Objectivism is a very complicated subject, so I have compiled a list of resources that I have found helpful thus far in my own studies. Click on the tabs below to see the different types of resources. Items are listed in alphabetically order and those added in the last 7 days have the icon preceding the entry.
These audio recordings cover a wide range of material. Some are specifically about Objectivism while others explore topics such as history through an objectivist lens.
In addition to the specific recordings noted below, you can also find a large number of lectures, and Q&A sessions, free on SoundCloud.
- Altruism vs Principles - Peter SchwartzAltruists smear egoism as being a system of whim-worship, while they portray their own ethics as one that is based on firm principle. But the opposite is true. It is egoism that embraces moral principles and altruism that repudiates them. And what altruism rejects is not merely the principles of egoism, but morality itself. This talk shows how the demand for self-sacrifice includes the demand that your moral values be surrendered in service to the needs of others. Mr. Schwartz discusses the indefinability of "need," as that term is used by altruism, and explains why the enshrinement of need as the standard is actually the enshrinement of emotionalism. He demonstrates how the code of altruism categorically denies the idea of objective standards, thereby negating not only moral principles, but principles as such.America’s Persecuted Minority: Big Business - Ayn RandIn this lecture and associated Q&A session, Ayn Rand discusses how business, big business especially, is the one minority in America that no one care to defend. As she says at the beginning of the lecture, given in 1961:
The defense of minority rights is acclaimed today virtually by everyone, as a moral principle of a high order. But this principle, which forbids discrimination, is applied by most of the "liberal" intellectuals in a discriminatory manner: it is applied only to racial or religious minorities. It is not applied to that small, exploited, denounced, defenseless minority which consists of businessmen.Analyzing Libertarianism: A Case Study in Thinking in Principles - Peter SchwartzThis talk delves into the thinking process by which Libertarianism—or any "complex" ideology—should be analyzed. Mr. Schwartz examines his article "Libertarianism: The Perversion of Liberty" and recreates the various stages of thinking—including the mistaken premises entailed in his original, working title—he went through in order to write it.Aristotle: Father of Romanticism - Robert MayhewCould there have been a Romantic school of art if not for the ideas of Aristotle? These three classes address this intriguing question.Aristotle’s Theory of Knowledge - Greg Salmieri
Aristotle is the father and chief defender of the view that the human mind is capable of achieving a deep and rich understanding of the world in terms of fundamental principles, which can be derived ultimately from sense-perception. His view can be contrasted with rationalism (the view that understanding is made possible only by principles grasped independently of perception) and with empiricism (the view that we have no way of grasping such principles and so are limited to superficially describing unintelligible phenomena). Aristotle's position represents a high point in the history of human thought, but the writings in which he expressed it are so obscure that most readers find it difficult to appreciate their significance or even to make sense of them. Nothing else in the philosophical canon is at once so seemingly incomprehensible and so eminently worth comprehending.
This course offers a way into this difficult material. The student will be introduced to Aristotle's most important insights into the nature of knowledge and the methods by which we can achieve it; and he will be pointed to the texts in which these insights can be found and provided with a context that will enable him to explore them profitably.
The supplemental materials include Dr. Salmieri's translations of all the passages discussed (with ample surrounding context) as well as recommendations for further reading on each of the topics covered.Ayn Rand’s Philosophic Achievement - Harry BinswangerFor the centenary of Ayn Rand's birth, these two lectures take stock of and summarize her immense achievement and philosophic legacy: the philosophy of Objectivism. Dr. Binswanger singles out for discussion six pivotal breakthroughs that form the core of Objectivism. Then he identifies the overarching conception that integrates these breakthroughs. The lectures include an analysis of Ayn Rand's philosophic methodology, the means by which she succeeded in solving the philosophic problems that have gripped—and stultified—philosophy for millennia. Placing Objectivism in historical perspective, Dr. Binswanger presents Ayn Rand's philosophic achievement as the completion of the work of Aristotle. (These lectures are based on Dr. Binswanger's article by the same title, which appeared in 1982 in his publication The Objectivist Forum.)Barriers to Cognition - Peter SchwartzErrors of knowledge do not pose barriers to a proper cognitive process. If one is pursuing the truth, mistakes are in principle discoverable, and correctable. Only irrationality—the refusal to know—makes cognition impossible. Yet certain types of premises we hold appear resistant to change, even though we have rationally identified them as false. They (with their attendant emotions) seem to persist, obstructing cognition—and inducing guilt—despite conscientious efforts to replace them with true premises. Why? These lectures discuss the nature of such resistance and examine the difficulties in changing certain types of subconsciously ingrained premises.Can Capitalism Survive? - Leonard PeikoffIn this 1990 lecture, philosopher Leonard Peikoff offers a business-savvy audience his perspective on whether free market capitalism can survive. Peikoff identifies three pillars of capitalism, examining each one’s status in the present day. He also also leads the audience through a quick sweep of American history, commenting on the decline in freedom over time.Defensor Patriae: The Homeland Defense in History - John David LewisWith the creation of the Department of Homeland Security, America has accepted a permanent, institutionalized state of siege on its own soil. But is this the correct strategy? These lectures examine four conflicts in history, asking how great nations have defended themselves against ruthless enemies, and drawing lessons for today. The Greeks, the Romans, the Americans during their Civil War and the Europeans prior to World War II, all demonstrated how a timid, defensive strategy can result in years of stalemate. Only a self-righteous offense led by an intelligent, audacious general can end the bloodshed. Only a proper attitude toward warfare, toward an enemy and toward one's cause can enable the clear-headed military action needed to win a war of self-defense and protect freedom and peace. There is a deep connection between intellectual clarity, moral certainty, intelligent leadership and the offensive strategy needed to defeat a ruthless enemy.Dr. Eric Daniels on Why Voting Doesn’t Matter - Eric DanielsFrom the Philosophy in Action website:
Many people believe that voting is a crucial civic duty, and people often argue vociferously about who to vote for, particularly for US President. Are such arguments a waste of breath? Does your vote actually matter?Eric Daniels on Why Small Government Isn’t the Answer - Eric DanielsFrom the Philosophy in Action website:
Is "big government" the fundamental problem of American politics? Historian Eric Daniels will explain why this common formulation is misleading, wrong, and even dangerous to liberty.Freedom of Speech in American History - Eric DanielsFreedom of speech is fundamental to maintaining American political liberty. Increasing government controls over speech-from McCain-Feingold to FCC regulations-are damaging one of America's most important freedoms. To use freedom of speech effectively to change the culture, one must know the proper basis of free speech.
From the colonial struggle against the British imperial system to the tumultuous history of the First Amendment, this course investigates the Alien and Sedition Acts, the slavery debates, the battle over obscenity, and other recent developments. It identifies how the proper defense of freedom of speech has paralleled Americans' understanding and misunderstanding of the proper basis of rights. The course also examines how the concept "censorship" has been corrupted, what "symbolic speech" means for our rights, why property rights and speech are intimately connected, and why modern courts do not understand and cannot fully defend the freedom of speech.
One of the central questions the course answers is why speech seems to be more free in practice but is actually weaker in theory. By investigating the transformation of freedom of speech in the Progressive Era, this course illustrates how the current weak defense of speech focuses only political ideas and not the freedom of communication of all knowledge. The course also includes an explanation of the proper basis of free speech.History of the Supreme Court (Part 1): The Least Dangerous Branch? - Eric Daniels
Alexander Hamilton famously described the judiciary as the “least dangerous” branch of government. Most Founding Fathers viewed the Supreme Court as a great bulwark of liberty against encroachments of power. The Supreme Court, however, has not always fully protected liberty, and has at times been openly antagonistic to it.
This course surveys the broad history of the Supreme Court in the United States from its creation in 1789 to the infamous Dred Scott decision. It illustrates how the judiciary has functioned in our republic, and examines how it might have functioned better. By explaining the dominant trends in the Supreme Court, its characteristic mode of reasoning and interpretation, and the major results during each period, this course illuminates the importance of the Supreme Court in American life. Specific topics covered in this section of the multipart course include: the creation of the federal judicial system, the landmark Marbury decision, the Marshall Court’s protection of federalism and property rights, the shift to democratic ideas under the Taney Court, and the Dred Scott decision.History of the Supreme Court (Part 2): Laissez-Faire Constitutionalism? - Eric DanielsThe Civil War fundamentally transformed the American political compact, including the Constitution and the Supreme Court. In the years after the ratification of the Fourteenth Amendment, the Court struggled to define its new role and to give shape to the emerging contest between the state and federal governments. This course, the second in a series, surveys the broad history of the Supreme Court in the United States from the Civil War through the Progressive Era. It illustrates how the judiciary took on a new role in the post-war period and thrust itself to the center of ongoing political debates about the proper role of the judiciary in our republic. By examining the source of so-called laissez-faire jurisprudence, the course explains how the judiciary affected the growing conflict over economic regulations. The course also considers the increasing prominence of the bill of rights in Supreme Court decisions.How To Dissuade an Altruist - Peter SchwartzFrom the Ayn Rand Institute E-Store description:
Every conclusion one reaches is conditioned by a certain context of knowledge, a context ordinarily consisting of a number of premises. In any intellectual discussion, therefore, we must consider our audience’s cognitive context. What then must we consider when trying to dissuade altruists? What are the premises conditioning a belief in the virtue of sacrifice and the evil of selfishness? More important, what is the hierarchical order in which we must address and refute those premises? And what kinds of concrete illustrations are required?Individual Rights and the Founding of America - John RidpathThese two lectures, while focusing on Thomas Jefferson, also examine the Founders' grasp of what rights were. From this we will be able to better appreciate their heroism within the context of their time and understanding. More profound, we will more fully understand the indispensability of a deep philosophic grounding to any true but derivative principle, such as rights, if it is to survive the onslaught of the philosophic underminers of human life.Introduction to Logic - Leonard PeikoffThis course (with exercises) covers the standard topics taught in introductory courses in Aristotelian logic. It defines the principles of valid reasoning, and discusses prevalent logical fallacies. It formalizes the steps by which one derives conclusions from premises, and it provides a methodology by which to evaluate one's own thinking processes. (Each lecture includes a question period.)Investing: An Objective Approach - Yaron Brook
This illuminating seminar explains how financial markets work, and how they can work for you. You will learn:
- The productive function of financial markets in the economy.
- The factors affecting stock and bond prices.
- Why "get-rich-quick" schemes are inherently impractical.
- Specific strategies for investing.
Dr. Brook ends by integrating all the material into fundamental rules by which to choose your investment portfolio. This is an unusually clear, informative presentation of a complex subject.Life and Legacy of James Madison - Eric DanielsThis lecture examines the thought and career of one of America's most important Founding Fathers. James Madison entered public life as a young man, at the outset of the Revolution, and made important contributions to America's freedom for another sixty years.
Although much about Madison's life is familiar to most people-his role as the "Father of the Constitution" and as a friend of Jefferson's-there is much new to learn as well: his post-retirement opinions on Constitutional interpretation, his views on the misuse of the "general welfare" clause, and much more. In this lecture, Dr. Daniels focuses on Madison's lifetime of applying the principles of the Revolution to the practice of limited government. Starting with Madison's early intellectual development at Princeton, Daniels traces his work on behalf of the Revolution, the Constitution, and the Bill of Rights, as well as his active role in the nineteenth century as the last surviving Founding Father.Multiculturalism and the Anti-Conceptual Mentality - Peter SchwartzMulticulturalism represents a return to primitivism—not only politically, but epistemologically, as conceptual thinking itself is denounced. This talk shows why any standard of value is now an object of attack and why disability as such is elevated into a "culture."New Primitivism: Today’s Attacks on Reason and Individualism - Peter SchwartzThe stagnant oppressiveness of the medieval era was the result of a philosophy that inculcated a primitive mentality—a mentality that cowered before the forces of nature and that obediently followed the dictates of mystical authorities. It was eventually replaced by a new culture upholding a new philosophy: the efficacy of reason and the value of the individual.
Today, however—Mr. Schwartz argues—the medieval mentality is being resurrected. In the tribalism of multiculturalism, in the anti-science and anti-technology doctrines of environmentalism, in the overt mysticism of religion—we are now witnessing a return to primitivism. In this talk—based on his essays in Return of the Primitive—Mr. Schwartz examines the roots of this tragic phenomenon, and presents the case for a philosophy of reason, science, progress and capitalism.Objective Communication - Leonard Peikoff
In this 1980 ten-lecture course, Leonard Peikoff identifies principles for the effective communication of ideas, applying them to three areas: writing, speaking and arguing. This course is concerned, not with the style of a presentation, but with its substance, i.e., with the basic methods necessary to achieve a clear, absorbing presentation of your viewpoint.
Peikoff draws on principles from such diverse fields as epistemology, drama, education and polemics. Throughout the sessions, students give brief presentations, which Peikoff critiques based on the principles he has identified. The subjects of these presentations are related to aspects of Objectivism, so listeners of this course also have the opportunity to expand or refresh their knowledge of Ayn Rand’s philosophy.Objective vs. Classical Education - Lisa VanDamme
For nearly a century Progressive education has dominated American schools. As a result, generations of students have graduated ignorant of history, unfamiliar with the classics of literature and unable to write clearly. In recent years the growing number of parents seeking a superior education outside the school system have turned to a different movement: "classical education."
The classical approach to education has many virtues. Advocates of classical education urge the importance of a rigorous academic education. They promote the "Great Books" of the Western tradition. They value the legacy of Greece and Rome and encourage a patriotic appreciation of the Founding Fathers and the United States. They stress the importance of writing skills, from grammar to logic and rhetoric. And they advocate a grand-scale, philosophic perspective on the world. Is classical education, then, the ideal sought by Objectivists?
No! answers Mrs. VanDamme, who discusses not only the virtues of classical education, but also its fundamental and rarely identified flaws.Principles - Harry Binswanger“Thinking in principles” is a process Ayn Rand began at age 12 and held to throughout her life. What exactly are principles? Why does thinking in principles provide such immense cognitive power? This three-hour course explains: principles as cognitive fundamentals, the contextual absolutism of principles, and, using individual rights as a case study, what are the unavoidable consequences of violating principles.Principles of Grammar - Leonard PeikoffThe science that studies the methods of combining concepts i.e.,words into sentences is grammar. Discover how the normally dry subject of grammar can be transformed into an engrossing, epistemological field of study. Learn why a mastery of the principles of grammar is essential for precision in thinking and writing. This is grammar as it should be but never is taught.Property Rights in American History - Eric DanielsProtecting individual rights represents the Founders' crowning achievement. They considered private property to be "the guardian of every other right." A century later, property rights had been attacked and their foundation crumbled. The Supreme Court sundered property rights from civil rights, enforcing only the latter. How was this transformation possible? Why did jurists abandon "economic rights" in favor of "human rights"? "Without property rights," Ayn Rand noted, "no other rights are possible." Today, all rights in America are vulnerable because property rights are misunderstood. Beginning with the Founders' incomplete defense of rights, which enabled later philosophic attacks to gain a foothold, this course examines how legal neglect of property rights not only allowed but required the explosion of today's pseudo-rights. Why did the "revival" of property rights in the Rehnquist Court not succeed? Why will conservatives never be able to defend property rights? Why is the Objectivist theory of property rights the only means to proper protection for all rights?Psycho-Epistemology I - Harry BinswangerIn these illuminating lectures on this new science, Dr. Binswanger presents Ayn Rand’s revolutionary theories and offers his own penetrating observations on the role of the subconscious in thinking and on the specific operations by which one “programs” one’s subconscious.Psycho-Epistemology II - Harry BinswangerExtending material presented in “Psycho-Epistemology I”, Dr. Binswanger introduces and defines a new sub-discipline: applied psycho-epistemology.Religion in American History - Eric Daniels
Despite the secular basis of our government and the constitutional separation of church and state, religion has exerted an enormous influence on American life, from the importation of Puritan theocracy in the seventeenth century to the growing influence of evangelical religion in the twenty-first century.
This course investigates the historical development of religion in America. It examines the influence of religion as an institution and religious ideas in the culture. By assessing the impact of religion on American politics and law, it highlights throughout how religion has acted to erode both capitalism and political freedom. The course evaluates the claims that America's Founders were religious, that religious ideas helped ameliorate various social ills and that religion is uniquely a phenomenon of the political right. Dr. Daniels further illustrates how the modern religious landscape in America can only be understood in light of its historical development.
Without an understanding of how religion has featured in American life historically, one cannot fully defend America today from those who would revive a religious government, or worse, a modern theocracy.Requirements of Objective Journalism - Peter SchwartzWhat does objective journalism mean? Does it require a correct basic philosophy? What in the nature of journalism makes unique demands upon the objective reporter? Is objectivity possible if the reporter is influenced by particular values? Is it possible if he is not? This lecture addresses these questions, and explains the proper relationship between a journalist's ideas and his reporting.The Art of Thinking - Leonard PeikoffWant to Improve Your Method of Thinking? This is a course on what to do with your mind during the act of thought, when to do it and how to do it. Dr. Peikoff teaches you how to make the principles of Objectivist epistemology the guide of your own daily thought processes. These lectures are part new theory and part exercises.The Corporation - Yaron BrookIn this course, Dr. Brook discusses the history and economics behind the rise of the modern corporation, explaining how this form of business organization made possible new heights of wealth creation. He explains why the corporation, despite its productive virtues, has been attacked as illegitimate and immoral since its inception. Finally, he discusses the popular paradigm of "corporate social responsibility" and contrasts it with the proper corporate goal of shareholder wealth maximization.The History of America – Part 1: Prelude to the Revolution, 1607-1763 - Eric DanielsFrom the early settlements at Jamestown to the contentious French and Indian War, the American colonists struggled to achieve independence and happiness in the New World. What elements of colonial life contributed most to the distinctively American way of life? How important was religion in the early days? Why did the colonists prosper economically in some places and not in others? In this course Dr. Daniels explains American history prior to the Revolution. The focus of the material is on the major ideas and events that shaped America in the colonial period. Topics covered include Bacon’s Rebellion, the Great Awakening, the Salem Witch Trials, the Enlightenment, the French and Indian War, and more. This course is part one of a five-part series on the major events of American history.The History of America – Part 2 : Making a New Republic, 1763 – 1836 - Eric DanielsThis course tells the story of how the American colonies liberated themselves from British colonial rule and founded a new nation unlike any other in human history. Literally within one generation of the Revolution, the former American colonies had grown to become the world's shining example of freedom and productivity. What caused the American Revolution and what led to the success of the Continental Army? How did Americans establish the first government based explicitly on a principled commitment to freedom? Once established, how did the new United States apply the theory of limited government to their lives in the early nineteenth century? In these five lectures, the second part of an on-going series, Dr. Daniels explains the major events of American history from the Revolution to the presidency of Andrew Jackson. The focus will be on the major ideas and events that shaped American life in this period.The History of America – Part 3: Expanding and Securing the Union, 1836-1877 - Eric DanielsThis course tells the story of how the United States expanded both geographically and economically in the middle of the 19th century, becoming the leading nation in the Western Hemisphere. During the years after the War of 1812, enterprising Americans spread freedom and representative government across the continent. This expansion and development, however, helped to highlight not only partisan differences over economic policy, but also fundamental differences between the North and the South. How did Americans acquire new territory? What political changes came about during the so-called Age of Jackson? What caused the Civil War and why was it fought? In these five lectures, which comprise the third part of an ongoing series, Dr. Daniels will explain the major events of American history from the mid-1830s to the end of Reconstruction. The focus will be on the major ideas and events that shaped American life in this period.The History of America – Part 4: The Industrial Republic, 1877-1920 - Eric DanielsThese lectures trace America's emergence as a modern, industrialized nation. The United States underwent dramatic economic and philosophic changes in this era. Amidst growing material wealth, leading intellectuals embraced ideas opposed to American freedom and prosperity. How did these philosophic changes affect American life? What ideas caused Progressivism? What caused America to enter two wars? Dr. Daniels explains the major events and intellectual trends of American history in this period, focusing on illuminating the broad trends in our history.The History of America – Part 5: Modern America, 1920-1975 - Eric DanielsThis course tells the story of America's tumultuous confrontation with the biggest challenges of the twentieth century. During the half-century from the end of World War I to the end of the Vietnam War, Americans confronted a worldwide depression, the growth of New Deal statism, the menace of fascism and communism and their own internal intellectual fractures. Throughout this period of wars and domestic conflict, American thinkers embraced purer and more consistent versions of the altruist and collectivist ideas their forebears had planted during the Progressive Era. This course addresses the questions: How did these philosophic changes affect American life? How did Americans reconcile the surging prosperity of postwar America with an emerging radically anticapitalist strain of American thought? What led to American successes and failures in foreign policy? In these five lectures, the final part of his five-part series, Dr. Daniels explains the major events and intellectual trends of American history from the 1920s to the end of the 1960s. The focus will be on illuminating the broad trends in our history.The Sanction of the Victim (Leonard Peikoff presentation) - Leonard PeikoffThe talk Ayn Rand was to deliver at Ford Hall Forum in 1982, presented movingly after her death, and in tribute to her, by Leonard Peikoff. (Includes his recollections of Ayn Rand's final weeks, and his views on Objectivism's future.)The Threats to Freedom - Peter Schwartz
Vanderbilt and American Free Enterprise - Eric Daniels
- Introduction. The foundations of freedom. Threats from the conservatives: religion; threats from the liberals: egalitarianism.
- The Conservatives' Hostility to Liberty. The Papal encyclical in alleged defense of capitalism. Statism and the Church.
- Other Conservative Approaches. The view that capitalism rests on faith and altruism. Hayek: Capitalism vs. Reason.
- The Liberals Egalitarianism. Moral and metaphysical collectivism. Feminism. Multiculturalism—the abolition of all moral judgment.
- The "Diversity" of Multiculturalism. The Anti-concept of "diversity." The goal: non-discrimination between value and non-value.
- The New Marxism. How modern egalitarianism upholds the crucial premises of Marxism. "Class-consciousness." The different "realities" as determined by the perceiver's race, gender or tribe. Environmentalism as the ultimate egalitarianism.
- The Attack on Intellectual Freedom. Erasing the distinction between ideas and actions. "Bias crimes" and "ethno violence." Redefining crime as "offending" some group. Rape as "sex discrimination"—and sex discrimination as rape! The future: assessing the prospects for freedom.
The history of American business in the 19th century is an inspiring story of accomplishment and innovation. This lecture examines the life and achievements of one of America's great businessmen of that era: Cornelius "Commodore" Vanderbilt. He was condemned for his virtues by contemporaries and maligned by historians as a corrupt "robber baron." Ayn Rand admired Vanderbilt and considered him a businessman-hero, and we can see shades of Vanderbilt in the character of Nat Taggart inAtlas Shrugged.
This lecture investigates how Vanderbilt first entered and dominated the steam-shipping industry and then the railroad industry. Dr. Daniels reviews Vanderbilt's major accomplishments—which included promoting free competition—and discusses the impact of Vanderbilt's accomplishments in the larger context of American business history.These books are not all specifically about Objectivism but also include some on history, philosophy or just give the sense of life that Objectivism promotes.
- Anthem - Ayn RandIn a world where science and learning are banned and the simple utterance of the Unspeakable Word, I, is punishable by death, a man named Equality 7-2521 struggles with his unquenchable desire to investigate, to think, to know. His instincts are a “curse” that threatens to bring him to the attention of a government dedicated to the elimination of the self. But Equality 7-2521 cannot ignore his true nature, just as he cannot ignore the fruits of his curiosity: the discovery of the mysterious “power of the sky.” His great awakening—in heart, mind, and soul—represents the inevitable triumph of the individual over the collective.This short book is a great introduction to what would go on to become Objectivism.Atlas Shrugged - Ayn RandProbably Ayn Rand’s best known novel, it represents a fuller exploration of her philosophy. While, as with The Fountainhead, it relates her philosophy at the individual level, it also explores the ramifications of philosophy at a societal level as well.Auberon Herbert: Selected Writings from a Reluctant Anarchist - Auberon HerbertAuberon Herbert (1838–1906), born into the British nobility, was one of the power voice of his day for individualism and the working man. Published by mainstream periodicals such as Nineteenth Century, The Humanitarian, and Fortnightly Review, Herbert became the most influential British libertarian of his time. Today, however, he is perhaps best remembered for popularizing Voluntaryism — a political tradition maintaining that all human interaction should be voluntary and rejecting the initiation of force. The only justification for force is self-defense, including the defense of property. This book is a selection of a number of his essays including: The Right and Wrong of Compulsion by the State A Plea for Voluntaryism A Politician in Sight of HeavenCapitalism: The Unknown Ideal - Ayn RandAnother non-fiction collection of essays this time about capitalism. Essays were written by Ayn Rand, Nathaniel Branden, Alan Greenspan.Cornerstone of Liberty: Property Rights in 21st Century America - Timothy SandefurIn this excellent book Timothy Sandefur "describes how America's Founders wrote a Constitution that would protect this right and details the gradual erosion that began with the Progressive Era's abandonment of the principles of individual liberty." In reading this I found myself groaning aloud at some of the abuses of property rights we suffer under government in its current form.How We Know: Epistemology on an Objectivist Foundation - Harry BinswangerHarry Binswanger, a philosopher who was an associate of Ayn Rand, presents a theory of knowledge based on Rand's Objectivist philosophy. Advocating a "bottom-up," inductive approach to cognition, the book covers the gamut of topics starting with the axioms of existence, identity, and consciousness, then taking up concept-formation, propositions, logic, and principles. A chapter on free will, treated as the choice to exercise reason, presents the author's interpretation of Rand's view on volition, supplemented by his own analysis.Nothing Less Than Victory - John David LewisThe goal of war is to defeat the enemy's will to fight. But how this can be accomplished is a thorny issue. Nothing Less than Victory provocatively shows that aggressive, strategic military offenses can win wars and establish lasting peace, while defensive maneuvers have often led to prolonged carnage, indecision, and stalemate. Taking an ambitious and sweeping look at six major wars, from antiquity to World War II, John David Lewis shows how victorious military commanders have achieved long-term peace by identifying the core of the enemy's ideological, political, and social support for a war, fiercely striking at this objective, and demanding that the enemy acknowledges its defeat.Objective Communication - Leonard PeikoffAyn Rand’s philosophy of Objectivism is increasingly influencing the shape of the world from business and politics to achieving personal goals. Here, Leonard Peikoff—Rand’s heir—explains how you can communicate philosophical ideas with conviction, logic, and, most of all, reason.Objectivism in One Lesson: An Introduction to the Philosophy of Ayn Rand - Andrew BernsteinA good beginner's introduction to Ayn Rand’s philosophy of Objectivism. It covers much of the same ground as OPAR, but is directed more towards those who are unfamiliar with Ayn Rand’s philosophy.Objectivism: The Philosophy of Ayn Rand - Leonard Peikoffometimes referred to as OPAR, this is a great one volume summary or overview of Objectivism, covering everything from metaphysics, the fundamental nature of reality, to aesthetics, the nature and understanding of art.Ragged Dick - Horatio Alger, Jr.Ragged Dick is the first in a very long series of books written by Horatio Alger about the life of boys in America just before and after the Civil War. Most of the volumes deal with poor boys, whether living on the street or simply from poor families, often single parent homes. He stated in the introduction to one of the first volumes that he wrote the books with two primary purposes in mind: to bring public attention to the plight of the street boys in big cities such as New York who and, equally if not more important, to encourage such boys by providing examples, apparently based on reality, of boys in similar circumstances who, through there own hard work, became respected, if not wealthy, members of society. There are some things in his books that I don't agree with. His characters often act of a sense of duty to others, because it is owed to them. Also, in many books, he undercuts one of his stated purposes, that by working hard these boys could lift themselves out of poverty, by having a wealthy individual adopt them or gift them with relatively large sums of money. For this reason, two of my favorite stories is the first volume about Ragged Dick and the stories of Paul the Peddler. In these stories, while they do benefit from the friendship of well to do patrons, the two boys both made large strides on their own to alleviate their poverty. These stories provide lessons I think even those of us advanced well beyond the age of the books' heroes can benefit from. Many of Horatio Alger's books have free versions available on Amazon.com for the Kindle. I believe I currently have around 50 of them.Responsibility & Luck: A Defense of Praise and Blame - Diana HsiehDoes the pervasive influence of luck in life mean that people cannot be held responsible for their choices? Do people lack the control required to justify moral praise and blame?
In his famous article "Moral Luck," philosopher Thomas Nagel casts doubt on our ordinary moral judgments of persons. He claims that we intuitively accept that moral responsibility requires control, yet we praise and blame people for their actions, the outcomes of those actions, and their characters--even though shaped by forces beyond their control, i.e., by luck. This is the "problem of moral luck."
Philosopher Diana Hsieh argues that this attack on moral judgment rests on a faulty view of control, as well as other errors. By developing Aristotle's theory of moral responsibility, Hsieh explains the sources and limits of a person's responsibility for what he does, what he produces, and who he is. Ultimately, she shows that moral judgments are not undermined by luck.
In addition, this book explores the nature of moral agency and free will, the purpose of moral judgment, causation in tort and criminal law, the process of character development, and more.Teaching Johnny to Think - Leonard Peikoff, Marlene TrollopeDr. Peikoff makes a compelling case for a rational system of education by contrasting three schools of philosophy and the different educational alternatives they propose to replace our present system. He translates the usual abstract discussions in this field into material easily comprehensible to the reader. In the process, he defines a proper methodology and curriculum that will produce thinking high school graduates confident of their ability to achieve their goals.The Fountainhead - Ayn RandI have seen this described, though I forget where, as a somewhat personal application of her philosophy. Or rather her philosophy expressed at a very personal level.The Moral Case for Fossil Fuels - Alex EpsteinEnergy expert Alex Epstein argues in The Moral Case for Fossil Fuels that we usually hear only one side of the story. We’re taught to think only of the negatives of fossil fuels, their risks and side effects, but not their positives—their unique ability to provide cheap, reliable energy for a world of seven billion people. And the moral significance of cheap, reliable energy, Epstein argues, is woefully underrated. Energy is our ability to improve every single aspect of life, whether economic or environmental.The Myth of the Robber Barons - Burt FolsomThe Myth of the Robber Barons describes the role of key entrepreneurs in the economic growth of the United States from 1850 to 1910. The entrepreneurs studied are Cornelius Vanderbilt, John D. Rockefeller, James J. Hill, Andrew Mellon, Charles Schwab, and the Scranton family. Most historians argue that these men, and others like them, were Robber Barons. The story, however, is more complicated. The author, Burton Folsom, divides the entrepreneurs into two groups market entrepreneurs and political entrepreneurs. The market entrepreneurs, such as Hill, Vanderbilt, and Rockefeller, succeeded by producing a quality product at a competitive price. The political entrepreneurs such as Edward Collins in steamships and in railroads the leaders of the Union Pacific Railroad were men who used the power of government to succeed.The Return of the Primitive: The Anti-Industrial Revolution - Ayn RandIn the tumultuous late 60s and early 70s, a social movement known as the "New Left" emerged as a major cultural influence, especially on the youth of America. It was a movement that embraced "flower-power" and psychedelic "consciousness-expansion," that lionized Ho Chi Minh and Fidel Castro and launched the Black Panthers and the Theater of the Absurd.
In Return Of The Primitive (originally published in 1971 as The New Left), Ayn Rand, bestselling novelist and originator of the theory of Objectivism, identified the intellectual roots of this movement. She urged people to repudiate its mindless nihilism and to uphold, instead, a philosophy of reason, individualism, capitalism, and technological progress.
Editor Peter Schwartz, in this new, expanded version of The New Left, has reorganized Rand's essays and added some of his own in order to underscore the continuing relevance of her analysis of that period. He examines such current ideologies as feminism, environmentalism and multiculturalism and argues that the same primitive, tribalist, "anti-industrial" mentality which animated the New Left a generation ago is shaping society today.The Virtue of Selfishness - Ayn RandThis is one of Ayn Rand’s non-fiction books and is a collection of essays by Ayn Rand and Nathaniel Branden on the nature of selfishness or rational self-interest.Uncle Sam Can’t Count: A History of Failed Government Investments, from Beaver Pelts to Green Energy - Burt FolsomDrawing on examples from the nation's past and present—the fur trade to railroads, cars and chemicals, aviation to Solyndra—Uncle Sam Can't Count a sweeping work of conservative economic history that explains why the federal government cannot and should not pick winners and losers in the private sector, including the Obama administration.These videos deal mostly with applying objectivist principles to everyday issues, especially politics. There will be a few that are more directly philosophical in nature, discussing fundamental elements of objectivism.
- America vs. Americans – Leonard Peikoff - Leonard PeikoffAyn Rand’s Ideas: An Introduction - Onkar GhateBlack Innovators and Entrepreneurs Under Capitalism - Andrew BernsteinCapitalism Without Guilt - Yaron BrookCreationism in Camouflage: The “Intelligent Design” Deception - Keith LockitchCronyism, Corruption and Government Power - Steve SimpsonExcellent talk by Steve Simpson from the Ayn Rand Institute on the real issues in what is commonly referred to as cronyism.Cronyism, Corruption and Government Power - Steve SimpsonDefining Basic Moral Concepts - Peter SchwartzELITE Department of Entrepreneurial Thinking with Yaron Brook - Yaron BrookFree Market Revolution: A Cocktail Hour with Yaron Brook - Yaron BrookFree Speech and the Battle for Western Culture - Yaron BrookFrom Sputnik to the Internet: Real Solutions for Reforming Science Education (OCON 2015) - Eric DanielsIdeas Matter: Ayn Rand’s Message to Today’s World - Yaron BrookMoney and Power: A Debate - Yaron BrookI was fortunate enough to be present at this debate.Morality of Capitalism - Yaron BrookMorality of War - Yaron BrookNeoconservatives vs. America: A Critique of U.S. Foreign Policy Since 9/11 - Yaron BrookReligion and Morality - Onkar GhateSelf-Made Man - Eric DanielsThis video is what led me to start reading the Horatio Alger novels.The Failure of the Homeland Defense: Lessons from History - John David LewisThe Jihadist Movement - Elan JournoThe Moral Case for the Free Market - Eric DanielsThe Revolutionary Case for Capitalism - Eric DanielsThe Rise and Fall of Property Rights in America - Adam MossoffVirtue of Inequality - Yaron BrookWhy Inequality is Good for the Individual - Yaron BrookYaron Brook – Selfishness, key to personal success and world prosperity? Q&A Maastricht - Yaron BrookOne of Yaron Brook's best Q&A periods.Yaron Brook at Chicago Ideas Week 1 - Yaron BrookYaron Brook at Chicago Ideas Week 2 - Yaron BrookYaron Brook on Selfishness in Maastricht University, SBE - Yaron BrookYaron Brook on the Morality of Capitalism - Yaron BrookA great talk given by Yaron Brook at the University of Exeter in Great Britain on October 21, 2014. The Q&A period was especially lively.Yaron Brook on the Scandinavian Welfare model - Yaron BrookYaron Brook Q&A in Kiev - Yaron BrookThese websites are great resources to learn about Objectivism and its applications to real life.
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- Ayn Rand CampusThe Ayn Rand Campus is a new offering from the Ayn Rand Institute. It offers a growing number of courses to be taken online, usually fairly short (less than a couple of hours in most cases), the introduce and explore Ayn Rand's philosophy and its applications. Some courses are new while others take existing lectures by speakers such as Leonard Peikoff and update them into a multi-media experience.Ayn Rand InstituteThe sister site to aynrand.org, the Ayn Rand Institute focuses more on applying objectivist principles to the issues confronting the world today. This site is the home for the numerous blogs maintained by Institute staff members and covers a wide range of topics.Ayn Rand LexiconThis mini-encyclopedia of Objectivism is compiled from Ayn Rand’s statements on some 400 topics in philosophy, economics, psychology and history. This is a great resource not only for finding a quick quote that summarizes Ayn Rand's or Objectivism's view on some issue but also for pointing you towards where the topic is covered more fully.AynRand.orgNot surprisingly, AynRand.org is probably the premiere site to find information and resources to help you learn about her philosophy of Objectivism.Leonard Peikoff - Leonard PeikoffThis is the web home of Dr. Leonard Peikoff, long time friend of Ayn Rand and the leading expert on the philosophy of Objectivism. On the website you can find the archive of his weekly podcast, which is currently alternates between episodes by him and episodes by Yaron Brook. Also on the site are links to his numerous lectures, essays and articles.Philosophy In Action - Diana HsiehThis website by Dr. Diana Hsieh is home for the Philosophy in Action podcast and much more. The podcast, which is broadcast live most Sunday mornings at 11:00 am Eastern time, applies rational principles to everyday life. Diana, along with her co-host Greg Perkins, take a good amount of time with each question so they rarely cover more than three questions each week, but they really chew them.The Yaron Brook Show - Yaron BrookIn 2015 Yaron Brook, Director of the Ayn Rand Institute, began a weekly radio program on Blog Talk Radio. It can be heard live each Monday at 11:00am Eastern time. From the show page:
Yaron Brook, Radical for Capitalism, discusses news, culture and politics from the principled perspective of Ayn Rand's philosophy, Objectivism.