|Dr. Kenneth R.
Livingston is an Associate Professor of Psychology at
Vassar College. He has written widely on the relationship
between psychology and philosophy, and was a popular
lecturer at the Institute for Objectivist Studies Summer Seminar in 1994.
"I grew up in central Florida,
in pre-Disney World Orlando. I was born in Ohio but
we left there when I was four, so I don't remember
that. With the exception of a two-year stint in
Birmingham, Alabama, in my junior high school years,
all of my growing up was in the Orlando area. I
suppose my most significant ideological influences
were from my father. He was a very staunch
individualist and politically conservative, although
I wasn't really familiar with those labels during
those years. His individualism didn't extend to life
in the family, however, which he ran like the Marine
Corps sergeant he had once been. Without intending
it, he made us all much more sensitive to issues of
liberty than mere words could have done. In addition,
Orlando was in general a relatively conservative
area, the southern end of the Bible Belt. Largely as
a result of my mother's insistence I had a pretty
strong southern Baptist upbringing until I was 15 or
so and rebelled against it, which was a cause of
considerable turmoil in our family. That was a
powerful psychological influence."
Excerpted from Full Context's
interview with Ken Livingston.
Livinston's recent work involves assessing the empirical
support for Ayn Rand's theory of concept-formation, and
how it fares against its theoretical rivals from
cognitive psychology. Some of this work was presented at
the IOS Summer Seminar (1996).
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