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Objectivism: The philosophy of Ayn Rand

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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, from her Appendix to Atlas Shrugged

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Objectivism is not a religion; it is a philosophy and ethical system. "Ayn Rand (1905 - 1982) was a multi-talented author who wrote such classic novels as 'The Fountainhead' and 'Atlas Shrugged,' and, through scores of nonfiction essays, laid the foundations for an original system of thought called Objectivism."

The Rebirth of Reason™ web site defines Objectivism as:

"... a philosophy for living. It promotes values like love, friendship, wealth, and comfort. It respects science, technology, and innovation. It emphasizes reason and clarity. It values purposefulness, achievement, and success. It reveres passionate living, and pursing the greatest heights. It sets personal happiness as your goal, and gives you the tools to figure out how to achieve it."

The Objectivist Center describes Objectivism as follows:

In her novels The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged, and in nonfiction works such as Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal, Ayn Rand forged a systematic philosophy of reason and freedom.

Rand was a passionate individualist. She wrote in praise of "the men of unborrowed vision," who live by the judgment of their own minds, willing to stand alone against tradition and popular opinion.

Her philosophy of Objectivism rejects the ethics of self-sacrifice and renunciation. She urged men to hold themselves and their lives as their highest values, and to live by the code of the free individual: self-reliance, integrity, rationality, productive effort.

Objectivism celebrates the power of man's mind, defending reason and science against every form of irrationalism. It provides an intellectual foundation for objective standards of truth and value.

Upholding the use of reason to transform nature and create wealth, Objectivism honors the businessman and the banker, no less than the philosopher and artist, as creators and as benefactors of mankind.

Ayn Rand was a champion of individual rights, which protect the sovereignty of the individual as an end in himself; and of capitalism, which is the only social system that allows people to live together peaceably, by voluntary trade, as independent equals.

Millions of readers have been inspired by the vision of life in Ayn Rand's novels. Scholars are exploring the trails she blazed in philosophy and other fields. Her principled defense of capitalism has drawn new adherents to the cause of economic and political liberty.

The above quotation is used by permission,

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References used:

The following information sources were used to prepare and update the above essay. The hyperlinks are not necessarily still active today.
  1. Joseph Rowlands, "Rebirth of Reason," at:

  2. The Objectivist Center has as its goals: "To advance Objectivist ideas and ideals in our culture and society and to create an open community of people who share those ideals." They sponsor seminars, conferences and workshops. They  maintain a database of media references to Ayn Rand on their web site. They publish a periodical, the Navigator.  Their home page at:

  3. The Ann Rand Institute, (ARI), a nonprofit organization "... headquartered in Irvine, California, works to introduce young people to Ayn Rand’s novels, to support scholarship and research based on her ideas, and to promote the principles of reason, rational self-interest, individual rights and laissez-faire capitalism to the widest possible audience." Their website has an introduction to Objectivism, and the writings of Ayn Rand. See:

  4. ObjectivismOnline.Net is "... an online community dedicated to bringing together the vast marketplace of Objectivist ideas, commentary on current events, essays written by intellectuals, discussion with Objectivists, and the vast number of other Objectivist websites that have spread across the Internet. See:

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Originally assembled: 2001-MAY-20
Latest update: 2010-AUG-08
Author: B.A. Robinson

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