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    Ayn Rand Alice O'Connor (born Alisa Zinovyevna Rosenbaum; [c] February 2 [ O.S. January 20], 1905 – March 6, 1982), better known by her pen name Ayn Rand ( / aɪn / ), was a Russian-born American writer and philosopher. [3] She is known for her fiction and for developing a philosophical system she named Objectivism.

  2. Jan 5, 2023 · Ayn Rand, original name Alissa Zinovievna Rosenbaum, (born February 2, 1905, St. Petersburg, Russia—died March 6, 1982, New York, New York, U.S.), Russian-born American writer whose commercially successful novels promoting individualism and laissez-faire capitalism were influential among conservatives and libertarians and popular among …

    • Introduction
    • Ethics
    • Social-Political Philosophy
    • Aesthetics

    1.1 Ayn Rand and Philosophy

    In Rand’s own words, her first and greatest love, her“life purpose”, was “the creation of the kind ofworld … that represents human perfection”, while herinterest in philosophical knowledge was “only” for thesake of this purpose (Journal entry for 4 May 1946; in 1997: 479).[1] Nevertheless, her interest in philosophical knowledge continued longafter she had created this world in her magnum opus, AtlasShrugged, her last work of fiction. In her non-fiction, Randdeveloped a conception of metaphys...

    1.2 Life and Work

    Ayn Rand was born Alissa Zinovievna Rosenbaum, to a bourgeois Jewishfamily in St. Petersburg, Russia, on 2 February 1905. A witness to theRussian Revolution and civil war, Rand opposed both the Communists andthe Tsarists. She majored in history, but the social science programin which she was enrolled at Petrograd State University includedphilosophy, law, and philology. Her teachers emphasized—as sheherself later did—the importance of developing systematicconnections among different areas of t...

    1.3 Metaphysics and Epistemology

    Fundamental to Rand’s outlook—so fundamental that shederives the name of her philosophical system,“Objectivism”, from it—is a trichotomy among threecategories: the intrinsic, the subjective, and theobjective(ITOE: 52–54; Rand 1965: 13–23). Anintrinsic phenomenon is one whose nature depends wholly on factorsexternal to the mind; a subjective phenomenon is one whose naturedepends wholly on the mind; and an objective phenomenon is defined,variously, as that which depends on the relation between...

    2.1 What is Ethics, and Why do we need It?

    Ethics Before we can decide which code of values we should accept, we need toask why we need a code of values at all. Rand claims that nophilosopher before her has provided a scientificanswer tothis question, and so none has provided a satisfactory ethics. Rand starts by describing value or “the good”, inclassical fashion, as the object of pursuit: “that which oneacts to gain and/or keep” (1961b: 16). Thus, the concept ofvalue presupposes the concept of “an entity capable of acting toachieve...

    2.2 Survival as the Ultimate Value

    The survivalist view holds that just as literal survival is theultimate value for other living entities, so it is for human beings(Kelley & Thomas 1999; Gotthelf 1999; Smith 2000). Survival is thesource and final goal of all the actions of an entity, that whichgives point to all its other values. For human beings, morality andhappiness are both instrumental means to survival. The vicious can“achieve their goals [only] for the range of a moment”, asevidenced by “any criminal or any dictatorshi...

    2.3 Survival Qua Man as the Ultimate Value

    Just as the standard of value is survival qua humanbeing, so the ultimate goal is one’s own survivalquahuman being. To accept this standard and goal is toaccept (i) the three cardinal values of reason, purpose (orpurposiveness) and self-esteem as not only “the means to”but also “the realization of one’s ultimate value,one’s own life” (1961b: 27), and (ii) the three“corresponding virtues” of rationality, productiveness,and pride. These values are means to one’s life insofar as theyfurther one’...

    3.1 Rights, Capitalism, the Trader Principle, and Government

    “Force and mind are opposites; morality ends where a gunbegins” (Atlas Shrugged 1023). Not only actually shootingsomeone, but also threatening him with a gun, is an act of force. Thenon-initiation of force against others is the basic moral principleguiding our interactions with others, whether in a political society,or in the state of nature. It is also the basic political principle:“no man may initiate the use of physical force againstothers. … Men have the right to use physical force onlyin...

    3.2 Feminism

    If feminism is the view that women are, and ought to be recognized as,men’s intellectual, moral, sexual, and political equals, thenthe Objectivist philosophy of human nature is inherently feminist,since it applies equally to all human beings, regardless of gender (orrace) (N. Branden 1999). Decades before it was considered acceptablefor women to lack “maternal instincts” or pursue careers,Rand created heroines who lack the first and pursue the second, freeof guilt or self-doubt.[11] Kira (We...

    Rand holds that our actions need guidance by a vision of thefundamental nature of the universe and of the efficacy of humanthought and activity—a vision that can be grasped directlyrather than requiring the conscious repetition of long chains ofabstract reasoning. The chief function of art is to meet thispsychological need by expressing abstract co...

    • Who Was Ayn Rand?
    • Early Years
    • Early Writing Career
    • 'The Fountainhead' and 'Atlas Shrugged'
    • Objectivism and Later Years
    • Death and Legacy

    Ayn Rand moved to the United States in 1926 and tried to establish herself in Hollywood. Her first novel, We the Living (1936), championed her rejection of collectivist values in favor of individual self interest, a belief that became more explicit with her subsequent novels The Fountainhead (1943) and Atlas Shrugged(1957). Following the immense su...

    Ayn Rand was born Alissa Zinovievna Rosenbaum on February 2, 1905, in St. Petersburg, Russia. The oldest daughter of Jewish parents (and eventually an avowed atheist), she spent her early years in comfort thanks to her dad's success as a pharmacist, proving a brilliant student. In 1917, her father's shop was suddenly seized by Bolshevik soldiers, f...

    Following a chance encounter with Hollywood titan Cecil B. DeMille, Rand became an extra on the set of his 1927 film The King of Kings, where she met actor Frank O'Connor. They married in 1929, and she became an American citizen in 1931. Rand landed a job as a clerk at RKO Pictures, eventually rising to head of the wardrobe department, and continue...

    In 1937, Rand began researching a new novel by working for New York architect Ely Jacques Kahn. The result, after years of writing and more rejections, was The Fountainhead. Underscoring Rand’s individualistic underpinnings, the book’s hero, architect Howard Roark, refuses to adhere to conventions, going so far as to blowing up one of his own creat...

    Around 1950, Rand met with a college student named Nathan Blumenthal, who changed his name to Nathaniel Branden and became the author's designated heir. Along with his wife, Barbara, Braden formed a group that met at Rand's apartment to engage in intellectual discussions. The group, which included future Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan, cal...

    Rand was working on a television adaptation of Atlas Shruggedwhen she died of heart failure at her home in New York City on March 6, 1982. Although she weathered criticism for her perceived literary shortcomings and philosophical arguments, Rand undeniably left her mark on the Western culture she embraced. In 1985, Peikoff founded the Ayn Rand Inst...

  3. “My philosophy, in essence, is 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.” — Ayn Rand Throughout this site you’ll find a wealth of material about Ayn Rand’s philosophy and its application in everyday life.

  4. Ayn Rand was a major intellectual of the twentieth century. Born in Russia in 1905 and educated there, she immigrated to the United States after graduating from university. Upon becoming proficient in English and establishing herself as a writer of fiction, she became well-known as a passionate advocate of a philosophy she called Objectivism.

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