To John Hospers [Letter 463]

Item Reference Code: 141_HO3_012_001

Date(s) of creation

March 31, 1961


John Hospers


36 East 36th St.
New York 16, N.Y.

March 31, 1961

Dear John:

Just a brief note to thank you for your wonderful letter (of March 18).

The passage in FOR THE NEW INTELLECTUAL which is specifically and personally dedicated to you is paragraph 2, page 60 [addressed to “the best among the present intellectuals”].

No, it is not pretentious at all, if you felt that my style of writing is close to your own. Coming from a writer, it is a great compliment and I appreciate it profoundly. I cannot say that I have felt this closeness stylistically (perhaps because I have read only your highly technical writing)—but what I did feel very strongly, almost from the first pages of your AN INTRODUCTION TO PHILOSOPHICAL ANALYSIS was an epistemological closeness between your way of handling ideas and mine. Or, rather, I would say “psycho-epistemological”, now that you understand what I mean by that term. I mean, not the contents of most of the ideas you present in that book (with which I don’t agree), but the way your mind works, the method it uses to present ideas.

I say this in spite of our recent epistemological differences—and I am looking forward to the time when we will resolve them. At the risk of sounding presumptuous, I will say: at your best, you are so good that nothing less should ever satisfy you.

Affectionately and hopefully,


Ayn Rand