Wikia

Psychology Wiki

Nathaniel Branden

Talk0
34,143pages on
this wiki

Assessment | Biopsychology | Comparative | Cognitive | Developmental | Language | Individual differences | Personality | Philosophy | Social |
Methods | Statistics | Clinical | Educational | Industrial | Professional items | World psychology |

Philosophy Index: Aesthetics · Epistemology · Ethics · Logic · Metaphysics · Consciousness · Philosophy of Language · Philosophy of Mind · Philosophy of Science · Social and Political philosophy · Philosophies · Philosophers · List of lists


Part of the Politics series on
Libertarianism

Factions
Agorism
Geolibertarianism
Left-libertarianism
Minarchism
Neolibertarianism
Paleolibertarianism

Influences
Austrian School
Anarchism
Anarcho-capitalism
Classical liberalism
Objectivism

Ideas
Civil liberties
Free markets
Laissez-faire
Liberty
Non-aggression
Self-ownership
Free trade

Key issues
Parties
Economic views
Views of rights
Theories of law

Politics Portal · edit

</span>

Nathaniel Branden is a psychotherapist and author of psychology books and multiple articles on ethical and political philosophy. In addition to his work on the psychology of self-esteem, Branden has also played a prominent role in developing and promoting Ayn Rand's philosophic system, which is known as Objectivism.

Branden was born in 1930 with the name Nathan Blumenthal in Brampton, Ontario, Canada. He received a BA in psychology from the University of California Los Angeles. He received a Ph.D. in psychology from a small, unaccredited institution known as The California Graduate Institute.


BiographyEdit

In 1950, after having exchanged letters and phone calls, 19-year-old Branden met novelist-philosopher Ayn Rand. The pair went on to develop an eighteen-year personal and professional relationship. Eventually, Rand and the much younger Branden had a romantic affair, despite both being married (they first sought the consent of their spouses).

For many years Branden was considered to be the leading figure in the Objectivist movement, second only to Rand herself. He was the leader of a group of Rand's closest associates known as the "Collective", which also included his wife Barbara Branden and Alan Greenspan. Rand considered him to be her soul mate and designated him her "intellectual heir". In the late 50's Branden founded the Nathaniel Branden Institute to promote Objectivism through guest lectures and educational seminars around the United States. The NBI became enormously successful, and soon expanded to offices all over the US and around the world.

In 1968, the close relationship between Rand and Branden came to an abrupt end when Rand discovered that Branden was having a sexual relationship with a third woman, actress Patrecia Scott. Rand then expelled Branden from the Objectivist movement. In a public announcement, she did not mention the relationship as such, but cited his alleged misuse of funds among other factors in the decision. Branden subsequently admitted to behaving "irrationally" [1] in his personal relationship with Rand, though he also stated in his memoirs that he considered Rand's move a hysterical over-reaction. The two never reconciled, and Branden remained persona non grata in the Objectivist movement. Shortly thereafter Branden moved from New York to California and married Patrecia Scott (a divorce with Barbara having occurred before his break with Ayn). Scott died in a freak accident in 1977, and Branden married a third time in 1978, wedding businesswoman Devers Israel, from whom he is also divorced.


Post-Objectivist careerEdit

In 1989 Branden published his account of this time in his life. The memoir was entitled Judgment Day. Then in 1999, Branden re-published a revised edition, entitled My Years with Ayn Rand. Branden's account provides an inside view of Ayn Rand as a person, the development of Objectivism, its inner circle, and the tumultuous relationships between Ayn Rand and her associates.

Branden has since rejected certain elements of the Objectivist philosophy, particularly its cognitivist view of psychology, and his memoirs chronicle many of the emotionally repressive elements of Rand, some of which he argues show up in her fiction. He likewise argued that followers' obsession with Rand herself led to an unhealthy cult of personality within the movement, damaging the common-sense of both Rand and other Objectivists.

As a psychologist Branden has elucidated the crucial role of self-esteem in psychological health, and has outlined the volitional practices he has observed to be essential to achieving and maintaining self-esteem. As a therapist, Branden developed the sentence completion method, a powerful and sophisticated psychotherapeutic tool that can be used both to make unconscious thoughts and feelings conscious, and to transform limiting beliefs and attitudes.

Politically, Branden has retained most of his strict capitalist political views, though some of these have evolved since the split with Rand: for example, unlike Rand, he says he "will leave the door open for emergency situations that I just can’t imagine being resolved in a free market context [like natural disasters and epidemics]. If they could be, then they should be. But the fact of emergencies should not be made as justification for violating individual rights, so as you can see, it’s a very tiny difference." In addition to changing his views on Objectivism, he now views Objectivists differently: "Philosophical principles are no substitute for thinking, yet many Objectivists act as if they were."[2]

Nathaniel Branden continues to write and practice psychotherapy in Los Angeles, California, as well as present seminars and workshops on self-esteem. He is affiliated with the United States Libertarian Party, though he was unenthusiastic about it in the 2004 election.[3] Most "orthodox" Objectivists like those at the Ayn Rand Institute oppose libertarianism outright (see libertarianism and Objectivism for more information).


BooksEdit

Nathaniel Branden's 20 books have been translated into 18 languages, with more than 4 million copies in print.


CriticismsEdit

  • Valliant, James S. (2005) The Passion of Ayn Rand's Critics, Dallas: Durban House. ISBN 1-930654-67-1. This book alleges errors in his biographical work on Ayn Rand.


External links Edit

Wikiquote-logo-en
Wikiquote has a collection of quotations related to:
This page uses Creative Commons Licensed content from Wikipedia (view authors).

Around Wikia's network

Random Wiki