference and catching up. There’s an instant-messaging facility as well, for typing administrivia and incidental side-comments to each other during the sessions.
What’s the fine print?
Here are the details I could think of to keep The Objectivism Seminar sailing as smoothly as possible; other wrinkles will be addressed as they arise.
- GOVERNANCE: To put it simply, this is not a democracy. The Objectivism Seminar is a benevolent dictatorship, and I (Greg) am The Man. :^) But I will work for openness and consensus and eagerly entertain suggestions about how to make this a more fun and productive adventure for all, and when there are difficulties I will do my best to be patient and fair to help us get things straightened out.
- RECORDINGS: Please keep in mind that the session recordings will belong to me and may not be transferred or distributed without my explicit permission.
Please send email to firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll get right back to you!