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Allan Gotthelf: Wikis


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Allan Gotthelf (born Brooklyn NY, 1942) is emeritus professor of philosophy at The College of New Jersey and visiting professor of history and philosophy of science at the University of Pittsburgh, where he has held the University's Fellowship for the Study of Objectivism since 2003[1]. He was one of the founders of the Ayn Rand Society (founded 1987), affiliated with the American Philosophical Association, Eastern Division, and has held the position of secretary of the Society and chairman of its Steering Committee since 1990[2].

Gotthelf received his PhD from Columbia University in 1975[1]. An essay based on his dissertation (both titled "Aristotle's Conception of Final Causality") won first prize in the Dissertation Essay Competition of The Review of Metaphysics and was published in that journal in December 1976. He has published many articles and reviews in ancient philosophy and science, especially on the philosophical significance of Aristotle's biological works[1].

In the 1980s he co-organized numerous international conferences on Aristotle's biological and philosophical thought, including the 1988 NEH Summer Institute on Aristotle's Metaphysics, Biology, and Ethics (with Michael Frede and John Cooper). He edited the Festschrift in honor of David M. Balme, Aristotle on Nature and Living Things (Pittsburgh and Bristol, UK, 1985) and co-edited (with James G. Lennox) Philosophical Issues in Aristotle's Biology (Cambridge 1987). Gotthelf has prepared for publication D.M. Balme's posthumous editions of Aristotle's History of Animals (HA): (a) the Loeb edition of Books VII-X (Harvard University Press, 1991) and (b) the Cambridge Classical Texts and Commentaries edition of the whole of HA (Cambridge, vol. 1: 2002, vol. 2: forthcoming).

Gotthelf has received many honors for his work on Aristotle, including in 2004 an international conference on "Aristotle on Being, Nature, and Life", held "in celebration of his contributions to the study of classical philosophy and science"; a volume of the proceedings, edited by Robert Bolton and James G. Lennox, is forthcoming. A volume of Gotthelf's collected Aristotle papers is also forthcoming, from Oxford University Press.

He is currently doing work on Aristotle and Ayn Rand's epistemology.[1]

Most recently, at the University of Pittsburgh, he has organized various workshops and conferences on the nature of concepts and objectivity and the bearing of these issues on important topics in epistemology, philosophy of science, and metaethics.


Involvement with Ayn Rand and the Objectivist movement

Gotthelf was introduced to Ayn Rand's thought in 1961 when, at the age of 18, he first read Atlas Shrugged. He attended many lecture courses and question periods at the Nathaniel Branden Institute, where he worked as an usher (and in other capacities), and where in 1962 he first met Ayn Rand. For over fifteen years, he had many opportunities for sustained philosophical discussion with Rand; for instance, he was an active participant in Rand's famous 1969-71 Workshops on Introduction to Objectivist Epistemology (expanded 2nd edn., Meridian, 1992), and subsequent smaller workshops at Rand's apartment. He was Rand's choice for indexer of her collections, The Virtue of Selfishness (NAL, 1964) and Capitalism: the Unknown Ideal (NAL, 1966). As an undergraduate at Brooklyn College in 1963, Gotthelf founded one of the early college-based Rand clubs, under whose auspices Rand herself lectured to an audience of over 1000.

Since 1964, he has spoken on Rand's thought and writings countless times at colleges, universities, and private groups in the U.S., Canada, Bermuda, Europe, and Japan.[1] He is the author of On Ayn Rand (Belmont, CA, 2000) still the best-selling book in the Wadsworth Philosophers series, and co-authored (with Gregory Salmieri) the entry on Rand in the Dictionary of Modern American Philosophers (Thoemmes 2005)[1]. He is co-editor (also with Salmieri) of the forthcoming Wiley-Blackwell volume, Ayn Rand: A Companion to Her Works and Thought, and has published two essays in Robert Mayhew's Essays on Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged: "Galt's Speech in Five Sentences (and Forty Questions)" and "A Note on Dagny's 'Final Choice'".


  • Aristotle on Nature and Living Things: Philosophical and Historical Studies ASIN 0935225005
  • Philosophical Issues in Aristotle's Biology ISBN 0521310911
  • Aristotle's De Partibus Animalium I and De Generatione Animalium ISBN 0585160120
  • On Ayn Rand ASIN 0534576257

See also


External links



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