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For the New Intellectual: The Philosophy of Ayn Rand
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For the New Intellectual: The Philosophy of Ayn Rand

3.66  ·  Rating Details ·  2,571 Ratings  ·  107 Reviews
This is Ayn Rand's challenge to the prevalent philosophical doctrines of our time, and the "atmosphere of guilt, of panic, of despair, of boredom, and of all-pervasive evasion" that they create. One of the most controversial figures on the intellectual scene, Ayn Rand was a proponent of a moral philosophy called Objectivism-and ethic of rational self-interest-that stands i ...more
Paperback, 50th Anniversary Edition, 224 pages
Published December 1st 1963 by Penguin Group (USA) (first published January 1st 1961)
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Rico They're completely different. Intro sets out her specific theory of epistemology, whereas FTNI has a great intro article followed by some excerpts…moreThey're completely different. Intro sets out her specific theory of epistemology, whereas FTNI has a great intro article followed by some excerpts from her fiction. It's been a year since you asked your question, so it's probably not relevant anymore, but for anyone else thinking of where to start, FTNI is definitely better. I wouldn't touch Intro unless you like what you find in FTNI, and then read one or two of her nonfiction books eg Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal. In fact, if you prefer to start with nonfiction, Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal or The Virtue of Selfishness would be better choices. They're both collections of essays so you can read essay by essay, taking breaks in between.(less)

Community Reviews

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sologdin
Part III of multi-part review series.

A greatest hits: introductory essay and selections from the four novels. Will reserve commentary on the novels for those reviews.

Introductory essay develops two sets of binaries: Attila/Witch Doctor and Producer/Parasite. The latter is crass unexamined producerism--so it’s standard proto-fascistic aggressiveness.

Preface proclaims that the volume “presents the outline of a new philosophical system” and a “new theory of the nature, source, and validation of co
...more
Samson Blackwell
Sep 12, 2008 Samson Blackwell rated it it was ok
Shelves: philosophy
A great explication of Ayn's philosophy, and the primary reason I think she's an idiot.
Christopher
Sep 25, 2012 Christopher rated it really liked it
"I swear - by my life and my love of it - that I will never live for the sake of another man, nor ask another man to live for mine." There is a quality in Ayn Rand's writing that I find supremely attractive: the unflinching, unapologetic assertion of the sanctity of the individual human mind and that any system of thought, government, or economy which seeks to destroy the individual man's reliance on his own rationality is evil. Ayn Rand is not the first writer to speak of these things; Emerson, ...more
Christopher
Nov 16, 2009 Christopher rated it it was amazing
This book by novelist and philosopher Ayn Rand, (author of "Atlas Shrugged" and "The Fountainhead") consists of one brilliant essay analyzing the backward and mystical state of the humanities throughout all of man’s history, and the most philosophical selections of Rand’s fiction.

This book is wonderful for studying some of the grand speeches Rand’s characters make without having to mark up your fiction copies, and for the sheer convenience of having all these noteworthy expositions in one book.
...more
Gary
Jan 17, 2016 Gary rated it did not like it
I usually don't review comic books but I'll make an exception for this book. There is no grey in her world, and this book read like a comic book. The real world is such that you can't have perfect liberty with perfect equality (moreover she doesn't care about anything but the individual so inequality would have no meaning for her). She's got this weird worldview that the business man is the ideal man. Critical reasoning and intellectual thought must agree with what she says it is or what a 17 ye ...more
Sara Murphy
Nov 30, 2013 Sara Murphy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Boy, where do I start? First, I chanced upon Ayn Rand thanks to Netflix and the documentary I watched that focused on Atlas Shrugged. Intrigued, I went to my local used book store and all I could find was "For the New Intellectual" which, I now know was possibly the best book I could have encountered in the first place, as far as Rand's works are concerned. It does a good job of featuring excerpts from some of her other works and giving the general layout of her philosophy.
Now, I found myself f
...more
Alan Johnson
This is an interesting presentation of Ayn Rand's Objectivist philosophy. Although it simplifies the views of many past philosophers, it provides a nonrelativist (ergo, "Objectivist") approach to philosophical thinking. In the latter respect, it is similar to the approach of Leo Strauss (1899-1973). However, Objectivism differs from Strauss in many respects, including its premise of economic libertarianism and its understanding of philosophy as a dogmatic tool in the service of preservation rath ...more
John
Oct 14, 2013 John rated it it was ok
A disappointing work, despite its ambitious title and underlying promise of potential. Written in what feel like the "mania years", there is a clear sense of bitterness in the short opening essay that takes away half the enjoyment in reading it, since the forceful (and sometimes repetitive) manner in which the ideals are presented make it be more of a manifesto and less of a refreshing new read. To this is added the laughable fact that the opening essay is merely that, and amounts to no more tha ...more
Matt Sautman
May 17, 2015 Matt Sautman rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was somewhat surprised to see that this volume is more like anthology of Rand's fiction and not a collection of essays on Objectivism. Despite this lack of original content (with the exception of the opening essay), I am pleased with the volume as it is composed of Rand's better moments with the lackluster ones minimized. Objectivism is a flawed philosophy, but those flaws are not as apparent here. Some of the flaws I've come across in the sampled volumes were even omitted here, which can be v ...more
John
Sep 22, 2007 John rated it it was ok
I think the most egregious part of this book is how she butchers Kant's ideas. In the tradition of a typical "straw man argument," she offers a simplistic version of his ideas, and then knocks it down.

I am not a Kant follower, but if you are going to attack his philosophy, at least try to get it right.

The two stars are for spelling and grammar.
Tyler Hochstetler
Apr 06, 2016 Tyler Hochstetler rated it really liked it
This was an inspiring book. Its all about creating value in the real world by being intellectually sound. The world changes in proportion to its greatest thinkers.
Mark Geise
Apr 14, 2015 Mark Geise rated it liked it
This is a ~50 page title essay with several excerpts taken from We the Living, Fountainhead, and Atlas Shrugged. The vast majority of the book consists of the title essay and John Galt's objectivism speech in Atlas Shrugged. I agree with Rand's philosophy, but I was hoping for more novel material in this book. The title essay is very good, so that was worth the $1 I paid for this at a thrift store. The title essay discusses the two categories of enemies to producers and men of thought: Attilas a ...more
Христо Блажев
Айн Ранд дефинира новия интелектуалец
http://www.knigolandia.info/2010/06/b...

Произведенията на Айн Ранд определено ме въведоха в едно различно измерение на светоусещане и отношение към живота. Най-силно влияние ми оказаха, разбира се, романите й “Атлас изправи рамене” “Изворът” и “Ние, живите”, както и есетата от сборника “Капитализмът: непознатия идеал”.

“За новия интелектуалец” е синтез на тезите й от горните произведения. Основната посока е дефинирането на досегашната човешка история като сл
...more
Tori
Jan 20, 2010 Tori rated it it was ok
Made up almost entirely of excerpts from her novels. Who is this "New Intellectual"? Only Ayn Rand and those who are willing to adhere to her philosophy. As far as her philosophy - she actually has me agreeing with her most of the time, but to a point. In order for her views to be plausible to the point of implementation, every child in America must be born with equal opportunity and privilege. I submit to you that this is hardly the case. I confess to socialistic tendencies, but I think if Rand ...more
James
Oct 04, 2012 James rated it it was ok
Kind of a funhouse mirror of the intellectual giants who came up with the social contract notion of philosophy. It's a bit like a petulant child, crying out that nobody understands anything but her. Reason is good, sure, and I'll even accept that the Attila and Witch Doctor dynamic is an interesting thread to run through the eponymous essay. I just think it's pretty horrendous to call out, in my mind, some of history's most interesting people -- like Hume, Marx, and JS Mill -- although, this bei ...more
♥ Ibrahim ♥
Jun 30, 2008 ♥ Ibrahim ♥ rated it did not like it
Shelves: philosophy
That was the lousiest book I have ever read on philosophy and trying to educate a beginner, a new intellectual on philosophy. I would choose Durant instead or Sophie's World by Gaarder which is actually a work of art.
Himanshu Chawale
Sep 03, 2016 Himanshu Chawale rated it it was amazing
"Love is not self-sacrifice, but the most profound assertion of your own needs and values. It is for your own happiness that you need the person you love, and that is the greatest compliment, the greatest tribute you can pay to that person."
Chris Brimmer
May 28, 2009 Chris Brimmer rated it did not like it
Shelves: philosophy
She thinks she's an uperman-and does a poor job of proving it
Matt Tomaso
Rand should have stuck to less disguised versions of fiction.
Sara
Nov 10, 2015 Sara rated it really liked it
Good stuff but mostly contains excerpts from Rand's novels.
Daniel Ágreda-Sánchez
Por partes puede resultar entretenido, pero en general es medio bodrio. Filosóficamente es un panfleto, como lo son todos los manifiestos; a nivel literario es malísimo, el estilo es insoportable. Ni los filósofos franceses reiteran tanto una misma idea a lo larga de varias páginas.

Sin dejar de tener cosas interesantes, toda su propuesta filosófica es endeble porque Rand no ha sido capaz de (o no ha querido o simplemente le llegó por todo lo alto) comprender los procesos históricos y los pensami
...more
Sleepless
May 27, 2017 Sleepless rated it really liked it
I read this book during guard duty in the army. It was a perfect fit.

A few years ago, I got into a discussion with a bookstore keeper about Marxism and capitalism. He pretty much told me I have to read Ayn Rand and so here we are.

As I've grown up, my opinions have mellowed out. I do think Marxism can work but I think socialism is more useful in the current state of the world. Nonetheless, I am so against capitalism so it was important for me to read this.

Ayn Rand makes a good point. It's a so
...more
Alex Acton
Nov 03, 2014 Alex Acton rated it liked it
It's hard to say what I thought of this book. Not because I think it was poorly written, but because I think Mrs. Rand starts with a false premise and follows it farther and farther from reality. This book is Mrs. Rand's clarion call for the development of a new breed of intellectual. At the time of her writing, the world was embroiled in a struggle between capitalism and communism. The more extreme intellectuals on the left were pointing out the weakness of capitalism and pointing to the theore ...more
JP
May 18, 2013 JP rated it really liked it
The first 25 pages of this completely enthralled me. Rand's no-nonsense style deftly conveys a philosophy that seems both wise and clever. Her summarization of modern history places the center of an hourglass around the founding of America by the first "thinkers who were men of action." Current intellectuals have failed to keep pace with the advancements made by the producers in our modern world of the past 250 years. Humans are distinct from other animals because of our ability to conceptualize ...more
Dr.J.G.
Feb 05, 2016 Dr.J.G. rated it liked it
You could read this, if you dislike story form of writing. Or you could read Atlas Shrugged, where she gives the philosophy first in form of characters and events and then in a whammy of a speech - sixteen pages? - by John Galt, her ultimate hero.

In short the idea is do your best, do not ask others to sacrifice for you, do not sacrifice for others and then expect them to pay up, do what you think best for yourself.

Ayn Rand forgets that humans, especially young, especially male, are likely to l
...more
Arbraxan
Many persons have told me about Ayn Rand, some with great admiration, others rather disapprovingly. According to Rand, this book is "for the new intellectual", i.e. those persons "willing to think" and who agree that "man's life must be guided by reason" and "who value their own life". In reading this book, I am "to acquire an integrated view of existence". So far, so good, very exciting prospects, I'm on board.

- People always have and make choices, e.g. they choose whether they want to be aware
...more
Kaa
Sep 21, 2016 Kaa rated it liked it
Shelves: business
Ayn Rand's philosophy -- objectivism -- with some excerpts from her other books, such as "Atlas Shrugged" etc. Proponent of individualism and self-interest.
emma hn
an intriguing read .. not bad for a compendium.
this book is a collection of excerpts from Ayn Rand's novels ('we the living','anthem','atlas shrugged' and 'the fountainhead') it's basically a condensed summary that explains perfectly Rand's philosophy of objectivism. in addition to the title essay .. it highlights the importance of rational thinking
having read 'the fountainhead' and intending to read the book 'atlas shrugged' soon. i think everyone should go through rand's novels before reading
...more
Brent McCulley
Nov 29, 2013 Brent McCulley rated it liked it
Shelves: philosophy, essays
Rand's For the New Intellectual consists of various philosophical examinations of her novels, as well as a philosophical historiography hitherto. Her analysis of history in light of her Attila the Hun / Witch Doctor dichotomy, albeit broad-brushing, certainly got my historical gears turning given the implications of Rand's own Objectivism.

Her summary of Attila as the existentialists, the brutes, dictators, and demagogues is contrasted with the With Doctor--the moralists, priests, and shamans. Us
...more
Alok
Nov 12, 2015 Alok rated it really liked it
A book of early 60s on the philosophy of governance, social structure and on the better model of stability. The author is an out and out supporter of free business economy and a proponent of free and independent thinking. Men/women share the two common characteristics with animal i.e 'sensation' and 'perception'. What differentiate men/women is the 'conception' with reasoning and hence society need to be ruled by reasoning and logic with free will rather than force (read it as dynastic rules)and ...more
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Alisa Rosenbaum was born in pre-revolutionary St. Petersburg to a prosperous Jewish family. When the Bolsheviks requisitioned the pharmacy owned by her father, Fronz, the Rosenbaums fled to the Crimea. Alisa returned to the city (renamed Leningrad) to attend the university, but in 1926 relatives who had already settled in America offered her the chance of joining them there. With money from the sa ...more
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“So long as men live together on earth and need means to deal with one another—their only substitute, if they abandon money, is the muzzle of a gun.” 7 likes
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