2018 Schedule

February 10—“The Nature of Humor,” Chris Land

What does all humor have in common? What separates humor from non-humor? Long-time HOS member Chris Land has been studying humor seriously for decades, and in particular over the past few years he’s labored on a new book introducing an original comprehensive theory covering the entire topic. It also happens to be hilarious. Expected publication 2020. In the meantime, he’ll present an overview of the entire theoretical structure to HOS.

March 24—“Objectivists Aren’t Hippies—With Hints of Why Trump Isn’t Selfish and Anarchists Aren’t Free,” Dr. Tara Smith

Many people attracted to Objectivist moral and political philosophy misinterpret them in subjectivist ways, while many detractors of Ayn Rand’s ideas mistakenly attribute the bad behavior of public figures to the influence of those ideas. This lecture sheds light on the true meaning of objective self-interest and the correlative need for limited government.

April 14—“Ayn Rand: A Sense of Life,” Jeri Eagan

This  is a full length documentary film covering Ayn Rand’s life and ideas. It includes interviews with many prominent Objectivists who knew her. When released in 1998, it received an Academy Award Nomination for Best Documentary Feature. We will watch the film and then discuss it.

May 12—Reading of “Ideal,” Donna Eggers

Members will “play” the respective roles in the play. Please bring your copy of the play to the meeting.

June 16—“The Nature of Nomenclature,” Katie Champion

July 14—“Discussion of Free Will,” Warren Ross

Warren Ross will coordinate a discussion the topic of free will, including the arguments for and against, the history of the concept, and how the free will blog at www.you-can-and-did-build-it.com is contributing to the debate.  Think of arguments you’ve heard to the effect that free will is an illusion (the modern view).  Can you answer such arguments?   This discussion will give you intellectual ammunition for a defense of free will.

August 10—“Tour of Houston’s Downtown Tunnel System,” Jeri Eagan  

This marvel of 6 miles of connecting tunnels, under 20 buildings in downtown Houston, was funded, built and maintained by private developers and building owners – not government. The system is air conditioned and contains numerous restaurants, shops, banks, doctors, barbers, and more. This article written by Brian Philips thirty years ago provides an excellent history and background of the system.

September 15—“Chewing Property,” Brian Phillips

The Objectivist literature speaks a great deal about the importance of property rights, but little is said about the nature and source of property. This workshop will include a brief survey of influential thoughts on the subject. Members will then “chew” the concept to develop a deeper understanding.

October 13—“Individual Rights for Immigrants,” Michael Alessi

In my program called ‘Individual Rights for Immigrants’, we will address the issue of how to protect the individual rights of non-citizens who grow up in America.  Following my summary presentation of facts and related background material, we will as a group identify and discuss feasible solutions to this challenge within the current and/or early transitional state.  A short pre-read list will be provided.

November 10—“The Virtue of Independence,” Jeri Eagan

In an effort to more fully understand the virtues, this meeting will involve chewing the meaning and application of the virtue of independence. Attendees will read the relevant section of OPAR in preparation for the meeting. At the meeting, we will listen to Tara Smith’s audio lecture “Unborrowed Vision: The Virtue of Independence”.  We will then discuss examples we have experienced of practicing independence and particularly times when it has been challenging to do so.

December 8—HOS Christmas Party