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 Objectivism: Ayn Rand's Philosophy

Course: Introduction to Objectivism (Instructor: Suzi Fleck)

Historical Background Powerpoint Presentations
     Ancient Greek Philosophy: Socrates, Plato, Aristotle
     4th through 16th Centuries: Dark Ages, Renaissance, Reformation
     17th & 18th Centuries: Enlightenment, Scientific & Political Revolutions
     18th & 19th Centuries: Idealism, Transcendentalism, Socialism, Materialism, Evolution
     20th Century: History & Philosophy

    Powerpoint Presentation

     Chart/Diagrm 1: Concept Formation
     Chart/Diagram 2: Reason & Emotion

     Powerpoint Presentation

     Chart/Diagram 1: Rights & Government
     Chart/Diagram 2: Economics; Capitalism
     Chart/Diagram 3: Relationship of Capitalism with six derivative virtues of rationality
     Powerpoint Presentation

     Chart/Diatram 1: Nature of Art
     Chart/Diagram 2: Art Judgment
     Powerpoint Presentation

Objectivism: Overview Chart/Diagram

Suzi's Essays on Objectivism

In Defense of Processed Knowledge.    This essay explains the basic structures of Objectivism's Epistemology (how do we obtain knowledge?).   In addition, there are comparisons and contrasts with other major schools of thought on the subject of knowledge. Here you will find Rand's theory of concept formation, Unit Economy and abstraction.  You will also discover how she debunks the so-called analytic-synthetic dichotomy.

Beyond Ethical Egoism.   In his article, Egoism and Moral Skepticism,  James Rachels presents some convincing arguments exposing the weakness of both the psychological egoism and ethical egoism positions.  However, his paper is fraught with problems.  I intend to reveal the weaknesses in Rachels’ arguments, and will expose his gross distortion of Ayn Rand’s view.  Along the way, I will compare classical ethical egoism with Rand’s “rational-selfishness”, and demonstrate that her views withstand Rachel’s objections.  I will show how Rand can take us beyond ethical egoism while bypassing the lure of altruism.

Rational-Duty meets Rational-Selfishness.     Did you know that Immanuel Kant's ethical system has a deeply rational basis?  Did you know that he, like Rand, views persons as "ends in themselves?"  . . . that, Kant, like Rand, is opposed to tyrannical governments which intrude far too much on personal liberty? . . .  that, like Rand, he believes we should bring quality to our lives and strive for happiness? . . . and that self-esteem plays a key role in his ethical system?  If this is all true, as I demonstrate in this essay, then why is Kant epitomized as the "enemy of Objectivism, including his views on ethics?  I explain why:  This essay compares and contrasts Kantian and Randian ethics, including their views of values, human relations, human nature, rationality, emotions, and self-esteem.

Ayn Rand's Ethical Egoism Chart

Immanuel Kant's Duty:Categorical Imperative Chart

Chart comparing Kantian and Randian ethical systems.