The Voluntary Life: 65 A Review of The Virtue Of Selfishness By Ayn Rand

16 July 2012

65 A Review of The Virtue Of Selfishness By Ayn Rand

This episode is a review of "The Virtue of Selfishness" by Ayn Rand. It is a group discussion and the guests include Stephanie Murphy from Porc Therapy, freelance writer Greg Minton, George the expat auditor (from episodes 58 and 59and other friends. Here are some of the things we cover in the discussion:

  • The book's gutsy title and the controversy surrounding it.
  • The pros and cons of Ayn Rand's morality and her own moralising.
  • Aspects of the book we found unconvincing, such as her dismissal of voluntaryism and her idea that no conflict of interest is possible between rational people. 
  • Rand's convincing takedown of ethical lifeboat scenarios.
  • The fact that Ayn Rand is ignored in universities.
  • The impact that some of Ayn Rand's contradictions (on intellectual property and on non-aggression) have had on the objectivist movement's development, especially it's pro-war stance on foreign policy.
  • Her deconstruction of other moral theories that were around during her time.
  • Plus, we have a lot of fun talking about her strange views on tapdancing and morality!

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