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Ayn Rand's Normative Ethics: The Virtuous Egoist

4.41 of 5 stars 4.41  ·  rating details  ·  71 ratings  ·  4 reviews
Ayn Rand is well known for advocating egoism, but the substance of that egoism s instruction is rarely understood. Far from representing the rejection of morality, selfishness, in Rand s view, actually demands the practice of a systematic code of ethics. This book explains the fundamental virtues that Rand considers vital for a person to achieve his objective well-being: r ...more
Paperback, 318 pages
Published September 1st 2007 by Cambridge University Press (first published 1969)
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Nerine Dorman
Often, when mentioning Ayn Rand to my friends, I’m met with open scorn. People generally assume that Rand’s Objectivism philosophy stands for cold-hearted selfishness, as frowned upon by every “decent, moral citizen”. After all, isn’t altruism the way forward? Doesn’t selfishness ultimately lead to one’s downfall? How can selfishness be considered a virtue for a virtuous person? The question that’s often asked is: “What makes a person good?”

Surely your life must benefit others? Is it even possib
...more
Sarah
I loathe Ayn Rand. I bought this book because I'm optimistic and I wanted to see if the words "Ethics", "Ayn Rand", and "Virtuous" could somehow all be reconciled within the text.
Long story short? No - I was not convinced that Ayn Rand the person nor Ayn Rand the (quote/unquote) philosopher was worthwhile in any utilitarian sense of the word: I am just as convinced as ever that the best thing she ever did for philosophy or for humanity was, well, she died.

Rest in peace, Rand. You were enough a
...more
Judy
An in-depth exploration of the seven specific virtues advocated by Ayn Rand's egoism philosophy and the value basis of rational self-interest.

I thought the book was extremely well-written and organized. The author took care to bring up counter-arguments and ways Rand's philosophy is misunderstood in relation to these virtues, then proceeds to logically defend Rand's ideas with clear references to what Rand actually wrote or said.

Reading the book has made me much more aware of how I define ethics
...more
Kate
Sep 23, 2014 Kate rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: the virtuous and egoistic
Recommended to Kate by: Fleischmann
Shelves: ischool, philosophy
Matter is indestructible, but a living organism is not.

"Reality does not issue orders."

The pleasure principal is an abdication.

The standard of measurement is the life of man qua man.

Flourishing is not a transferable good.

"Total absorption in the present is a luxury that our nature does not permit."

Damage is damage, and damage, untended, is progressive.

Maximizing your own life does not imply besting others.
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Tara A. Smith (born 1961) is a professor of philosophy and holder of the BB&T Chair for the Study of Objectivism and holder of the Anthem Foundation Fellowship for the Study of Objectivism at the University of Texas at Austin.

Smith specializes in moral and political theory. She did her undergraduate work at the University of Virginia and received her doctorate from Johns Hopkins University. He
...more
More about Tara Smith...
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