Jon L. writes in post 89:
"I recall Peikoff saying in an interview that she demanded she was no smarter than other philosophers. When asked how she accounted for all of her discoveries, as opposed to all their blunders throughout historyóshe insisted that it was her unyielding honesty. (He said he respectfully disagreed with her because he was certainly honest growing up, yet he didnít discover anything.)"
I don't know if LP said that in an interview, but he talked about this in a speech titled "My Thirty Years with Ayn Rand: An Intellectual Memoir" which he gave on April 26, 1987, at the Ford Hall Forum. The speech was then reprinted in *The Objectivist Forum* for June 1987, pp. 13-14 (copyright 1987 by TOF Publications, Inc.).
Her basic error [he's talking about what he describes as Rand's tendency to be taken in by dishonest people who seemed enthused by her ideas] was that she took herself as the human standard or norm (as in a sense we all must do, since we have no direct contact with any human consciousness but our own). So if she saw all the outward signs of philosophical enthusiasm and activity, she took it to mean that the individual was, in effect, an intellectual equal of hers, who regarded ideas in the same way she did. After a long while, I came to understand this error. I realized how extraordinary her mind really was, and I tried to explain to her her many disappointments with people.
"You are suffering the fate of a genius trapped in a rotten culture," I would begin. "My distinctive attribute," she would retort, "is not genius, but intellectual honesty." "That is part of it," I would concede, "but after all I am intellectually honest, too, and it doesn't make me the kind of epochal mind who can write *Atlas Shrugged* or discover Objectivism." "One can't look at oneself that way," she would answer me. "No one can say, 'Ah me! the genius of the ages.' My perspective as a creator has to be not 'How great I am' but 'How true this idea is and how clear, if only men were honest enough to face the truth.'" So, for understandable reasons, we reached an impasse. She kept hoping to meet an equal; I knew that she never would. For once, I felt, I had the broad historical perspective, the perspective on her, that in the nature of the case she could not have.
Nathaniel tells a similar story in (both versions of) his memoirs about her saying that "honesty" was her fundamental characteristic and not being willing to ascribe any of her abilities to "genius." Sorry, I don't recall off-hand where in the respective books the passage appears and haven't time to search.
Re the begging the question indicated in Bob Mac's post 91, sure does look like question begging to me.