Chris Mortensen on Ayn Rand and the Prophecy of Atlas Shrugged
Radio Interview: 20 February 2013
I interviewed Chris Mortensen on "Ayn Rand and the Prophecy of Atlas Shrugged" on 20 February 2013. Listen to or download this episode of Philosophy in Action Radio below.
Chris Mortenson directed the excellent documentary, Ayn Rand and the Prophecy of Atlas Shrugged. How did that project get started? What was required to make it a reality? How was it received? What's next?
If you haven't yet seen the documentary... don't delay! It's available on NetFlix (streaming and DVD) and Amazon (streaming and DVD). If you enjoy the documentary, be sure to pick up the new book with the full text of the interviews, including much material that wasn't included in the documentary. That's available in paperback or for kindle.
Chris Mortensen is an award winning writer, producer and director has in the last fifteen years produced more than 100 hours of documentary and reality programming. His programs have appeared on History Channel, A&E, Discovery, TLC, BET, VH-1, TV-One, Lifetime Network, Fox Sports, ESPN, Travel Channel, Versus. GSN, TNN, Spike, and more. His latest project is "Ayn Rand and the Prophecy of Atlas Shrugged," a feature length documentary film that examines the resurging interest in Ayn Rand's epic and controversial 1957 novel and the validity of its dire prediction for America.
- Duration: 1:01:41
- Download: MP3 File (21.2 MB)
You can automatically download that and other podcasts by subscribing to Philosophy in Action's Podcast RSS Feed:
- Chris Mortensen's introduction to Ayn Rand and Atlas Shrugged
- Documentary projects before Ayn Rand and the Prophecy of Atlas Shrugged
- The theme of the documentary
- Creating the documentary
- How the documentary came about
- Interviews for the documentary with Objectivist intellectuals
- The documentary as fact-focused
- Interviews for the documentary with businesspeople
- Stories of and about Al Ruddy
- Current politics in the documentary
- The response to the documentary
- The value of Atlas Shrugged
- If the documentary were made now...
- The book of full interviews
- America's future
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My first book, Responsibility & Luck: A Defense of Praise and Blame, is available for purchase in paperback and Kindle
Does the pervasive influence of luck in life mean that people cannot be held responsible for their choices? Do people lack the control required to justify moral praise and blame? In his famous article "Moral Luck," philosopher Thomas Nagel casts doubt on our ordinary moral judgments of persons. He claims that we intuitively accept that moral responsibility requires control, yet we praise and blame people for their actions, the outcomes of those actions, and their characters – even though shaped by forces beyond their control, i.e., by luck. This is the "problem of moral luck."
In Responsibility & Luck, I argue that this attack on moral judgment rests on a faulty view of control, as well as other errors. By developing Aristotle's theory of moral responsibility, I explain the sources and limits of a person's responsibility for what he does, what he produces, and who he is. Ultimately, I show that moral judgments are not undermined by luck. In addition, this book explores the nature of moral agency and free will, the purpose of moral judgment, causation in tort and criminal law, the process of character development, and more.
Responsibility & Luck is scholarly but accessible to active-minded people interested in philosophy. You can preview the book by reading Chapter One and Chapter Three as PDFs – or by listening to my reading of Chapter One.
About Philosophy in Action
I'm Dr. Diana Brickell (formerly Diana Hsieh). I'm a philosopher, and I've long specialized in the application of rational principles to the challenges of real life. I completed my Ph.D in philosophy from the University of Colorado at Boulder in 2009. I retired from work as a public intellectual in 2015.
From September 2009 to September 2015, I produced a radio show and podcast, Philosophy in Action Radio. In the primary show, my co-host Greg Perkins and I answered questions applying rational principles to the challenges of real life. We broadcast live over the internet on Sunday mornings.
My first book, Responsibility & Luck: A Defense of Praise and Blame, can be purchased in paperback and Kindle. The book defends the justice of moral praise and blame of persons using an Aristotelian theory of moral responsibility, thereby refuting Thomas Nagel's "problem of moral luck." My second book (and online course), Explore Atlas Shrugged, is a fantastic resource for anyone wishing to study Ayn Rand's epic novel in depth.
I can be reached via e-mail to [email protected].