There's a couple posts on the SE, one of which I've closed and one of which I left open. I think it might be good to have a uniform policy for this type. Below here's the example of what it is:

I've seen lots of very bad criticisms of Objectivism, but I haven't found a good refutation (I've looked). Rand's opponent's all seem to be grossly ignorant of her positions, and generally seem to want to ignore Rand and are unwilling to have discussions. Does anyone know of a detailed refutation of Objectivism covering some major parts (not just a detail) which is not itself already refuted by a published non-refuted criticism?

Please provide a link or cite, not an ad hoc essay of your own devising.

The basic pattern is X is right, please provide a "detailed refutation of X ... which is not already refuted by a published non-refuted criticism."

What should happen to these questions?


They should be closed as non-questions

At least to me, it seems that these questions are pseudo-questions at best and should be closed.

  1. They don't seem to be asking a question to help the OP understand something in philosophy.
  2. Instead, they seem fundamentally argumentative as the OP intends to argue that any answer is "already refuted" (in an earlier formulation the questions the question words it as "Does anyone know of a serious, correct refutation of Objectivism covering some major parts (not just a detail)?")
  3. They are incapable of an objective answer since people will fundamentally disagree as to whether or not previous critiques are (a) serious and (b) have gone unanswered.

(Upvote this is if you think we should close these questions by rule. If you have a different idea add an answer).


i am trying to find criticism of Rand, Popper, etc, and filter out stuff that fails to meet certain very low bars. for example, i don't want criticism of Rand which attacks a position Rand didn't hold. and i don't want a criticism of some early Popper idea (typically from LScD), which Popper already wrote a chapter explaining why it's mistaken (in a later book), and then there's nothing further. that wouldn't be an outstanding criticism of Popper's thinking, because Popper already refuted it and Popper's latest argument wasn't challenged.

i think there's a few other bare minimum standards that are important, but i don't have a complete list. i find it's hard to predict every really dumb thing people might come up with.

if someone is able to provide a criticism meeting some minimum standards like that, then i'd like to think it over and maybe post a new question relating to that topic.

how should i approach this?

edit: FYI Popper has a book where he replies to 50 or so critics. Rand also has a lot of published replies to critics. there's also more replies by others such as Peikoff.

  • 1
    I'd love to find a way to salvage this question. I can easily find a hundred... a thousand... passionate criticisms of Objectivism (there's no end to them!) but most of them are coming from people with only a cursory knowledge of it, and so their arguments can be irrelevant or even nonsensical. High-quality, academic-level criticism would be wonderful. On the other hand, I recognize that sort of question may not work well with Stack Exchange's format, where laundry-list answers are discouraged. What constitutes an 'effective' criticism is also problematic. Jun 13 '16 at 21:53

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