AYN RAND. A SIGNET BOOKS FOR THE NEW INTELLECTUAL. They admire dictators. . that the step was first, the road new, the vision unborrowed, and the. This book presents the essentials of Ayn Rand's philosophy “for those who wish to who wish to assume the responsibility of becoming the new intellectuals. Following the publication of Atlas Shrugged, Ayn Rand transitioned to writing nonfiction philosophical works. The first book she published was For the New Intellectual, a collection of the philosophic speeches from her novels. The book begins with a lengthy essay in which Rand.
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Here is Ayn Rand's first non-fiction work—a challenge to the prevalent philosophical doctrines of our time and the “atmosphere of guilt, of panic, of despair. It was a profound intellectual error that led to these ghastly historical consequences. Ayn Rand's seminal achievement was to elevate the. For the New Intellectual: The Philosophy of Ayn Rand is a work by Ayn Rand, her first . Print/export. Create a book · Download as PDF · Printable version.
After all, the material world is obvious, no? The presentation of Marx demonstrates conclusively the unreliability of this text: While businessmen were rising to spectacular achievements [detail of achievements that looks as though it were lifted from The Communist Manifesto] against the scornful resistance of loafing ex-feudal aristocrats and the destructive violence of those who were to profit most: the workers [!
Thereafter follows equally bogus discussion of pragmatism, logical positivism, positivism proper, utilitarianism, Nietzsche, Spencer. Very much textbook Dunning-Kruger on display.
Rand will never give the Soviet Union the benefit of the doubt for inheriting a feudal economy and for being destroyed by world war and civil war and world war again. Nor will she give the individual worker a break.
The Philosophy of Ayn Rand (50th Anniversary Edition)
Or is the result of government interference. Or caused by shiftless proletarians. The philosophical literature on happiness in this sense usually called well-being makes and answers many such objections Badhwar The virtues are thus united or reciprocal. Each virtue is defined partly in terms of a recognition and whole-hearted commitment to some fact or facts, a commitment understood by the agent to be indispensable for gaining, maintaining, or expressing her ultimate value.
Rand states that charity is not a major virtue or moral duty b ; likewise, presumably, kindness, generosity, and forgiveness.
What is never morally appropriate is making sacrifices, that is, surrendering something of value to oneself for the sake of something of less or no value to oneself.
It is appropriate to help a stranger only in an emergency, and only when the risk to our own life or well-being is minimal c: 43— Charity understood thus is a virtue because it is an expression of the generalized good will and respect that all normal people have towards others as creatures who share with them the capacity to value c: 46— By acting charitably, people actualize this sense of kinship, without sacrificing their own well-being.
At any rate, the argument from identification can also be used to justify charity towards strangers in non-emergency situations, for example, for those who are permanently disabled and unable to care for themselves Badhwar forthcoming-b. And indeed, as recent scholarship has revealed, in her own life Rand was often extremely generous, not only towards friends and acquaintances, but also strangers.
A deeper reason, however, might be her conception of people as essentially agents rather than patients, doers rather than receivers, self-sufficient rather than dependent. Just as rationality, a focus on reality, is at the heart of every virtue, so irrationality, evasion of reality including self-deception , is at the heart of every vice.
Hank Rearden, in Atlas Shrugged, is the great innocent living under a burden of unearned guilt because of his mistaken sense of honor and his charity towards a family interested only in manipulating and using him. Cheryl Taggart is killed by the too-sudden revelation that the man she loved and admired as the embodiment of her ideals is a fraud—and that the world is full of such frauds.
As already indicated, Rand justifies virtue in both instrumental and non-instrumental terms, though without distinguishing between them. The instrumental arguments show the existential and psychological rewards of virtue and costs of vice. Virtue creates a sense of inner harmony and enables mutually beneficial interactions with others. Further, like Sartre, Rand holds that no evasion is completely successful, because the truth constantly threatens to resurface.
For The New Intellectual
His lack of integrity and of esteem for reality results in a lack of self-love or self-esteem and, indeed, of a solid self. Thus, it is possible for a small injustice to lead to great rewards, especially since others are willing to shrug off or forgive occasional transgressions. Again, even if every wrongdoing carries psychological costs, these might sometimes be outweighed by the long-term costs of doing the right thing as Rand herself suggests in her portrayal of the embittered Henry Cameron and Stephen Mallory in The Fountainhead.
Rectitude is partly constitutive of genuine happiness because it expresses the right relationship to reality: to existence, to oneself, and to others.
For the same reason, it is partly constitutive of a self worth loving, an ideally human or rational self. Like Plato and Aristotle, Rand argues that virtue necessarily creates inner harmony and certitude. Any value gained at the price of rectitude is only the simulacrum of genuine value.
In a variety of conceptually interconnected ways, then, virtuous individuals are necessarily better off than those willing to take moral short-cuts. An objection often levied against egoistic theories is that they give the wrong reason for acting in other-regarding ways: justly, kindly, etc.
My act is not really just if I give you your due because it is good for me rather than because you deserve it; it is not really charitable if I help you for my own benefit rather than yours. So insofar as her view is instrumentalist and act-egoistic, the problem remains.
Altruism is also the reason why so many sympathize with, or even praise, bloody dictatorships that proudly proclaim that the sacrifice of the individual is a necessary and noble means to the goal of the collective good Rand a.
As such, it is also profoundly immoral. Altruism leaves us without any moral guidance in our everyday lives and gives morality a bad name. What, then, is the psychological explanation for the widespread equation of altruism with morality?
The theorists and preachers of altruism are motivated largely by a desire to control and manipulate others by playing on their guilt. Some altruists are altruists because their mentalities are still frozen in a tribal past when survival required the sacrifice of some for the sake of others b.
Rand herself rejects a zero-sum picture of human relationships, so long as everyone in the relationship acts rationally. The philosopher who responds negatively to her work finds many biased and simplistic interpretations of philosophers and philosophical doctrines, including her claim that she is the first to consistently defend a morality of rational self-interest, all other philosophers having defended either altruism or mysticism Pojman Social-Political Philosophy 3.
Individual rights are the means of subordinating society to moral law.
These natural rights are basically rights to actions, not to things or outcomes, and they can be violated only through the initiation of force or fraud. The right to life means…the freedom to take all the actions required by the nature of a rational being for the support, the furtherance, the fulfillment and the enjoyment of his own life. Such is the meaning of the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
Like other libertarians, both right market and left egalitarian , Rand opposes state regulation of morality, as well as forced service to the state, whether military or civilian.
She criticizes both conservatives and liberals as these terms are understood in American politics for wanting government to control the realm they regard as important: the spiritual or moral realm in the case of conservatives, and the material or economic realm in the case of liberals b. Both sides thus betray a lack of understanding of the fact that human beings need to be free in both realms to be free in either. Yet the freedom to do only that which is morally good or rational is not a freedom at all.
For example, she also says that, as fallible creatures, human beings must be free to agree or disagree, to cooperate or to pursue their own independent course, each according to his own rational judgment. But it would be more accurate to say that, while this position is the one that is compatible with her deep-seated commitment to liberty and a minimal government, she also often makes statements that entail the opposite.
Rand argues that the only just social-political system, the only system compatible with our rational nature and with the right of individuals to live for their own sakes, is capitalism , b , that is, laissez-faire capitalism—with a separation of state and economics, in the same way and for the same reasons as the separation of state and church. Regulation creates the opportunity for the trading of favors between politicians and religious leaders, and politicians and businesses.
She does, of course, praise capitalism or semi-capitalism for creating widespread prosperity, but this feature is itself explained only by the fact that it leaves individuals free to produce in peace. She holds that for a short period in the nineteenth-century America came closer to a laissez-faire system than any other society before or since, but that capitalism remains an unknown ideal.
Some critics complain, however, that in her non-fiction c Rand does not always recognize the aristocrats of pull in the real world—business leaders who lobby politicians for subsidies for themselves and restrictions on their competitors Rothbard ; Johnson Rand rejects the criticism that unregulated, laissez-faire capitalism would lead to a concentration of power in a few hands and undermine equality of opportunity because laissez-faire capitalism requires the rule of law, a well-defined system of property rights, freedom of contract, and, as a corollary, a government that abstains from all favoritism.
Is it true, however, that rational interests cannot conflict? Their conflict is due to external factors, such as only one job for two qualified people. But is such conflict compatible with rights in an egoistic framework?
And can rights be defended within an egoistic framework? In her justification of rights we see the same unresolved tension between the instrumentalist strand and the deontic strand that we do in her justification of morality in general Mack , Rand defines government as an institution that holds the exclusive power to enforce certain rules of social conduct in a given geographical area. Accordingly, the government may use or threaten force only in retaliation against those who initiate or threaten force directly or indirectly.
Statism in all its forms, from unlimited democracy to a mixed economy to dictatorship, is at odds with our status as independent, rational beings, as ends in ourselves. The fountainhead of all progress is the human mind, and the mind does not function well when forced. There is a judge to arbitrate disagreements, but there has never been any need for arbitration.
Anarchist critics, such as Roy Childs  and Murray Rothbard , have argued that a territorial monopoly on law and force government is not necessary, because people can establish a just and effective legal system in a competitive market of security providers see Long and Machan The Law Merchant, a body of law established and enforced in private courts by the merchants of various countries, illustrates the possibility of an effective voluntary legal system.
Cox a and b. The trader principle states that a voluntary, mutually beneficial exchange between independent equals is the only basis for a mutually respectful and rational relationship b: The trader principle applies to emotional relationships as well.
It would seem, however, that the trade between parent and child is unequal, given that the child receives both pleasure and material support from the parent. And it is unclear how the trader principle applies at all when a severe disability renders a beloved child or spouse a source of pain rather than pleasure.
Branden One literary critic argues that Dagny is the first, and perhaps only, epic heroine in Western literature because of the grandness of her vision, her courage and integrity, her unusual abilities, and her national importance Michalson In all three novels, it is the heroine who has the power to choose which of the men who love, admire, and desire her and only her she will have.
Her relationship to the feminist movement, however, was more complex. As a result, good reasoning leads to knowledge of objective truth. Ayn Rand's ethics begins by asking what ethics is for. For Rand, the answer is happiness. The human being is a living thing and has to choose between a principle of life or death; what makes human life unique is its free will and ability to think.
However, thinking is inherently volitional and requires a choice on behalf of the individual. Ethics is necessary to make sense of our ends and need to survive and all ethical commitments flow directly from this rational commitment.
Further, ethics commands rational egoism, or rational self-interest. Sacrificing one's life for others is inherently irrational. Finally, Rand's politics are rooted in freedom, limited government and property rights; her novels usually include some conflict between the individual and the state, and between the individual's characteristic activity - creation and production, and the collective or state's characteristic activity - theft, parasitism, destruction.
She believed that reason justified capitalism and that capitalism was the only social system compatible with man's nature. All of these ideas are worked out in For the New Intellectuals. The problem with the modern academy is that the intellectuals have become corrupted by mystical and barbaric ideas. The point of For the New Intellectuals is to communicate these ideas to those who are willing to think and take back the academy from those who destroy it and consequently the rest of culture.
The book therefore includes five broad chapters. The first chapter, "For the New Intellectual" is a brief essay expounding upon the above themes. The next four chapters—"We the Living," "Anthem," "The Fountainhead," and "Atlas Shrugged"—are excerpts from Rand's four books of the same name which illustrate the philosophy introduced in the first chapter. The book ends with John Galt's famous page speech in Atlas Shrugged, which lays out the philosophy of objectivity in detail.Brown, S.
But it would be more accurate to say that, while this position is the one that is compatible with her deep-seated commitment to liberty and a minimal government, she also often makes statements that entail the opposite.
For the New Intellectual; the Philosophy of Ayn Rand Summary & Study Guide
Sign In. It is the conditional nature of life that gives rise to values, not just human values, but values as such. Her rich and challenging picture of human life and virtue in her novels points to a richer and more challenging conception of the final end than mere survival.
All of these ideas are worked out in For the New Intellectuals. The next four chapters—"We the Living," "Anthem," "The Fountainhead," and "Atlas Shrugged"—are excerpts from Rand's four books of the same name which illustrate the philosophy introduced in the first chapter.