Full Context - An International Objectivist Publication
Full Context - An International Objectivist Publication Full Context - An International Objectivist Publication Full Context - An International Objectivist Publication Full Context - An International Objectivist Publication Full Context - An International Objectivist Publication Full Context - An International Objectivist Publication

Editorial Policy


In order that prospective readers, subscribers and contributors will have a clear idea of what to expect from Full Context, and to ensure that decisions regarding the publishability of letters, editorials and commentaries are made as objectively as possible, the following is a statement of Full Context's editorial mission and policies.

Full Context's historical project is fundamental to its editorial identity. Full Context began publishing in October 1988, several months beforethe split between the two leading Objectivist intellectuals, Drs. David Kelley and Leonard Peikoff. The split brought to the surface some long-standing and fundamental disagreements regarding the interpretation of Ayn Rand's philosophy, and effectively divided the adherents of the philosophy into two roughly equally sized camps. The emergence of the "Cold War" between the two sides is chronicled in the back issues of Full Context. Essayists traded both critiques and barbs as they developed their responses to the central documents of the rift (Kelley's "A Question of Sanction" and Truth and Toleration, and Peikoff's "Fact and Value").

From its earliest days, Full Context's pages have been filled with controversial thought and opinion, befitting an open forum for the discussion of ideas. It will continue to document the history of Objectivism as it unfolds, through the eyes of the movement's leading intellectuals, activists, writers and artists, and through the conversations among subscribers and editorial contributors. By reading about the ideas, lives and struggles of others who have been influenced by Ayn Rand, Full Context aims to enlighten, entertain, and inspire.

Editorial Mission

  • To provide an entertaining and provocative journal of ideas and opinion for people who are familiar with, and sympathetic to, the philosophy of Objectivism.
  • To provide a record of the historical development and significance of the Objectivist movement as documented in conversation with its most accomplished intellectuals, activists, commentators and artists.
  • To promote self-confidence in the area of intellectual activism by encouraging editorial submissions that are original, topical, and thought-provoking. We devote a substantial amount of space for the presentation of content that is somewhat more tentative and "experimental" than will be found in more traditional Objectivist forums, such as The IOS Journal, Navigator or The Intellectual Activist. On the other hand, the editors require that submissions be considerably more self-contained, concise, and essentialized than typically found in email discussion lists and Usenet newsgroups.
  • To foster the expansion of Objectivism as an intellectual movement, by encouraging the development of positions that interpret, extend, apply or challenge Objectivism in new ways, and by providing a growing body of work that can provide resources for activism, scholarship, or personal enrichment.
  • To provide Objectivists with an antidote to "spiritual isolation" by fostering a sense of community through publication of interviews that provide insights into the personal lives, tastes, and struggles of other members of that community.
  • To provide Objectivists with a source of inspiration and moral courage by publishing accounts of the achievement of professional or creative excellence, of trials won and tribulations overcome.
Principles of Editorial Policy
  • Openness. To promote an attitude of intellectual independence within the Objectivist community, Full Context is to be an open forum for the discussion of ideas from an Objectivist perspective. We are a forum by and for laypersons as well as academics; we value contributions to abstract technical arguments as well as practical wisdom borne of life experience.
  • Originality. To encourage the advancement of knowledge and to stimulate our own thinking, we encourage original contributions, even when the material is controversial. The editors practice the virtue of independence, and that is what our readers expect of us and our editorial contributors.
  • Reasonableness. To clarify our convictions as Objectivists, and to sharpen our awareness of their implications, we require submissions to be focused on ideas, be presented objectively and carefully, and that writers "state their premises." We do not accept the argument that "passion" justifies emotionalism, or ad hominem attacks.
  • Controversiality. To promote political self-confidence, controversial opinions are expressed in Full Context, and we welcome well-argued, informed submissions that are off the beaten path. We do not reject articles because they dissent from the "standard line." Controversiality is part and parcel of the kind of debate and aggressive testing necessary if Objectivism is to evolve into a body of ideas detailed and robust enough to withstand the much more hostile intellectual environment of the culture at large. If Full Context doesn't print something every once and a while that gets you so mad you'll almost cancel your subscription, then we are not doing our job at providing an open forum for thought-provoking original writings.
  • Broad interest. We aim for editorial content that is diverse, including articles on weighty philosophical subjects as well as on art, psychology, ethics, social theory, etc., and making sure that each issue, a different set of questions and subjects is addressed. They say you can please all of the people most of the time ... so that is what we try to do.
Revised: April 11, 1999

(c) 2000 Full Context