order that prospective readers, subscribers and contributors will have
a clear idea of what to expect from Full Context, and to ensure
that decisions regarding the publishability of letters, editorials and
commentaries are made as objectively as possible, the following is a
statement of Full Context's editorial mission and policies.
historical project is fundamental to its editorial identity. Full Context
began publishing in October 1988, several months beforethe split between
the two leading Objectivist intellectuals, Drs. David Kelley and Leonard
Peikoff. The split brought to the surface some long-standing and fundamental
disagreements regarding the interpretation of Ayn Rand's philosophy, and
effectively divided the adherents of the philosophy into two roughly equally
sized camps. The emergence of the "Cold War" between the two sides is
chronicled in the back issues of Full Context. Essayists traded
both critiques and barbs as they developed their responses to the central
documents of the rift (Kelley's "A Question of Sanction" and Truth
and Toleration, and Peikoff's "Fact and Value").
From its earliest
days, Full Context's pages have been filled with controversial
thought and opinion, befitting an open forum for the discussion of ideas.
It will continue to document the history of Objectivism as it unfolds,
through the eyes of the movement's leading intellectuals, activists,
writers and artists, and through the conversations among subscribers
and editorial contributors. By reading about the ideas, lives and struggles
of others who have been influenced by Ayn Rand, Full Context
aims to enlighten, entertain, and inspire.
- To provide
an entertaining and provocative journal of ideas and opinion for people
who are familiar with, and sympathetic to, the philosophy of Objectivism.
- To provide
a record of the historical development and significance of the Objectivist
movement as documented in conversation with its most accomplished
intellectuals, activists, commentators and artists.
- To promote
self-confidence in the area of intellectual activism by encouraging
editorial submissions that are original, topical, and thought-provoking.
We devote a substantial amount of space for the presentation of content
that is somewhat more tentative and "experimental" than will be found
in more traditional Objectivist forums, such as The IOS Journal,
Navigator or The Intellectual Activist. On the other hand,
the editors require that submissions be considerably more self-contained,
concise, and essentialized than typically found in email discussion
lists and Usenet newsgroups.
- To foster the
expansion of Objectivism as an intellectual movement, by encouraging
the development of positions that interpret, extend, apply or challenge
Objectivism in new ways, and by providing a growing body of work that
can provide resources for activism, scholarship, or personal enrichment.
- To provide
Objectivists with an antidote to "spiritual isolation" by fostering
a sense of community through publication of interviews that provide
insights into the personal lives, tastes, and struggles of other members
of that community.
- To provide
Objectivists with a source of inspiration and moral courage by publishing
accounts of the achievement of professional or creative excellence,
of trials won and tribulations overcome.
To promote an attitude of intellectual independence within the
Objectivist community, Full Context is to be an open forum
for the discussion of ideas from an Objectivist perspective. We are
a forum by and for laypersons as well as academics;
we value contributions to abstract technical arguments as well as
practical wisdom borne of life experience.
To encourage the advancement of knowledge and to stimulate our
own thinking, we encourage original contributions, even when the material
is controversial. The editors practice the virtue of independence,
and that is what our readers expect of us and our editorial contributors.
To clarify our convictions as Objectivists, and to sharpen our awareness
of their implications, we require submissions to be focused on ideas,
be presented objectively and carefully, and that writers "state their
premises." We do not accept the argument that "passion" justifies
emotionalism, or ad hominem attacks.
To promote political self-confidence, controversial opinions are expressed
in Full Context, and we welcome well-argued, informed submissions
that are off the beaten path. We do not reject articles because they
dissent from the "standard line." Controversiality is part and parcel
of the kind of debate and aggressive testing necessary if Objectivism
is to evolve into a body of ideas detailed and robust enough to withstand
the much more hostile intellectual environment of the culture at large.
If Full Context doesn't print something every once and a while
that gets you so mad you'll almost cancel your subscription, then
we are not doing our job at providing an open forum for thought-provoking
April 11, 1999
interest. We aim for editorial content that is diverse, including
articles on weighty philosophical subjects as well as on art, psychology,
ethics, social theory, etc., and making sure that each issue,
a different set of questions and subjects is addressed. They say you
can please all of the people most of the time ... so that is what
we try to do.