It was absurd of Rand to classify thousands of young individuals whose only common characteristic was that they all happened to attend the same social event as "scummy young savages. Rand was human; she had her hang-ups. And so, apparently, does Riggenbach. Riggenbach's points are well taken. But I suspect that were he to meet Howard Roark or Galt or Rearden or Danneskjold in person, he might classify Roark as "grim, humorless, regimented, [and] robotlike.
That was a brilliant retrospective on Ayn Rand. Let's see if I've got it right. In the '60s, young readers who took Atlas Shrugged literally turned on and dropped out. While smoking joints, they some of them, one of them? So when these "true children of Atlas Shrugged" got together for a drug bash, I gather, they were really brainstorming new technologies, a bit like a technical staff meeting at IBM but less "grim, humorless, regimented, [or] robotlike. Riggenbach's piece is entirely a continuation of his attempt to rewrite '60s history with the New Left portrayed as the champions of freedom and individualism.
This has always been bosh. And the foolishness is only compounded by the thesis that the true spirit of Rand animated these folks. The unfoundedness of Riggenbach's thesis is revealed by his continual reliance on the claim, as a means of arguing for Rand's influence , that no explicit disavowal of this or that hippie practice occurs in Atlas Shrugged! As his really hard-nosed evidence, Riggenbach cites a study in which 62 percent of those queried had considered themselves hippies and one-sixth of those queried cited Rand as someone they admired or had been influenced by.
The care with which Riggenbach draws conclusions from these data seem to me to be symptomatic of the integrity of his little essay.
Jeff Riggenbach, in his article on Ayn Rand as an avatar of the of the '60s, refers to the results of the Woodstock Census in support of his hypothesis. One respondent in six mentioned Rand as an individual he or she had "admired or been influenced by. Alpert states in her autobiography, Growing Up Underground:.
Ayn Rand's heroes and heroines moved me more than her ideas. The Fountainhead had planted in me the idea that bombing a building could be a morally legitimate form of protest. Atlas Shrugged portrayed the social revolutionary as hero. And Dominique and Dagny, brilliant, powerful, yet sexually passive heroines who submit to men they love, remained my role models long after I had forgotten where I first heard their names.
Alpert was arrested in late and charged with bombing the Whitehall Induction Center, the Marine Midland Bank, Chase Manhattan, and five other government and corporate buildings in New York City said to be associated with the Vietnam war. As an objectivist individualist, though not a "Randian," I take the strongest exception to Jeff Riggenbach's assertion in "The Disowned Children of Ayn Rand" that "'60s people," the self-realizers of the Me Decade, militant feminists, gay activists, and assorted "untraditional businessmen" are "true Randians.
The self that Rand portrays and defends in her works is characterized by the statement, "I am myself," or "I am I. Riggenbach seems to think that their nonconformity is evidence that the "'60s people" were children of Rand. But if their nonconformity was inspired by Rand's novels, then they misread those works. It is not nonconformity but psycho-intellectual independence that is the distinguishing characteristic of Rand's heroes and of those who take her ideas seriously. This quality precludes irrational, indiscriminate altruistic conformity as well as pseudo-individualistic nonconformity, but not rational, selective, self-interested conformity and nonconformity.
Rational egoists are not abject nonconformists who value nonconformity for its own sake but are rational and self-interested people who conform to social norms and conventions that make sense. Their nonconformity is not nihilistic but selective and rationally motivated. The other-oriented nonconformity of the "'60s people" was not individualism and the alleged narcissism of the Me Generation is not rational egoism. My compliments to Jeff Riggenbach for his fascinating article.
While I cannot agree that the young people of the '60s and '70s are really Ayn Rand's offspring, to the extent the article suggests, I certainly agree that Rand had a powerful influence on them and that that influence has never been so well described as by Jeff Riggenbach. I found his article fascinating, informative, original. I imagine it may make some members of the orthodox a little hysterical which is a shame. The article may overstate its case a bit, but that strikes me as much less important than the illuminating insights it provides.
Back in August your Trends column "noted the growing success of commercial farming and ranching of wildlife, in several cases saving animals from extinction. But as early as John Burton was arguing in The Myth of Social Cost, published by our Institute of Economic Affairs: "The serious problems of the environment and conservation exist where there is common and not private ownership. In Africa, for example, lions have been treated in the past as common property—fair game for anyone—with the result that their numbers have fallen drastically during the twentieth century.
What I Think About Atlas Shrugged
But in the UK lions are reared and held under private ownership in game parks and zoos , and the British lion population has boomed. Indeed, British game parks are now exporting their surplus lions to Africa! The most delightful twist in this British story is that our enterprising new exporters are in the main members of the House of Lords, who have added lions and other magnificent creatures to the attractions of their inherited estates—attractions needed to bring in the tourists whose admission fees help to pay the ever rising costs of maintaining those estates!
I read with pleasure your comments Nov. As you know, we are proud to represent Mr. Geller, whose problems with the Federal Communications Commission typify what happens when government's rules and regulations become ends in themselves rather than a means to an end.
The paradox of Mr. Geller's case is that the FCC wants to take his license because he allegedly has not served the public interest, yet the only one to make this charge is Geller's competitor. The people of Gloucester who listen to Mr. Geller's station wholeheartedly support him. Thus, according to the FCC the public interest is what it, not the public, wants.
On October 22, , the FCC refused to reconsider its decision to deny Geller's renewal application. Interestingly enough, four days later FCC Chairman Mark Fowler argued, in a speech to a group of broadcasters, that the government's handling of radio and television should be "indistinguishable from newspapers.
We intend to carry Mr. Geller's case to the U. Court of Appeals, and to the Supreme Court if necessary, in order to prevent misguided regulators from depriving Mr. Geller of his license. The issues at stake demand no less. I don't really know what I expected, but I was pleasantly surprised with the readability, clarity, and factualness of Eric's reporting. The concept at work in this unique housing program has never been easy to capture. Vaughn Gordy, Jr. I am sympathetic to Mr. Ponte's problem: the book does not lend itself to a brief lay review and requires extensive biochemical knowledge which many science writers do not possess.
But Mr. Ponte's analogy between chemical intervention in the aging process and leftist social planners is most inappropriate. Such intervention in aging, with some trial-and-error risks inherent in any long-range therapy, falls within any definition of scientific progress and carries with it none of the moral or practical pitfalls of collectivist social planning.
As to the question which Mr. Ponte raises of whether Shaw and Pearson are scientists or science writers, we have worked with Durk and Sandy for several years, and we can assure REASON readers that their knowledge of the biochemistry of aging exceeds not only that of most "employees of universities or laboratories," to use Mr. Ponte's definition of a scientist, but also of many investigators in the field of aging research itself. We would remind Mr. Ponte that Albert Einstein was a clerk in a Swiss patent office when he published his first paper on relativity, and he spent his last years at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, still trying to perfect his unified field theory, not as a laboratory or a university employee.
It is proper behavior to edit the article in a manner that is consistent with uncontroversial facts. It is uncontroversially true that Rand is not an academic philosopher, and yet that is the false impression that you apparently wish to convey. You've offered no sound argument in support of your edits, and yet you dare claim the moral high ground. I am amazed, but not surprised.
I can't speak for anyone else, but I support this addition because philosophers are normally understood to be highly-trained academics, and Rand was nothing like this. I suggest that you do a bit of research into who and what Rand was before you defend her status as a philosopher. I think you'll be surprised by what you find. If you start with the very citation that's supposed to support her being called a philosopher, you'll find this quote: "Perhaps because she so eschewed academic philosophy, and because her works are rightly considered to be works of literature, Objectivist philosophy is regularly omitted from academic philosophy.
Yet throughout literary academia, Ayn Rand is considered a philosopher. Her works merit consideration as works of philosophy in their own right. Look at it carefully and you'll see that it admits explicitly that she is not an academic philosopher and that Objectivism is "regularly omitted from academic philosophy". It then goes on to say it's considered philosophy by literary academia, which is interesting but not particularly important. The very quote that's used to justify calling her a philosopher explicitly supports calling her a non-academic one.
It's not that someone is shouting "but it's a fact". Instead, it's a fact that nobody, not even the author of the justfiying citation, can deny. As another person wrote, it's uncontroversial, so why is there such a controversy here? I think it's an entirely safe precedent because we're bending over backwards when we pretend that Rand is any sort of philosopher at all.
It's like that Simpsons joke where incompetent lawyer Lionel Hutz is asked if he has any evidence to offer and he responds with "Well, 'hearsay' is a type of evidence, right? If "incompetent amateur" is a type of. But if we leave out the adjectives, we're just plain lying by letting people think she's a genuine, academic philosopher who's capable of, you know, actually reading and understanding Kant before declaring his ideas worthless.
People might even think she was published in a peer-reviewed journal or that her ideas can even briefly withstand the level of criticism that professional philosophers are capable of leveling. I think that Rand is a very special case, and I don't see her setting any precedents that apply to people like Camus. Camus was a novelist but he was also an academic philosopher with an advanced degree in the subject, so he's totally unaffected by any precedent we set here. His status as a philosopher is uncontroversial, though it's not entirely clear whether it's fair to call him an existentialist.
Rand is, according to the very quote used to justify calling her any sort of philosopher at all, not an academic philosopher. There is no original research involved; it's spelled out right there in the quote and supported consistently by her uncontroversial biographical information. She can't possibly be an academic philosopher without at least one degree in the subject, and she clearly lacks even that. Calling her a philosopher without qualifying the term would be dishonest, as it would certainly mislead readers into thinking she was a philosopher the way Camus was.
So far, nobody has offered anything that might even look like a credible rebuttal, much less a sound one, so I'm going to give my fellow editors a bit more time to prove that I'm not rushing anything, then reinstate the term "non-academic". It's also come to my attention that certain individuals, unable to face my argument on its merits, are trying to use trickery to have me silenced.
Recently, my edits were combined with those of another "anonymous" user to create the false appearance of 3RR violation, so as to justify blocking us both. Talk about original research! Still others have tried to equate me with the recently-banned Edward and with various editors who were banned long ago. These efforts are disingenuous and doomed to failure, as the the truth is entirely on my side. I wholeheartedly encourage any honest and transparent attempt to objectively test these claims, so that they can be dispensed with and we can move back to dealing with the real issues.
You do yourself no favors by sinking so low. The three-revert rule often referred to as 3RR is a policy that applies to all Wikipedians, and is intended to prevent edit warring: An editor must not perform more than three reverts, in whole or in part, on a single page within a hour period. A revert means undoing the actions of another editor, whether involving the same or different material each time.
In a bit of irony, my attempt to avoid personal insult by being nonspecific has led you to the mistaken belief that my comment was about you. Yes, you did make accusations of 3RR violations here, but while you were clearly mistaken in your interpretation of the rule as administrators have officially confirmed , I also think it was an honest mistake, and it didn't go any further than this discussion forum so no great harm was done. This was a dirty trick, and contributes to the atmosphere of hostility against editors who come to this article with hopes of restoring some measure of balance.
In contrast, once I was warned of the rule, I made a point of not violating it, and I continue to follow the rules to the best of my understanding and to the best of my ability. In any case, I apologize if anything I said insulted you, as that was not my intent at all. As it turns out, I've been repeatedly directed to look in the archives and histories to find a refutation against my argument. While I've found nothing even approaching such a thing, I did find ample examples of hostility by Randians against anyone whose suggestions appear to threaten their status quo.
This is not a new thing, and it's certainly nothing I originated. I'd be thrilled if we could tone down the hostility and I've even edited my own comments towards that direction , but I think we've been caught up in an ongoing problem: a history of violence against people like us. I suspect that there will be further efforts to falsely accuse us of rule violations, including the creation of false links among us and already-banned users.
This is how things are done here, and to a large extent, it has worked for them. While I am, by nature and philosophy, a pacifist, I am not a fool, so I will not pretend that there is no conflict here, that there is no us and no them. I can only hope that rationality prevails over partisanship. Skomorokh has suggested that being a guest lecturer makes Rand an academic. It doesn't, but as far as I can tell, she was actually just a popular guest speaker, a role often filled by writers.
This is consister with her being a professional writer and an amateur philosopher. Since Skomorokh's stated justification has been refuted, I've reverted the change, pending further justification here. Even under my most charitable interpretation, I cannot arrive at a reading of your comment that renders it civil, true or constructive, so I can only acknowledge that you have written something and move on to more productive activities. Rand's view of charity has already been discussed. Cathy Young's article as well. You're just going to have to show me, right here, and then convince me and everyone else who's part of the consensus.
Even if it was the consensus once, that doesn't mean that we're bound by that today. She's a journalist who's published in Reason magazine. That makes her views of Rand notable. You may not agree with them, and you're certainly welcome to include other notable opinions for balance, but censoring her violates NPOV.
Idag, I'm less concerned about quantity than quality. If moving Objectivism sections out into the article for that topic helps improve the quality of this one, then I'm all for it. What matters to me is that, in all that shuffling around, we don't "accidentally" lose the sentences that provide balance and truth. It seems to me that some people here, while they may well be trying to maintain intellectual honesty, see the world through Rand-colored glasses and don't necessarily recognize their own bias. It's our job to help them keep this article credible by including all notable views, not just pro-Randian ones.
In the meantime, we need to leave the balancing sentences in the article, so that they aren't misplaced. As a matter of format, it's often clearer to intermix opposing views, rather than relegating the opposition to a ghetto of sorts. Since nobody's even arguing against calling Rand a non-academic philosopher, I'm changing the article back.
If you disagree, you have to discuss it here before making any changes, or I'm sure someone will revert you. Nobody has come up with any support at all for calling her an academic philosopher, and as that is the default meaning of the term, it is up to us to prevent misconceptions by making the article more clear.
Also, you may want to pay closer attention to IP's. If you do, you'll find that this is not a solo effort. If enough people call you a philosopher, you are one. Enough people call Rand a philosopher. Therefore, she is one. It's that simple. That's actually not true, but it's also not important since I didn't say she wasn't a philosopher, I said she wasn't an academic philosopher.
And it's not just me sayying so; the very citation we use to justify calling her a philosopher points out that she's not an academic one. The consensus is that we should call her a non-academic philosopher. There is a consensus of one, apparently. The "non-academic" label is ambiguous. Or it could mean that she practiced philosophy in a non-rigorous manner. That is a POV and also not fundamental to her status as a philosopher; that it is an opinion held by some is already covered in the article.
Mwickens talk , 24 April UTC. I explained above that there are at least two editors who support this change, and I explain below why that number is irrelevant. For now, I'll focus on the fact that the quote that supports calling her a philosopher specifically mentions that she is not an academic philosopher. There is no ambiguity here because all of the definitions you suggested are factually correct. Again, this is in no way a matter of my opinion. That Objectivism is eschewed by academics is stated explicitly in the article, and supported by quotes from academics. That she developed Objectivism outside of academia and its rigorous standards is incontrovertible and quite relevant.
That notable academics, such as Sidney Hook, have judged her philosophy to lack rigor is also beyond any doubt. No matter how you slice it, she is not an academic philosopher in any sense of the word, and it would be misleading to suggest otherwise even through omission. No, consensus is not about opinion or majority. Nor is consensus the only thing that matters. More important is the requirement that we source all of our statements, never exceeding the source. The citation here says she is a non-academic philosopher, so implying otherwise is against Wikipedia rules, regardless of head count.
The article contains these snippets: - Perhaps because she so eschewed academic philosophy, and because her works are rightly considered to be works of literature, Objectivist philosophy is regularly omitted from academic philosophy. Academic philosophers have academic degrees, teach accredited classes and are published with peer review. She fails on all three counts, which is why these quotes and others included the suppressed Hook quotes identify her as non-academic. Nobody, and I mean nobody, has even come close to putting for a credible argument for Rand being an academic philosopher, and some have openly conceded this matter.
This is not the least bit controversial or open to interpretation or subject to the whims of the myth of consensus by majority. The only issue that remains is whether we placate the Randians by sweeping the truth under the carpet or we tell the truth instead. I suggest the latter. What do you think? I removed the detailed portion of the influences section.
These are mentioned in the intro paragraph and are also detail in the main Objectivism article. It's a lot of overlap and isn't really necessary in terms of biography on Rand. Hope no one disagrees to strongly. It should make the article a bit tighter. Ethan a dawe talk , 23 April UTC.
Sorry, I made a comment here but apparently the server ate it. I am definitely in favour of a summary article on Rand's philosophical view, a la Philosophy of Max Stirner , Philosophy of Friedrich Nietzsche etc. The problem is, the Objectivism Ayn Rand article defines a philosophical position - the analogy with Nietzsche would be perspectivism , with Stirner ethical egoism. Many people may adopt, develop, refine a given position - even Objectivism.
The problem is that we need an article describing Objectivism as a position and its intellectual development incl. Objectivist movement could be that article, but it's not explicitly philosophical. I'm unsure as to address this. Skomorokh , 26 April UTC. It seems that, on the Internet, A is not always A. Today, my IP changed without warning, and it may well change again. Thus far, I've avoided giving my name, because it's irrelevant, and I have no intention of ever creating an account. However, I also have no intention of misleading anyone about my identity or violating 3RR.
For this reason, I would like to acknowledge that what I've posted here has shown up under both There is also another editor, posting from From now on, to make this a little simpler, I will be signing my posts with my first name. If a new post doesn't have my name, it's not from me, and if I notice someone else trying to confuse things by signing my name, I will correct the problem.
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Remember, an IP is just a location, not a person. After due consideration, I'm going to have to turn down that suggestion. If you want to contact me, I'll be watching this talk page. I went to the Objectivism Reference Center at noblesoul. Allow me to quote the opening paragraph from their criticism page, in full:. Despite coming from a notable, pro-Objectivist source, it clearly states that she is not an academic philosopher.
This is spelled out in other reliable sources, and is also implicit in almost every discussion of how academic philosophy rejected her work. While she is often called a philosopher, she is not in any sense an academic philosopher. At this point, we have established this as an objective truth beyond any rational doubt.
I will therefore not entertain any further counter-arguments that do not at least begin with a direct quote from an academic philosopher in which she is acknowledged as an academic philosopher. Since she is not an academic philosopher, I will once again repair the censorship to this article.
I suggest that if you have even a shred of intellectual honesty, you must make your case here instead of trying to bully me with gratuitous reversions, empty accusations of vandalism and general incivility. This is an uncontroversial matter of fact; the ony controversy is why some people want to hide this fact. Rand is a very special case. For the most part, philosophers who aren't academic are too obscure to be notable enough to even show up on Wikipedia.
They might have good ideas or silly ones, but pretty much nobody cares because philosophy is seen primarily as an academic discipline, and anyone who can't get the respect of academia is unlikely to get the attention of the public, with the notable exception of the New Agers. That makes her — and her popular philosophy — notable. If we simply call her a philosopher, the very fact that she is notable will lead readers to believe that she is an academic, but this is simply not the case.
Burying that fact deep in the article is still misleading, because many people aren't ever going to read past the lead. It takes exactly one word — "non-academic" — to immediately dispell any misconceptions before they even have time to form, and I've seen no excuse for removing that word. Also, you can't call her a writer-philosopher or novelist-philosopher, since that would equate her with people like Camus, who have advanced academic degrees in the subject but prefer the medium of the novel.
Rand is not Camus! The term "non-academic" is compact, accurate and neutral. It's just the truth, and the truth beats everything else. You're going to need to come up with a much more realistic objection, else people might think you're just interested in making Rand look better by lying about her, and we wouldn't want them to get that misconception, eh? Do you really think there's any controversy over the simple fact that philosophy is an academic discipline, whose notable practioners are degreed and published?
Be serious. For that matter, it is uncontested that a full and careful reading of the article would reveal that Rand is not an academic, so this is a bit of misdirection on your part. The issue is whether the article has a misleading lead, and I consider this issue settled since you don't address it. Yes, I think your analysis of the status of Neitzche and Rand is accurate, and I have nothing to add to it.
I do want to point out, though, that not only did academia reject Rand but Rand rejected academia in advance.
Anthem: Ayn Rand's Dystopian Masterpiece - Marginal REVOLUTION
It's not just that she happened not to be an academic, but that she was less a non-academic than an anti-academic, heaping scorn upon the philosophical establishment. To reiterate an argument found elsewhere on this page, the term "novelist-philospher" fits people like Camus well, but is misleading when applied to Rand, if only because being a novelist is not the same as being non- or anti-academic. Non-academic philosopher is neutral and accurate. Novelist-philosopher and writer-philosopher offer little over the current "novelist and philosopher", but still make it sound as if Rand was a regular, academic philosopher.
This is a non-neutral omission. I'm not responsible for anyone but myself, so I don't really care what the original complaint was. I don't think anyone here is suggesting we stop calling Rand a philosopher, even if they think Rand is an incompetent philosopher. Someone already explained why you're not likely to find many notable non-academic philosophers, since non-academic philosophers tend to be obscure except maybe among New Agers, but if you ever do bump into an article on one, I fully encourage you to change it to be more consistent with this article.
Bert evidently has a POV he wants to push, judging by his choice of words: "admitting", "vandal", etc. In fact counterarguments have been made, but he has simply dismissed them. My main counterargument is that it lowers the quality of the article see my criteria listed above to insert an unnecessary qualifier into the introductory lead. The nature of the philosophy and its relation to academia is sufficiently well covered further in the body of the article, and its relation to academia is a secondary attribute that does not belong in the lead-in text where only primary attributes are summarized.
How kind of you to "fix" my indentation without addressing my arguments. It is this commitment to quality that marks your tenure as a Wikipedia editor. Bert, I fail to understand why you believe it is so important to specify Rand as a non-academic philosopher. She was a philosopher, and indeed she made a living from her philosophy, thus making her a professional philosopher.
Her relationship with academia, or lack thereof, is already explicated in the article. You're insistence on the inclusion of the term "non-academic" in the introduction gives undue weight and is designed to discredit Rand's philosophy, which is very NNPOV. The consensus is against you; please don't try and make this into an edit war. Way I count it up, I don't see either side of this with a clear consensus, not that consensus matters when it comes to violating the rules of the game.
Since everyone now admits that Rand was a non-academic philosopher, your conspiracy theory about evil Rand-haters wanting to discredit her pretty much explains why you're edit warring to hide a fact you admit. It's not that you think it's unimportant, it's that you realize just how important this fact is and that's precisely why you want to hide it. I'm not going to let you, and neither are the others who are supporting the honest version of this article. Deal with it; that's my consensus. To put this debate to rest once and for all, please state whether you support or oppose adding anything to the introduction about Rand being a "non-academic" philosopher simply state whether you "Support" or "Oppose" and provide a one-sentence reason.
To prevent possible sock puppets, anonymous IPs who have not made ANY edits to this article before today April 25, will not be counted in the vote:. Idag talk , 26 April UTC. Ethan a dawe talk , 26 April UTC. Oppose: WP:Undue Weight , no precedent elsewhere.
Mwickens talk , 26 April UTC. Oppose as completely irrelevant given the long history of highly respected mainstream philosophers outside the academy, and undue weight as above. Abstain: I'm not going to participate in a pretend consensus where all the Rand fans vote to make Rand look as good as possible, no matter what the facts are. All of them get one vote in total, since they're a hive mind. After this consensus debate closes, I will archive this talk page; it has gotten ridiculously long. I have removed the recent comments of Edward G. Before anyone cries foul it needs to be stated that he has an account under the name spinoza Using his IP address to post is a direct violation of wikipedia policy as he is dodging the block.
He lost the privledge of posting and editing for his behavior. Removing his posts is not censorship, it is merely enforcing the rules of this site. If he gets his account unblocked I will not delete any posts he makes. The article edit protection has interfered with making further editorial improvements to the article. The following should be non-contentious:. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
This is an archive of past discussions. Do not edit the contents of this page. If you wish to start a new discussion or revive an old one, please do so on the current talk page. Extended discussion on Rand as an "academic philosopher". Allow me to quote the opening paragraph from their criticism page, in full: Objectivism is controversial in a number of ways. First, it includes positions very much at odds with the ideas held by most people. Rand and other Objectivists have also been open about their own criticisms of other philosophers and intellectual traditions, sometimes denouncing them in very forceful terms.
Also, Objectivism is a "popular" philosophy, which originated in the writings of novelist with no formal background as an academic philosopher. Finally, Rand's own personality and personal life have sometimes drawn fire from critics who consider her arrogant, dogmatic, hypocritical, etc. It is also a fact that she is not an academic philosopher. Call her a philosopher in the introduction, and explain that she was not an academic philosopher in the article.
For reference, I did a quick search of Wikipedia, and no other article includes the phrase "non-academic philosopher". I don't see why this one should either. TallNapoleon talk , 24 April UTC Putting "non-academic philosopher" in the lede places undue weight on that fact. See WP:Undue Weight. Ultimately, whether or not one is an academic has no bearing on whether one is a good philosopher there have been great academic philosophers and great non-academic philosophers. I would also object to the phrase "non-academic" and would instead use "writer-philosopher" since that is more descriptive and has more neutral connotations.
However, real philosophers access the canon in a far deeper way than Rand accessed the canon. The only reason she's called a philosopher is because AFTER getting noticed by writing works of fiction, Rand said she was a philosopher, to the considerable surprise of people already recognized as philosophers. Edward G. Nilges The lead reads very nicely as is, including the capsule summary of her output.
I don't think it would mislead a neutral reader. Inserting "non-academic" raises an immediate question that would not be answered until much later in the article, thus hampering readability. Whether or not she was an "academic" is not of primary importance. Do you have any sources to back up your claim that "philosopher" automatically means academic? If one sits down and reads the article, its fairly clear that Rand has never been an academic. Idag talk , 25 April UTC Do you really think there's any controversy over the simple fact that philosophy is an academic discipline, whose notable practioners are degreed and published?
Doing some research, you're wrong about Rand being unique. Friedrich Nietzsche developed his philosophy the same exact way as Rand through fictional narratives supplemented by personal letters. In fact, Nietzsche was even less of an academic than Rand, Rand at least gave speeches in academia, Nietzsche was a complete shut-in. Yet his article merely states that he was a philosopher without qualification and the description is even more flattering than Rand's. Doing further research, there isn't a single philosopher who is listed as "non-academic" even though many of them such as Hobbes had less of a connection to academia than Rand.
Thus, precedent suggests that we do not start making this distinction here. Granted, the Nietzsche article is still poorly written in places but Nietzsche began his career as a student of philology. He was highly recommended to continue his doctoral research by his professors.
Finally, he went on to be the youngest professor of philology at I believe the University of Basil. I think it's true that most academic philosophers consider Nietzsche to be part of the Western canon -- the material students of philosophy have to read -- without necessarily agreeing with him or liking his "literary" style.