Ayn Rand Institute
Nathaniel Branden Institute
Nathaniel Branden · Yaron Brook
Allan Gotthelf · David Kelley
Tibor R. Machan
Leonard Peikoff · George Reisman
John Ridpath · Richard Salsman
Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal
For the New Intellectual
Objectivist Epistemology The New Left
Objectivism: The Philosophy of
Ayn Rand Philosophy: Who Needs It
The Romantic Manifesto
The Virtue of Selfishness
The Voice of Reason
Journal of Ayn Rand Studies
Libertarianism and Objectivism
Objectivism and homosexuality
Objectivist movement in India
Rand called her philosophy "Objectivism", describing its essence as "the concept of man as a heroic being, with his own happiness as the moral purpose of his life, with productive achievement as his noblest activity, and reason as his only absolute." She considered Objectivism a systematic philosophy and laid out positions on metaphysics, epistemology, ethics, political philosophy and esthetics.
In metaphysics, Rand supported philosophical realism, and opposed anything she regarded as mysticism or supernaturalism, including all forms of religion. In epistemology, she considered all knowledge to be based on sense perception, the validity of which she considered axiomatic, and reason, which she described as "the faculty that identifies and integrates the material provided by man's senses". She rejected all claims of non-perceptual or a priori knowledge, including "'instinct,' 'intuition,' 'revelation,' or any form of 'just knowing.'" In her Introduction to Objectivist Epistemology, Rand presented a theory of concept formation and endorsed the rejection of the analytic–synthetic dichotomy.
In ethics, Rand argued for rational egoism (rational self-interest), as the guiding moral principle. She said the individual should "exist for his own sake, neither sacrificing himself to others nor sacrificing others to himself". She referred to egoism as "the virtue of selfishness" in her book of that title, in which she presented her solution to the is-ought problem by describing a meta-ethical theory that based morality in the needs of "man's survival qua man". She condemned ethical altruism as incompatible with the requirements of human life and happiness, and held that the initiation of force was evil and irrational, writing in Atlas Shrugged that "Force and mind are opposites".
Rand's political philosophy emphasized individual rights (including property rights), and she considered laissez-faire capitalism the only moral social system because in her view it was the only system based on the protection of those rights. She opposed statism, which she understood to include theocracy, absolute monarchy, Nazism, fascism, communism, democratic socialism, and dictatorship. Rand believed that rights should be enforced by a constitutionally limited government. Although her political views are often classified as conservative or libertarian, she preferred the term "radical for capitalism". She worked with conservatives on political projects, but disagreed with them over issues such as religion and ethics. She denounced libertarianism, which she associated with anarchism. She rejected anarchism as a naïve theory based in subjectivism that could only lead to collectivism in practice.
Rand's esthetics defined art as a "selective re-creation of reality according to an artist's metaphysical value-judgments". According to Rand, art allows philosophical concepts to be presented in a concrete form that can be easily grasped, thereby fulfilling a need of human consciousness. As a writer, the art form Rand focused on most closely was literature, where she considered Romanticism to be the approach that most accurately reflected the existence of human free will. She described her own approach to literature as "romantic realism".
Rand acknowledged Aristotle as her greatest influence and remarked that in the history of philosophy she could only recommend "three A's"—Aristotle, Aquinas, and Ayn Rand. She also found early inspiration in Friedrich Nietzsche, and scholars have found indications of his influence in early notes from Rand's journals, in passages from the first edition of We the Living (which Rand later revised), and in her overall writing style. However, by the time she wrote The Fountainhead, Rand had turned against Nietzsche's ideas, and the extent of his influence on her even during her early years is disputed. Among the philosophers Rand held in particular disdain was Immanuel Kant, whom she referred to as a "monster", although philosophers George Walsh and Fred Seddon have argued that she misinterpreted Kant and exaggerated their differences.
Rand said her most important contributions to philosophy were her "theory of concepts, ethics, and discovery in politics that evil—the violation of rights—consists of the initiation of force". She believed epistemology was a foundational branch of philosophy and considered the advocacy of reason to be the single most significant aspect of her philosophy, stating, "I am not primarily an advocate of capitalism, but of egoism; and I am not primarily an advocate of egoism, but of reason. If one recognizes the supremacy of reason and applies it consistently, all the rest follows."
Read more about this topic: Ayn Rand
Other articles related to "philosophy":
... The twelfth century saw the apotheosis of pure philosophy and the decline of the Kalam, which latter, being attacked by both the philosophers and the orthodox, perished for lack of champions ... This supreme exaltation of philosophy may be attributed, in great measure, to Al-Ghazali (1058–1111) among the Persians, and to Judah ha-Levi (1140 ... by reaction, a current favorable to philosophy, but induced the philosophers themselves to profit by his criticism ...
... Computer Science, Mathematics, Psychology) Charité - Berlin University Medicine Faculty of Philosophy I (Philosophy, History, European Ethnology, Department of ...
... This philosophy, explored by writers such as H.P ... Lovecraft (who some say is the original proponent of the philosophy) and later writers who actually represented the beliefs in books such as Hitchhiker's Guide ...
... Illuminationist philosophy was a school of Islamic philosophy founded by Shahab al-Din Suhrawardi in the 12th century ... This school is a combination of Avicenna's philosophy and ancient Iranian philosophy, with many new innovative ideas of Suhrawardi ... In logic in Islamic philosophy, systematic refutations of Greek logic were written by the Illuminationist school, founded by Shahab al-Din Suhrawardi (1155-1191), who ...
... In Western philosophy, misanthropy has been connected to isolation from human society ... In Plato's Phaedo, Socrates defines the misanthrope in relation to his fellow man "Misanthropy develops when without art one puts complete trust in somebody thinking the man absolutely true and sound and reliable and then a little later discovers him to be bad and unreliable...and when it happens to someone often...he ends up...hating everyone." Misanthropy, then, is presented as the result of thwarted expectations or even excessively naive optimism, since Plato argues that "art" would have allowed the potential misanthrope to recognize that the majority of men are to be found in between good and evil ...
Famous quotes containing the word philosophy:
“The Greeks, with their truly healthy culture, have once and for all justified philosophy simply by having engaged in it, and having engaged in it more fully than any other people.”
—Friedrich Nietzsche (18441900)
“When Philosophy with its abstractions paints grey in grey, the freshness and life of youth has gone, the reconciliation is not a reconciliation in the actual, but in the ideal world.”
—Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel (17701831)
“The proper method of philosophy consists in clearly conceiving the insoluble problems in all their insolubility and then in simply contemplating them, fixedly and tirelessly, year after year, without any hope, patiently waiting.”
—Simone Weil (19091943)