Objectivism and Theism:
Notes for Revision and Expansion
— With an Invitation from the Compiler —

Approximately ten years before he died, James Kiefer suffered a head injury that resulted in the partial, but apparently permanent, loss of his memory. Among the memories lost were the passwords to his work computer and the files on it. The printed files from his work computer contained few of his writings, and his own home computer was ancient and no longer working.

Throughout the mid 1970s and early 1980s, James passed on to me an enormous stack of notes and other materials he intended to use in revising Objectivism and Theism. I do not know how far along he ever got on that project (which he considered necessary before publishing the essay himself) — in 1990, he even spoke of a book he intended to publish on the subject. With his death and the apparent loss of all other material on this subject, I have resolved not to let the material in those notes lie dormant. They represent unfinished work, to be sure, but in the absence of the finished product, they are no less valuable for that.

The notes — while well organized — are somewhat disjointed and there are lacunae throughout where James intended to look up some detail or other (e.g., the name of the author of a given book). These lacunae are meticulously noted throughout the dot-matrix printouts he gave me. I have always indicated the lacunae, and, where possible, filled them in.

It is sometimes not clear to me exactly what some of the references in the References are referring to. I have allowed them to stand as I found them in James’s notes; perhaps they will have meaning to other readers. Where I know what the reference is, I supply that information in brackets.

Some of the notes repeat observations and arguments found in the Transcript of the original lecture. I have left them here just as James left them in the printouts. In nearly every case, however, there is some embellishment that was not present in the original lecture, and for which here there is some relevant reference.

I will post them in the order that I get around to them and in the order in which various comments strike me as particularly interesting. Eventually, I hope to get the entire batch transcribed and posted.

The Notes are heavily annotated, mostly with references from Objectivist sources, but other texts are also listed. Readers may consult the references as footnotes linked from the text or — when the essays are long and it is inconvenient for the reader to go back and forth — as side-notes to be read alongside the Notes themselves.

There exist also other short essays James wrote and circulated on bulletin boards and Internet forums. So long as they exist, there is no need to reproduce them here. The interested reader may find them, rather, here. Should they disappear, I have saved the texts so that they will then appear on this site. At some point, I may post a separate of table of contents linking to them.

The invitation alluded to in the title of this page is for any readers of James’s material or correspondents who may have preserved additional texts and notes to feel free to send them to me for posting on this site. Failing that, if they prefer, I urge them to put the material on any other Website they wish, but to notify me so that I can link to it.

Finally, I should mention that James was a meticulous writer and his printouts were carefully proofread. It is a virtual certainty that any errors — spelling errors or errors of omission — that may appear in this transcript of the Notes are my own. I should also note that I have made changes in some of the punctuation; sometimes, although it is perfectly clear and useful for a dot-matrix printout, it is not so on a Website page. Otherwise I have tried to follow his printouts exactly (with allowances for the display conventions of this Website).

Requiescat in pace, frater et magistre. Kyrie eleison. Christe eleison. Kyrie eleison.

Table of Contents of the Notes

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