Harry Binswanger

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Harry Binswanger
Born 1944
Nationality American
Alma mater Massachusetts Institute of Technology (B.S.)
Columbia University (Ph.D.)
School Objectivism
Institutions Ayn Rand Institute
Thesis The Biological Basis of Teleological Concepts (1990)

Harry Binswanger (/ˈbinzˌwæŋər/; born 1944) is an American philosopher. He is an Objectivist and is on the board of the Ayn Rand Institute. He was an associate of Ayn Rand, working with her on The Ayn Rand Lexicon. He helped edit the second edition of Rand's Introduction to Objectivist Epistemology. His most recent book is How We Know: Epistemology on an Objectivist Foundation (2014). Binswanger was previously a contributor to Forbes Online and is currently a contributor at RealClearMarkets.


Binswanger was born and raised in Richmond, Virginia, and is a scion of Binswanger Glass Co., founded in 1872 by Samuel Binswanger.[1] He received his Bachelor of Science degree in "Humanities and Engineering" from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (where he was involved in establishing the student group "Radicals for Capitalism") and earned his Ph.D. in philosophy from Columbia University in 1973. Binswanger's doctoral dissertation, in the philosophy of biology, presented a theory of the goal-directedness of living action, in opposition to the views of one of his dissertation advisers, Ernest Nagel. The dissertation was published in 1990 as The Biological Basis of Teleological Concepts.

He has taught philosophy at City University of New York's Hunter College, Hofstra University, Polytechnic Institute of Brooklyn, The New School for Social Research, and the University of Texas, Austin.[2][3]

Binswanger was a friend of Ayn Rand in the final years of her life, and his subsequent philosophical work has been done in the tradition of Rand's Objectivist philosophy.[4] From 1980 through 1987, he published and edited a bimonthly journal called The Objectivist Forum, which was subsequently published as a hardback collection.[5] He edited the new material in the second edition of Rand's book, Introduction to Objectivist Epistemology, published in 1990 after her death.[note 1] He also compiled The Ayn Rand Lexicon, a compilation of Rand's views on various topics.[6]

Binswanger is on the Board of Directors of the Ayn Rand Institute, and is listed as a scholar at the Ayn Rand Institute Campus. He also moderates and posts to a fee-based online discussion group on Objectivism, called "The Harry Binswanger Letter", which he has operated since 1998.[7] His television appearances have included the Glenn Beck show, Geraldo at Large, and CNBC's Closing Bell. He also appears in Ayn Rand: A Sense of Life, the Academy Award nominated documentary by Michael Paxton, and Ayn Rand & the Prophecy of Atlas Shrugged, a 2011 documentary film by Chris Mortensen. His book How We Know: Epistemology on an Objectivist Foundation was published in 2014.


Binswanger was born into a Jewish family, but he opposes all forms of religion, "ethnicity", and clinging to traditions. Binswanger has been described as an "orthodox" Objectivist who is committed to ideas of his mentor Rand, whom he considers a "once in a millennium genius".[4] Binswanger expressed support for Israel on the Glenn Beck program on Fox News and denies the science of global warming in his Forbes Online column of April 3, 2013.[8] He calls for "absolutely open immigration" in a post on his website.[9]


As author[edit]

  • Binswanger, Harry (1990). The Biological Basis of Teleological Concepts. Los Angeles: Ayn Rand Institute Press. ISBN 0-9625336-0-2. 
  • Binswanger, Harry (2005). "'Free Competition' at Gunpoint". In Hull, Gary. The Abolition of Antitrust. Transaction Publishers. ISBN 0-7658-0282-1. 
  • Binswanger, Harry (2011). "The Dollar and the Gun". In Ralston, Richard E. Why Businessmen Need Philosophy. Irvine, CA: Ayn Rand Institute Press. ISBN 0-9625336-2-9. 
  • Binswanger, Harry (2011). "Philosophy: The Ultimate CEO". In Ralston, Richard E. Why Businessmen Need Philosophy. Irvine, CA: Ayn Rand Institute Press. ISBN 0-9625336-2-9. 
  • Binswanger, Harry (2014). How We Know: Epistemology on an Objectivist Foundation. New York: TOF Publications. ISBN 978-0-9856406-1-3. 

As editor[edit]


  1. ^ The first edition was published in 1979.


  1. ^ Solis-Cohen, Myer (1957). The American descendants of Samuel Binswanger. Myer Solis-Cohen. ASIN B0007HGOJC. 
  2. ^ Gotthelf, Allan & Salmieri, Gregory, eds. (2016). A Companion to Ayn Rand. Blackwell Companions to Philosophy. Chichester, United Kingdom: Wiley Blackwell. p. ix. ISBN 978-1-4051-8684-1. OCLC 932124553. 
  3. ^ New School Bulletin. Vol. 32 no. 5. The New School for Social Research. December 27, 1974. p. 327.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  4. ^ a b McConnell, Scott (2010). "Harry Binswanger". 100 Voices: an Oral History of Ayn Rand. New American Library. pp. 575–611. 
  5. ^ Binswanger, Harry (ed.). "The Objectivist Forum". 
  6. ^ Binswanger, Harry. "The Ayn Rand Lexicon: Objectivism from A to Z". Ayn Rand Institute. 
  7. ^ Binswanger, Harry. "HBL". 
  8. ^ Harry Binswanger (April 3, 2013). "Global Warming: Was It Just A Beautiful Dream After All?". Forbes. 
  9. ^ Binswanger, Harry (June 13, 2015). "For Open Immigration". TOF Publications. 

External links[edit]