Objectivism: The Philosophy of Ayn Rand

Objectivism: The Philosophy of Ayn Rand coverIn 1961, in her book For the New Intellectual, which in part compiled the major philosophic speeches from her novels, Ayn Rand wrote, “The full system [of my philosophy] is implicit in these excerpts (particularly in Galt’s Speech), but its fundamentals are indicated only in the widest terms and require a detailed, systematic presentation in a philosophical treatise.” Although Ayn Rand wrote prolifically on her philosophy and its application until her death in 1982, she never did write such a systematic presentation of her philosophy.

Fortunately for her students and admirers, her best student, philosopher Leonard Peikoff, completed that task in Objectivism: The Philosophy of Ayn Rand. Based on lectures given by Dr. Peikoff in 1976 that Ayn Rand described as “the only authorized presentation of the entire theoretical structure of Objectivism, i.e., the only one that I know of my own knowledge to be fully accurate,” the book covers her entire philosophy in essentialized and systematic form: from metaphysics to ethics to politics, from free will to money to sex.

In describing the book’s approach, Dr. Peikoff writes in the Preface, “I have presented the ideas of Objectivism, their validation, and their in­ter­re­la­tion­ships. I have arranged the ideas hierarchically; each chapter, and within the chapters each section, builds on earlier material. I have covered every branch of philosophy recognized by Miss Rand and every philosophic topic . . . which she regarded as important. . . . In every contest between the forest and the trees, I have chosen the forest: I have omitted every nonessential that might cause the reader to lose sight of Ayn Rand’s system of thought as a whole.”

Although the book is ruthlessly essentialized, it includes ample concretization of the abstract principles of Ayn Rand’s philosophy, so that the reader can further grasp their validity and life-and-death significance. One of its many values is that it contains extensive discussions of subjects that Ayn Rand wrote little or nothing about in her published work, such as: the science and art of objective thinking, the validity of the senses, and the nature of certainty. As Dr. Peikoff explains in the Preface, he acquired this knowledge of Ayn Rand’s ideas from extensive private philosophic discussions with her. “Our discussions were not a collaboration: I asked questions; she answered them.”

For anyone who seeks to understand Ayn Rand’s philosophy, Objectivism: The Philosophy of Ayn Rand is a truly indispensable resource.

Table of Contents

(Softcover; 493 pages)

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