Politics scholar at New York University, editor of The Journal of Ayn Rand Studies

Chris Matthew Sciabarra (born 17 February 1960) is an American political theorist based in Brooklyn, New York. He is the author of three scholarly books—Marx, Hayek, and Utopia, Ayn Rand: The Russian Radical and Total Freedom: Toward a Dialectical Libertarianism—as well as several shorter works. He is also the co-editor, with Mimi Reisel Gladstein, of Feminist Interpretations of Ayn Rand. His work has focused on topics including Objectivism, libertarianism (particularly the work of Friedrich Hayek and Murray Rothbard) and dialectics.

Archived Articles

Sense of Life Objectivists
since Apr 2002


Chris Matthew Sciabarra - Hero of the Day, The Daily Objectivist, 2000
Nathaniel Branden, by Nathaniel Branden, Karen Reedstrom, Full Context, Sep 1996
In two parts; topics range from David Kelley, objectivisim, Ayn Rand, his memoir Judgment Day, Barbara Branden, Leonard Peikoff, homosexuality, self-esteem and more
"Q: You have expressed admiration for Dr. Sciabarra's book, Ayn Rand: The Russian Radical. What do you see as the chief importance of this book?
Branden: He has brought Ayn Rand into the history of philosophy. He has attempted to place her in a historical context. Whether or not he's right in all his hypotheses is not the most important point. So far, his is the book most likely to gain the interest of the academic community, and that interest is essential if one is thinking long-range about the spread of Objectivism. You've got to get the teaching of Objectivism into the universities."


Branden, Nathaniel (1930-2014), The Encyclopedia of Libertarianism, 15 Aug 2008
Biographical essay
"Nathaniel Branden (born Nathan Blumenthal) is known to many as 'the father of the self-esteem movement.' Branden is the author of 20 books that explore the philosophical, psychological, and cultural foundations of individualism and the free society. Having developed a close personal relationship with novelist and philosopher Ayn Rand (whom he met as a college student in 1950), in 1958 Branden started Nathaniel Branden Lectures, in which he addressed and expanded on the psychological issues raised by Rand. These lectures were later formalized into the Nathaniel Branden Institute (NBI)."
Related Topics: Nathaniel Branden, Society
Dialectics and Liberty: A Defense of Dialectical Method in the Service of a Libertarian Social Theory, The Freeman, Sep 2005
Written ten years after publication of the first of Sciabarra's "Dialectic and Liberty" book trilogy, discusses Hayek's and Rand's dialectical analysis approaches and suggests that such context-keeping analysis is important in radical libertarian theory
"What is dialectics? Dialectics is the art of context-keeping. It counsels us to study the object of our inquiry from a variety of perspectives and levels of generality, so as to gain a more comprehensive picture of it. That study often requires that we grasp the object in terms of the larger system within which it is situated, as well as its development across time."
Herbert Spencer - Hero of the Day, The Daily Objectivist, 2000
"... the history of liberalism is replete with rich, textured, context-sensitive thinking. In this regard, Herbert Spencer (1820-1903) was one of the most important classical liberal thinkers to pioneer an alternative 'dialectical libertarianism.' His contributions to this project have yet to be fully appreciated, although his contributions to general systems theory in sociology are well known."
Related Topic: Herbert Spencer
How I Became a Libertarian, 19 Dec 2002
"... [Rand's] was an articulated philosophy that gave me encouragement not to wallow in self-pity and dismay, but to make the most of my potentialities. ... as an undergraduate, I chose a triple major in economics, politics, and history ... I was a founding member of the NYU Chapter of Students for a Libertarian Society."
Rand, Ayn (1905-1982), The Encyclopedia of Libertarianism, 15 Aug 2008
Biographical essay
"Ayn Rand, a controversial novelist and philosopher, was born in Russia, but emigrated to the United States when she was 21. ... The realization of human freedom requires, in Rand's view, a simultaneous commitment to reason, egoism, and individualism. Absent any of these prerequisites, freedom cannot long survive. Despite her antipathy to this anarchic brand of libertarianism, however, Rand profoundly inspired a generation of individuals to pursue the goal of a libertarian society. ... Although Rand died in 1982, her legacy lives on in many segments of the libertarian intellectual movement."


Interview with Chris Matthew Sciabarra, by Chris Matthew Sciabarra, Peter Jaworski, 22 Apr 2002
"Context-keeping means that one must understand any political idea, like freedom, in terms of its philosophical, cultural, and historical preconditions. One must never drop the larger context: the fact that political freedom requires intellectual freedom and economic freedom, and that certain social-psychological and cultural preconditions are necessary if one is to sustain freedom."

Books Authored

Ayn Rand: The Russian Radical, 1995
Partial contents: One: The Process of Becoming - Synthesis in Russian Culture - Lossky, the Teacher - Educating Alissa - The Maturation of Ayn Rand - Two: The Revolt Against Dualism - Being - Knowing - Reason and Emotion - Art, Philosophy, and Efficacy
Related Topic: Ayn Rand
Ayn Rand, Homosexuality, and Human Liberation, 2003
Foreword by Lindsay Perigo; from the introduction: examines "Ayn Rand's impact on the sexual attitudes of self-identified Objectivists in the movement to which she gave birth and the gay subcultures that she would have disowned"
Related Topic: Ayn Rand
Feminist Interpretations of Ayn Rand
    by Chris Matthew Sciabarra (Editor, Introduction), 1999
Collection of 19 essays, edited by Mimi Reisel Gladstein and Chris Matthew Sciabarra, including essays by Barbara Branden, Nathaniel Branden, Susan Brownmiller, Gladstein, Wendy McElroy, Camille Paglia, Sharon Presley, Joan Kennedy Taylor and Judith Wilt
Related Topic: Ayn Rand
Marx, Hayek, and Utopia, 1995
Contents: Hayekian Dialectics - Utopian Intentions and Unintended Consequences - Constructivism and Human Efficacy - Capitalism and Dualism - Marxian Dialectics - The Marxian Utopia - The Challenge of a New Left - Utopianism and the Radical Project
Related Topic: Friedrich Hayek
Total Freedom: Toward a Dialectical Libertarianism, 2000
Partial Contents: Aristotle: The Fountainhead - From Aristotle to Hegel - After Hegel - Defining Dialectics - Foundations - The Market versus the State - Class Dynamics and Structural Crisis - On the Precipice of Utopia - The Dialectical Libertarian Turn

The introductory paragraph uses material from the Wikipedia article "Chris Matthew Sciabarra" as of 30 Nov 2017, which is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.