To Libby Parker, a fan [Letter 509]

Item Reference Code: 038_05x_006_001

Date(s) of creation

August 24, 1963


Libby Parker


120 E. 34th

August 24, 1963

Miss Libby Parker
3951 N.W. 171 Street
Opa Locka, Florida

Dear Miss Parker:

Thank you for your letter of June 30. I am pleased that you liked Atlas Shrugged and that you found my philosophy helpful.

If, as you say, you are an advocate of reason, I suggest that you should develop a very strict and independent critical faculty in regard to courses on philosophy. You will find very little rationality in modern philosophy, which is dominated by a revolt against reason. You should be on guard against the influence of modern philosophy which leads you to write such a contradictory sentence as “Einstein’s Theory of Relativity does question the objectivity of knowledge.” If it does, it would invalidate all theories, including itself; and if so, by what means would you validate it or regard it as knowledge?

But in fact, Einstein’s theory does nothing of the kind. Einstein himself objected to the unwarranted distortions of his purely scientific theories by the philosophizing of scientifically ignorant popularizers. The same is true of all modern pseudo-scientism: the fact that scientists do not know the cause of a given phenomenon does not give them ground to proclaim that “the universe is based on chance”—any more than the ignorance of primitive savages gave them ground to declare that the universe is ruled by gods and demons.

You mention that you are interested in existentialism. Existentialism is nothing more than oriental mysticism and has no place in philosophy.

You are wrong when you see any parallel between my philosophy and Nietzsche’s. Nietzsche was an arch-advocate of irrationalism (see his The Birth of Tragedy). If you want a brief indication of my views on all the leading schools of modern philosophy, I suggest that you read and study the title essay of my book, For the New Intellectual.



Ayn Rand