Returning to Reason
 Essays by Francis H. Parker and Henry B. Veatch

Introduction

In 1974, in addition to publishing Books for Libertarians, Robert Kephart inaugurated Libertarian Review Press as part of his Libertarian Review project. Its purpose was to publish works that were of interest to libertarians and that either had never seen the light of day or had long been out of print. (The Recoveries section of this Website may be seen in part as a kind of continuation of that project.)

By way of testing the waters, his first publication was The Case for a 100 Percent Gold Dollar, by Murray N. Rothbard, which had originally appeared in Leland B. Yeager, ed., In Search of a Monetary Constitution, in 1962. The 43-page booklet contained an introduction by Mark Skousen. (It is now available on-line, the Skousen introduction having been replaced by a 1991 preface by Rothbard.)

Encouraged by the success of the publication, Kephart engaged Roy Childs and me to sort through a number of other essays by Rothbard that had long been out of print. The collection that resulted was Egalitarianism as a Revolt against Nature and Other Essays. (The book’s later appearance on the Mises website was delayed by the fact that no one at the Institute seemed to own a copy of the original. Your humble servant was pleased to fill that lacuna for them.)

At the same time, Kephart was considering publishing Murray Rothbard’s semi-autobiographical Betrayal of the American Right, which then existed only in manuscript form. Justin Raimondo’s biography of Rothbard, An Enemy of the State, gives an account of the decision not to publish that book, which account is, shall we say, incomplete if not misleading.

Departing from specifically libertarian themes, Childs and I persuaded Kephart to reprint two important essays from John Wild’s 1953 collection The Return to Reason: Essays in Realistic Philosophy (Chicago: Henry Regnery), viz. “Realistic Epistemology,” by Francis H. Parker, and “For a Realistic Logic,” by Henry B. Veatch. (Brand Blanshard’s review of the Wild book may be found here.)

The project got as far as page proofs before Kephart determined that LR Press was not sufficiently successful to continue. The text that appears on this website comes from those page proofs. As suggested above, the entire Wild book is available on-line in a variety of formats. I am including the two excerpts from the book on this site because they are sufficiently important to enjoy a wide presence on the Internet and because they are otherwise difficult to find individually using search engines.

Moreover, as Frank Parker says at the end of his essay, “Anything approaching a fully satisfactory explanation of these phenomena [of knowledge] requires the co-operative efforts of all those who believe that there is a world of real existence independent of human minds and that this real existence can be truly known as it really is.” I am one such person, and I am happy to be able to add my own small co-operative effort to the project he called for.

Finally, my thanks to my friend Steve Thompson, whose assistance in the production of these essays has been invaluable.

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