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Harry Binswanger (born in Richmond, Virginia, in 1944) is an American philosopher and writer. He was a long-time associate of Ayn Rand, worked with her on The Ayn Rand Lexicon, and writes within the Objectivist philosophic framework. His doctoral dissertation, in the philosophy of biology, presented a new theory of the goal-directedness of living action, in opposition to the views of one of his dissertation advisers, Ernest Nagel—a work later published as The Biological Basis of Teleological Concepts. He taught philosophy at CUNY's Hunter College from 1972 to 1979 and at other New York City schools as well as at the University of Texas, Austin for a semester in 2002. Since 1997, he has operated a fee-based email discussion group on Objectivism.[1] Binswanger has spoken on Objectivist philosophy at over 40 universities, across the U.S., Canada, and abroad. His television appearances have included the Glenn Beck Show, Geraldo "World at War," C-SPAN, panels, and CNBC's "On the Money," and he had a major role in "Ayn Rand: A Sense of Life", the Academy-Award-nominated documentary by Michael Paxton.



Born and raised in Richmond, Virginia, Binswanger received his Bachelor of Science degree in "Humanities and Engineering" from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (where he was instrumental in establishing the student group "Radicals for Capitalism") and his Ph.D. in philosophy from Columbia University in 1973. Binswanger was a close friend of Ayn Rand, and his subsequent philosophical work has been done in the Objectivist tradition. He edited the new material in the second edition of Ayn Rand's book, Introduction to Objectivist Epistemology, published in 1990 after her death (the first edition was published in 1979) and frequently contributes to Objectivist publications. He also compiled The Ayn Rand Lexicon, a mini-encyclopedia of Rand's views on some 400 topics in philosophy—now available online.[2] His own book, The Biological Basis of Teleological Concepts, was published in 1990. Since then, he has given several lecture courses developing Objectivist theories in metaphysics, philosophy of mind, and philosophy of science. These include "Free Will", "Abstractions from Abstractions", "The Metaphysics of Consciousness", and "Consciousness as Identification," "Psycho-Epistemology," and "Philosophic Issues in Economics."

From 1980 to 1987, he published and edited a bimonthly journal The Objectivist Forum (1980–87), which is now published as a hardback collection.

Harry Binswanger is currently on the Board of Directors of the Ayn Rand Institute, and is a Professor at its Objectivist Academic Center. He also moderates and regularly posts to an email discussion group on Objectivism, called the "The Harry Binswanger List, or HBL.[3]

Politically, Binswanger is a supporter of completely open immigration,[4] maintaining the U.S. is underpopulated and citing Ayn Rand (who immigrated to the U.S. from Soviet Russia) as the premier example of the benefits derivable from open immigration. In response to worries about Islamists immigrating to the U.S., he has argued that rather than impose immigration restrictions (and other limits on Americans), the U.S. should engage in total, offensive war to end the regimes that sponsor terrorism. He has long urged immediate regime change in Iran, which he regards as the mainspring of the Islamic terrorist movement. Binswager expressed support for Israel on the Glenn Beck show.

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