Last year, I announced that Dr. Peikoff had given me permission to publicize and deliver his courses and lectures. At that time, I wrote:
“When I studied Dr. Peikoff’s courses almost 40 years ago, I was thrilled by the knowledge and delighted with the clarity, certitude, and wit of his delivery. I had taken hundreds of courses during my life, but none that compared to his. It is through them that I became an Objectivist. They changed my life.”
“At the time, I thought how wonderful it would be if others could have access to this vital knowledge—that was the reason I started ARI Campus (now ARI U/Ayn Rand University), and it is my reason now for wanting to professionally publicize and disseminate Dr. Peikoff’s valuable courses worldwide.”
I am motivated and I have the money to vigorously and professionally market Leonard Peikoff’s courses. I have $1.5 million set aside to do so.
When I received Dr. Peikoff’s permission, I immediately contacted Yaron Brook and ARI and asked them to deliver all the courses and ancillary materials to me.
They provided bits and pieces of old content, but not the full set of materials that Dr. Peikoff asked them to deliver. Unfortunately, after a long, frustrating attempt to obtain the materials, it became clear that Yaron/ARI would not honor Dr. Peikoff’s request.
So, I’m sorry to report that, for now, I cannot deliver Dr. Peikoff’s courses as I had originally planned. To provide some context, here is what I wrote to Yaron a week before posting this (I’ve received no reply):
January 26, 2021
As you know, I received permissions from Leonard to publicize and deliver his courses and lectures. You didn’t agree with Leonard granting such permission, but he did grant permission to me over your opposition.
For many months, I asked you to forward all of Leonard’s courses and lectures (in particular all of the enhanced courses that I had paid for that were being run on ARI Campus). Many emails were exchanged, culminating in my summary of July 10, 2020 (attached), and later on July 24, 2020 (attached). (I do not intend to make public these emails unless you continue to allege “lies” and “missing context”, etc.)
While some “old” materials were provided, you refused to send the main materials I needed unless I submitted to your (and Onkar’s) regulation and control. As you well knew, I never would have agreed to that. I never did receive the needed courses and materials.
I now want to conclude my correspondence and efforts with you and ARI regarding this matter. In accordance with Leonard’s wishes, I’m asking you one final time to send me all his materials.
I made a public announcement that I had been granted permissions (I received a lot of excited responses to my announcement.)
I wanted to approach you first (as a courtesy) before withdrawing my public announcement that I would be publishing and delivering Leonard’s courses, and before considering alternative costly pursuits.
Yaron, Objectivism’s future will largely depend upon delivering substantial courses and thoroughly educating people in the basics of Objectivism. No other courses or materials have the quality of Leonard’s courses. I think most Objectivists in the world became Objectivists as a result of Leonard’s courses. (I know you don’t have the same commitment as I do and have never wanted to deliver Leonard’s courses—see your email of December 28, 2016.
Leonard is the Theophrastus of Objectivism. He has a “divine style of expression”. Ayn Rand is the genius philosopher. Leonard is the masterful teacher. Both are needed. Many Objectivists who truly understand the philosophy came to understand it through Leonard’s courses (including myself).
For you and ARI to obstruct my efforts to publicize and deliver Leonard’s courses would be a crime against Objectivism. Objectivism will be (and is already) held back.
Please rethink your position.
Carl B. Barney
If you value Leonard Peikoff and his courses, perhaps you will speak up and try to persuade Yaron Brook to rethink his position.
I welcome your comments.
12 thoughts on “Dr. Leonard Peikoff’s Courses and Lectures”
I have just read Dr. Peikoff’s statement on his website 7/12/22 in which he says he has bequeathed all his courses to ARI. They are being marketed there at the ARI bookstore. I was an attendee of TJS ’87 and 89′ and I regard your work as a positive development. I’m hoping there is no conflict.
Carl, I’m very glad that so many of Leonard Peikoff’s excellent courses are available in print form. However, I think that his history of philosophy courses and his introduction to logic courses should be transcribed and published. Warts (errors) and all. They are vital both for historical context and in terms of thinking method. It should not be that difficult to get some elves who are willing and able to transcribe and double-check the accuracy of the transcriptions and then format them for print. If you have $1.5 million for promoting and distributing lecture materials, this would be money well spent, IMO.
I have listened to all of Leonard Peikoff’s History of Western Philosophy Part 1 on Youtube, and I was blown away. He is the best lecturer I have heard and has given me an invaluable introduction to philosophy. I struggled for years with philosophy until I found these lectures. I would like very much to hear Part 2 of this course but the ARI is charging $190 for it and I am not paying it. That price is an insult. Where can I find these lectures, or transcripts, other that paying that extortionate price for them?
I spent several summers when Dr peikoff and Dr. Reisman sponsored the Jefferson Institute
held lectures. While I had already become an Objectivist their lectures invaluable to my education.
I would love to listen to some of them again. That they are not available is a missing link to young minds. I have been an contributor since the announcement of the Fountainhead essay contest.
For the first time I am considering stopping my constitutions. Please stop these disputes and publish all of their material.
Good to hear from you.
It’s not that Dr. Peikoff’s courses are not available – they are on ARI Campus. But they’re not professionally produced, and they’re not marketed, and they’re not given the focus and attention that they deserve. Just as you are, I’m a huge fan of Dr. Peikoff and his courses and lectures, and I want to present them professionally and market them broadly worldwide.
As you’ve read, I attempted to work with ARI to get a copy of all the materials, and all they gave me was the old materials. They’re refusing to give me the latest materials and the latest versions, which are currently being put on YouTube. So, they’re partially available, but not available as professionally and as broadly as I would like.
As for adversity, the threshold is not that high. I verified that the courses are available in original form, available to the patient and studious. Accurate transcripts are needed and then they should be adapted to the chosen media, and be presented with the most advanced learning technology possible. It is nice that many of these lectures have books behind them. Right now, the each unit is bunched into big bites which are retainable through intense study, but miss opportunities for learning checks, quizzes, mentoring and application, even certification of completion. C
Dr Piekoff’s lectures on education and other lectures over the years. I became an Objectivist
after studying Miss Rand’s work over a period of two years. I took his lectures of the history of
philosophy. He is a wonderful teacher and having his work available would be a real gift.
Sorry – it’s the “David PAKMAN” Show – NOT “Parkman”!
When I heard Yaron Brook state in his debate “Does Ayn Rand Make ANY SENSE?” on the David Parkman Show (YouTube @ 8:22/35:43): “…Ayn Rand never actually says ‘existence is identity’. You’re conflating two different things that she says. She says ‘existence exists’…”, I lost all confidence in his understanding of Objectivism.
Anyone referring to the Ayn Rand Lexicon entry on “Identity” finds her saying in Galt’s AS speech: “…I am here to complete it: Existence is Identity, Consciousness is Identification.”
I no longer consider Yaron Brook a depndable, let alone “leading”, Objectivist.
(Incidentally, MY first exposure to Objectivism came from The Basic Principles of Objectivism” at Nathaniel Branden institute, where I first saw & met Ayn Rand in person in the mid-sixties.
Saw Dr. Peikoff first at his Stanford lecture on “Egoism”.)
Subject: Property rights and permissions with regard to Objectivist courses and lectures
I’m unclear about what this means. ARI currently has the courses and lectures up on its website and offers them for free. Having once granted that permission, is Leonard able to or intending to rescind that permission, and will you now be the sole source? And will they continue to be free?
If there’s a conflict over sole or joint rights, will there now be something involving lawsuits? And will that suspend the availability of the courses?
Also, I think many of the materials have already come out in printed form, and that bell can’t be unrung.
Finally, why do you have to wait to get the materials — whether in video or audio or transcript form — from them: why can’t you just get them directly from Leonard?
Just do them anyway. Adversity creates creates excellence, and the quality of the lectures will improve over time. While I would hope that everyone gets along, the fact is, they do not. C