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Professor of philosophy and business ethics, co-founder of Reason magazine
Tibor Machan

Tibor Richard Machan (18 March 1939 – 24 March 2016) was a Hungarian-American philosopher. A professor emeritus in the department of philosophy at Auburn University, Machan held the R. C. Hoiles Chair of Business Ethics and Free Enterprise at the Argyros School of Business & Economics at Chapman University in Orange, California until 31 December 2014.


Freedom Circle
240x320 JPEG, color - Provided by Professor Machan
Freedom Circle
284x378 JPEG, color - Provided by Professor Machan - Tibor Machan
200x307 JPEG, color


18 Mar 1939, Tibor Richard Machan, in Budapest, Hungary


24 Mar 2016, in Silverado Canyon, California


Laissez Faire Books
Machan (b. 1939) is a leading philosopher of individualism. For more than three decades, he has fought the good fight in the academic world. Smuggled out of Hungary in 1953, he earned his B.A. at Claremont McKenna College, his M.A. at New York University and Ph.D. at the University of California at Santa Barbara. All degrees in philosophy. He certainly is industrious. Influenced by Ayn Rand, he was among the original partners in Reason magazine which he edited for two years, and he edited Reason Papers.


Advocates for Self-Government, Board of Advisors
Cato Institute, Adjunct Scholar
Independent Institute, Research Fellow
Reason Foundation, Co-founder

Web Pages

Advocates for Self-Government - Libertarian Education: Tibor Machan - Libertarian
Includes picture and biography (from Laissez Faire Books)
He wrote The Pseudo-Science of B.F. Skinner (1974), Human Rights and Human Liberties (1975), The Freedom Philosophy (1987), Marxism: A Bourgeois Critique (1988), The Moral Case for the Free Market Economy: A Philosophical Argument (1988), Individuals and Their Rights (1989), Liberty and Culture: Essays on the Idea of a Free Society (1989), Capitalism and Individualism: Reforming the Argument for the Free Society (1990), The Virtue of Liberty (1994), Private Rights and Public Illusions (1995), A Primer on Ethics (1997), Generosity: Virtue in Civil Society (1998), Classical Individualism (1999), and Initiative: Human Agency and Society (2000).
Tibor R. Machan | Hoover Institution
Includes picture, biography, areas of expertise and links to commentary (up to July 2010)
Tibor R. Machan was a research fellow at the Hoover Institution. ... He lectures regularly on political philosophy and business ethics ... He has contributed to numerous scholarly journals, including American Philosophical Quarterly, Philosophy of Science, International Journal of Social Economics, and others. ... Machan was a guest on Firing Line and numerous other interview programs. He cohosted, with the late Sidney Hook, the television program For the Love of Work, on the ideas of Karl Marx. He was featured on C-Span 2's three-hour In Depth book program on May 1, 2011.

Archived Columns

Tibor R. Machan - Orange County Register
Columns up to Jan 2012

Archived Articles

Strike The Root: A Journal of Liberty
From Sep 2003 to Apr 2004
Tibor R. Machan | Mises Institute
From 1998 to Jan 2011


Tibor's space
Posts from Jan 2008 to Aug 2015


Ayn Rand & Objectivism - Tibor Machan, The Daily Objectivist
Review of Machan's Ayn Rand
Philosophical hero Tibor R. Machan has championed the cause of reason and freedom for decades. A founder and early editor of Reason magazine, he also is the editor of Reason Papers and author of hundreds of cutting-edge articles and books. Nobody is better qualified than Machan to author Ayn Rand, a concise yet comprehensive introduction to Rand's ideas. Machan knew Rand personally, if briefly; he was 'cast adrift' very early on. But Machan's interest in Rand's ideas and work has remained strong. His book demonstrates a deep sympathy and understanding of her project, as well as a completely independent perspective.
Related Topic: Ayn Rand
Bob Poole Remembers Tibor Machan, A Fellow Founding Co-Editor of Reason Magazine, by Robert W. Poole, Jr., 25 Mar 2016
Memorial essay, highlighting Machan's life, his involvement with Reason and the Reason Foundation, and some of his writings
Tibor was born in Budapest in 1939. He was such an individualist, that he already loathed Communism as a young teenager. For his own safety, his mother decided to have him smuggled out of Hungary at age 14. He made his way to the United States, and joined the Air Force rather than waiting to be drafted into the Army. There he discovered the novels of Ayn Rand, which led him to attend college at Claremont McKenna College, graduate school at NYU, and obtain a PhD in philosophy at UC Santa Barbara in 1971 ... in late 1969 ... Tibor and I became friends, and during 1970 brainstormed the idea of buying Reason ...
Individuals And Their Rights by Tibor R. Machan, by David M. Brown, The Freeman, Jun 1990
Review of Tibor Machan's 1989 book Individuals and Their Rights
In his new and very readable book on our natural rights, philosopher Tibor R. Machan has accepted a task that too many contemporary advocates of liberty regard as almost beside the point. ... Machan defends his thesis ably against several contending theories, and is generally effective in doing so. He pays careful attention to what his colleagues are arguing and gives their theories their due before exposing their fallacies. My one gripe with his approach and with the entire book is his tendency to garnish perfectly plain and defensible contentions with unnecessary qualifications ...
Interview with Robert Poole, by Robert W. Poole, Jr., Karen Minto, William Minto, Full Context, May 1999
Topics discussed range from Poole's early influences, Ayn Rand, getting interested in policy analysis, the Goldwater campaign, the LP, Reason Foundation, the professionals who helped him the most and his passion for privatization
In early 1970 when I told Lanny I was moving to Santa Barbara, he told me I should look up Tibor Machan, who had also written for Reason and was getting his Ph.D. in philosophy at UCSB. So I did, and we became friends. The two of us dreamed up the idea of creating a part-time business to take over Reason, when it became evident that Lanny couldn't make a go of it. Manny Klausner heard Tibor talk about libertarian ideas on a KPFK radio program and called him up ... Tibor Machan was the first philosopher I ever knew, and discussions with him over the years deepened my appreciation for Objectivism and for the power of ideas.
Introduction to Philosophical Inquiries, by Lester Hunt, Reason, Sep 1977
Brief review of Tibor Machan's book Introduction to Philosophical Inquiries
Here we find that Machan's attitude toward philosophy is a rather peculiar one in today's context: he believes that philosophy is valuable practically, because it seeks the truth about matters of absolute importance. ... Professor Machan does not regard philosophical theories merely as a series of 'isms' that should be mastered as a part of one's liberal education. His primary aim is always to aid us in deciding, rationally, which positions are true. He carefully shows the plausibility of each one, as well as the difficulties each one inevitably encounters.
Related Topic: Philosophy
Libertarianism: The Moral and the Practical, by Sheldon Richman, Future of Freedom, May 2014
Explores whether libertarian policies should distinguish between moral and practical concerns, with insigths from Aristotle, Adam Smith, Tibor Machan, Henry Hazlitt, Roderick Long and others
In commenting on this passage, Tibor Machan and David Brown wrote, in "The Self-Imposed Poverty of Economics,"
Smith saw that when morality, or ethics, is conceived along lines that would be fully realized in the work of Immanuel Kant ... But prudence—recognized as a prominent virtue indeed in the ethics of Socrates and Aristotle—would make plenty of room for an ethical conception of most economic activity ... With prudence expelled from the moral realm, however, all the economists can do to render commerce and business respectable is to collapse them ... into expressions of near-bodily functions à la Hobbes ...
The Moral Case for Freedom Is the Practical Case for Freedom, by Sheldon Richman, The Goal Is Freedom, 27 Dec 2013
Considers whether it is reasonable to draw distinctions between moral and practical arguments for freedom
In commenting on this passage [from The Wealth of Nations], Tibor Machan and David Brown wrote, in "The Self-Imposed Poverty of Economics,"
Smith saw that when morality, or ethics, is conceived along lines that would be fully realized in the work of Immanuel Kant—who denied that anything done to advance one's own cause can have moral significance—moral thinking cannot embrace the virtue of prudence, or practical wisdom. ... But prudence—recognized as a prominent virtue indeed in the ethics of Socrates and Aristotle—would make plenty of room for an ethical conception of most economic activity ...
Tibor Machan, a Founding Editor of Reason, RIP, by Nick Gillespie, 25 Mar 2016
Memorial tribute, describing Machan's involvement with Reason through the years, includes two videos, one of Machan discussing Ayn Rand and another in a panel with his co-founders and a former editor
Tibor's impact and influence on the growth and development of Reason can't be overstated. Especially in those early years, he brought not just a rigorous philosophical mind-set to our pages but, as a refugee from communist Hungary, a personal fire for individual liberty and a free society that energized all our efforts. Tibor was also a longtime columnist and consultant to Freedom Communications and the author and editor of dozens of books on topics including Ayn Rand's Objectivism, what he called 'the pseudo-science of B.F. Skinner' and other behaviorist psychologists, animal rights, and much more.
Related Topic: Reason
Tibor Machan - Hero of the Day, The Daily Objectivist, 2000
Biographical profile listing some of Machan's many works, how he discovered Ayn Rand and Nathaniel Branden but was later "blackballed"
Like many another great American champion of liberty, Tibor Machan was born abroad. He was smuggled out of Hungary in 1953 and immigrated to the United States from Germany a few years later. ... 'I became aware of Ayn Rand when I was a young man in the U.S. Air Force,' says Tibor. 'I read her novels The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged. The former inspired me, the latter provoked a good deal of reflection. Several of us stayed up into many weekend nights at Andrews Air Force Base, in the summer of 1962, examining the philosophical themes covered in Galt's famous speech. ...'


Boxer's Confusion about Ownership, 4 May 2007
Explains the absurdity of California Senator Barbara Boxer's statement that public lands are "owned ... by the American people" by recalling a story about Ludwig Wittgenstein
California Senator Barbara Boxer sent around a letter to the editor that was published in The OC Register on April 30th, hoping to clarify 'my[!] California Wild Heritage Act.' 'She states in this letter that the approximately 2.3 million acres included in the bill are all publicly owned lands ...' ... The idea that some kind of fair general, universal use can be made of public lands is a myth, one identified by, among others, Thucydides. As he observed, when people own things in common, 'each fancies that no harm will come to his neglect, that it is the business of somebody else to look after this or that for him ...'
On gouging, Rational Review, 8 Sep 2004
Discusses various sides of the issue of gouging, from generosity, to economic justification and being well-prepared or not, due to other life challenges, concluding with advice for politicians and bureaucrats
During most emergencies there are those who could certainly use quite a bit of help and it is on such occasions that complaints about gouging surface most vociferously. The recent tropical storms and hurricanes in the Southeast saw many people having to board up their homes and businesses and evacuate the area for safer regions. ... The bottom line is that these are matters of human choice and there is no universal principle to guide us all to a one-size-fits-all policy. Discretion and good judgment are what are needed, certainly not some politicians and bureaucrats rushing in where even fools dare not tread.
Related Topic: Prices
Some reflections on Georgism, Rational Review, 29 Jul 2004
Argues against the Henry George idea that since land was not made by any individual, nobody can claim ownership rights over it
n his famous book, Progress and Poverty, Henry George argues that there is at least one value that should not be privately owned. No one can claim the right to any land since no one has produced it. Land, therefore, must be viewed as belonging to everyone and individuals or groups ought to pay a fee­-- the single tax -- for making use of it for their own purposes. ... There is a fallacy that one commits when one denies property rights in land and yet claims that all land was initially stolen. This is what Nathaniel Branden has dubbed the 'stolen concept fallacy.'
Why Markets Are Dreaded, 27 Apr 2007
Insights on why higher education professionals prefer not to have to compete in "markets" and instead want governments to run colleges and universities
In one of those vapid, in-house disputes often published in The New York Review of Books’s letters-to-the-editor sections, we can read about a disagreement among educational experts under the heading "Scandals in Higher Education: An Exchange" ... If the discussion gets this far with one of these righteous defenders of their—unequal!—professional privilege, one soon hears about everyone's equal positive rights to whatever is of benefit to them in life. This is one widely hailed doctrine that's deployed when the enslavement of us all is advocated to justify keeping these erudite folks on the dole!
Related Topics: Business, Free Market, Government

Books Authored

Ayn Rand, 1 Mar 2000
Contents: Ayn Rand, Iconoclast - Intellectual Iconoclast - Rand on Axiomatic Concepts - Rand's Moral Philosophy - Rand's Rational Individualism - Rand versus Marx - Rand's Moriarty - Room for Work
Related Topic: Ayn Rand
Classical Individualism: The Supreme Importance of Each Human Being, 1998
Generosity: Virtue in the Civil Society
    by Tibor Machan, Cato Institute, 1998
Contents: Generosity, A Benevolent Virtue - Dimensions of Generosity: Private, Social, and Political - Institutional Generosity - Generosity via Government? - Blocked Exchanges
Individual Rights Reconsidered: Are the Truths of the U.S. Declaration of Independence Lasting?
    by Tibor Machan (editor), 2001
The Man Without a Hobby: Adventures of a Gregarious Egoist, 2004
The Passion for Liberty, Aug 2003
Partial contents: Opposing Senses of Freedom - Why Capitalism Squares with Morality - Immigration Into a Free Society - Military Defense of the Free Society - Liberty: Economic Versus Moral Benefits - Reflections On the Right to Private Property
Related Topic: Liberty
A Primer on Business Ethics, 2003
Related Topics: Business, Ethics
Putting Humans First: Why We Are Nature's Favorite, 2004
Related Topic: Rights

The introductory paragraph uses material from the Wikipedia article "Tibor Machan" as of 29 May 2018, which is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.