Essays on Philosophy, Psychology,
Religion, Art, and Music

A. Art & Music

Arthur Koestler and Music Theory (1970 paper, University of Iowa)

Wagner, Art, and Life (1970 paper, University of Iowa)

A Unifying Concept for the "Subjective" and "Objective" Approaches to Understanding the Musical Experience (1970 paper, University of Iowa)

Notes on the Baroque Suite (1974 paper, unpublished) 

A Critical Examination of the Notions of Art as "Imitation of Nature" and "Re-Creation of Reality" (1974 paper, unpublished)

Advice to Would-be Professional Trombonists (presented to International Trombone Workshop, 1979; scroll down from “What They Didn’t Teach Me in Music School”)

Why Union Scale is Killing Our Work—a 1984 Open Letter to Nashville Recording Musicians

On Musical Texture (comments on Gary White's Instrumental Arranging)

On "Perfect Pitch" (reader commentary added)

What's Wrong with Bebop Jazz? (reader commentary added)

The Essence of Art (Objectivity, vol. 2, no. 5, December 1997, special material in the notes added April 2000)

Thoughts on Musical Characterization and Plot: the Symbolic and Emotional Power of Dramatic Music (ART Ideas, 1998)

Kamhi and Torres on Meaning in Ayn Rand's Esthetics (Reason Papers #23, 1998)

Music and Perceptual Cognition (Journal of Ayn Rand Studies, vol. 1, no. 1, Fall 1999, special material in the notes added April 2000)

“…to give us Ayn Rand faithfully”: a Critical Note on the Boeckmann Transcript (originally published March 28, 2000, The Daily Objectivist)

Rockin’ with Rand: Sailing the Turbulent Seas of the Objectivist Aesthetics (Journal of Ayn Rand Studies, vol. 2, no. 1, Fall 2000)

Critical Misinterpretations and Missed Opportunities: Errors and Omissions by Kamhi and Torres (Journal of Ayn Rand Studies, vol. 2, no. 2, Spring 2001)

A Neglected Source for Rand’s Aesthetics (Journal of Ayn Rand Studies, vol. 4, no. 1, Fall 2002)

Art as Microcosm: the Real Meaning of the Objectivist Concept of Art (Journal of Ayn Rand Studies, vol. 5, no. 2, Spring 2004)

Langer and Camus: Unexpected Post-Kantian Affinities with Rand’s Aesthetics (Journal of Ayn Rand Studies, vol. 7, no. 1, Fall 2005)

More Standards to Which We Can Repair (2006)

Brief Comments on (Some of) My Favorite 20th Century Composers (2000)

Henry Pleasants on the Parallels Between Classical and Jazz Music (1974)


B. Politics, Religion, Ethics, Psychology

Resolving the Government/Anarchism IssueReason magazine, November 1973.

More on the Government Controversy—unpublished letter to editor of Reason and my unpublished response.

Crime and Punishment 1974—A Historical Snapshot of Libertarian-Objectivist Theorizing 

Block on Abortion (1978)

Why the State Cannot Legitimately Establish What Constitutes a Church (1979) 

Separation of Church and State—a Logical Impossibility? 

Whose Case for Liberty is Correct—and So What? 

The Moral Majority vs. God: How to Reconcile Libertarianism with the Judeo-Christian Tradition

Freedom, Education, and the "New Right" (What Is the "New Right"?) 

A Calm Look at Abortion ArgumentsReason magazine, September 1981, republished in Free Minds and Free Markets.

The Case Against Egoistic, Libertarian Baby-Starving 

Writing about the News for Schoolchildren (age-appropriate writing about individual rights for 12th and 6th graders)

A Higher Power for Atheists and Agnostics 

Religion, Philosophy, and Addiction 

Thoughts on Ethics and Spirituality 

Tweaking the Transpersonalists: Science vs. the New Mysticism 

Is it Ever "Finished"? -- Life as a Non-Messianic Process

Nuking the Family  

Be Your Own Hero 

The Direction, not the Destination 

The Aesthetics of Ethics 

Epistemology and the Ethics of Aesthetics 

Beyond Survival and Flourishing: the Aristotelian “Tripod” and the Fullest Life

[For essays on personality type and temperament theory, see my companion website, Achilles Tendencies.]