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The ARI vs. IOS/TOC/TAS Dispute

In the late 1980s, a dispute arose among various persons about the role and nature of moral evaluation within Objectivism. The most prominent parties in this conflict were Leonard Peikoff, founder of the Ayn Rand Institute (ARI), and David Kelley, who was initially associated with ARI. Kelley subsequently left ARI and founded his own Institute for Objectivist Studies (IOS), which later changed its name to The Objectivist Center (TOC) and then to The Atlas Society (TAS). The disagreements over this issue continue today.

Unlike most of the other criticisms documented in this section of the ORC, the dispute between ARI and TAS involves questions of who actually is or is not an Objectivist. Both sides consider themselves to be Objectivists, and see the other side as taking positions at odds with Objectivism. Therefore, most of the essays below are not so much criticisms of Objectivism as they are arguments about what Objectivism really is.

The links are organized in to "negative" groups (critiques of ARI, critiques of TAS), but in some cases the material is actually a positive argument for one position, and therefore only implicitly a criticism of the other. Additional criticisms of either group that are not based on their dispute can be found on the other pages in this section.

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Against Kelly/TAS

Against Peikoff/ARI

Against Both


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