The Non-fiction

randayn-ff-150px“Ayn Rand.” The Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy, 2001.

“Egoism in Nietzsche and Rand” [pdf]. Published in The Journal of Ayn Rand Studies 10:2, Spring 2009, 249-291. Audiobook version.

“Ayn Rand and Contemporary Business Ethics” [pdf]. Originally published in The Journal of Accounting, Ethics & Public Policy 3:1 (Winter 2003), pp. 1-26.
Abstract: Most traditional systems of business ethics hold that business is essentially amoral or immoral. Such systems share a common assumption: that conflicts of interest—either because of scarce resources or innate human badness or sin — are basic to the human condition. That assumption of fundamental conflict is rejected in Ayn Rand’s system of ethics. Rand’s system, by contrast, emphasizes the power of human reason to shape one’s character and beliefs, and it makes fundamental reason’s power to develop new resources and cultivate win-win social relationships. In this essay, Stephen Hicks applies Rand’s radical ethical perspective to key issues in business ethics and contrasts it to those perspectives based on the assumption of the amorality or immorality of business.
Also available online at the Social Science Research Network, in Kindle e-book format, and in a monograph edition from Amazon.com. Translations: Korean, German, Serbo-Croatian, and Portuguese.

part-12-cropped“Objectivism and Philosophy of Education.” My 2.5 hour video lecture on Objectivism, including its relation to Montessori education. The lecture is Part 12 of my Philosophy of Education course.

Review of Tara Smith’s Ayn Rand’s Normative Ethics [PDF]. Published in Philosophy in Review, October 2007. Audio version of the review in MP3 format or at YouTube.

AR-JAG-2016-lgReview of Donna Greiner and Theodore Kinni’s Ayn Rand and Business. The Journal of Ayn Rand Studies 4:2, Spring 2003.

Review of Ronald Merrill’s The Ideas of Ayn Rand [PDF]. IOS Journal, 1992. (Disclaimer: I didn’t choose the title for this review of Merrill’s good-but-not-great book.)

Review of Carlin Romano’s America the Philosophical (Alfred A. Knopf, 2012). Reason Papers 34:2, October 2012.

Review of Allan Gotthelf and James G. Lennox’s Concepts and Their Role in Knowledge: Reflections on Objectivist Epistemology (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2013). Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews, November 2013.

nietzsche_50x57Nietzsche and Objectivism. Spring 2000 online course archived at The Objectivist Center.

Nietzsche and Rand: 96 Similarities and Differences.

Video lecture: “Public Policy, Objectivism, and Entrepreneurship.” Atlas Summit, Washington, D.C., 2012.

Hayek and Rand on Reason, A.P.E.E., 2010.

Movement in-fighting and schisms [Neo-Kantians, Freudians, and Rand’s comments on Frank Lloyd Wright’s circle.]

The Fiction

Roark and Keating: First meetings. And The Fountainhead (Introduction to Philosophy this week).

Toohey’s five strategies of altruism.

Gail Wynand’s power strategy. Part 2 forthcoming.

Gordon Prescott: Heidegger’s disciple?

Marcel Duchamp and Lillian Rearden.
Jane Addams and Ellsworth Toohey.

John Jermyn and Ken Danagger.

atlas-deco Atlas Shrugged is really a documentary, datum #217.

Return to the StephenHicks.org main page.

15 thoughts on “Objectivism

  • December 16, 2015 at 3:37 pm

    Oh you’re a randian? HOW EMBARRASSING

  • November 13, 2016 at 7:49 pm

    I began reading Rand about 50 years ago, and I’m still amazed at the number of her detractors who think mere sneering is an effective argument (“from intimidation,” as Rand taught us). My favorite response is “‘Shut up,’ he explained.”

  • June 25, 2017 at 8:45 am

    When people talk about Rand they always jokingly ask. Who is gonna clean the toilets?

  • June 25, 2017 at 11:14 am

    Likely entrepreneurs who run janitorial services, or machines developed by innovators. A good joke, yes, but with a serious edge.

  • August 6, 2017 at 10:10 pm

    Hey Dr. Hicks

    What is your response to the classical liberals and libertarian intellectuals who regard Rand as a mere historical curiosity. Say, for example, the well respected philosopher Michael Huemer who argues on his website against objectivism. He says that he doesn’t waste his time on the topic anymore because it isn’t worth the time because objectivist are convinced. Would you read Huemers paper and then respond?

  • August 7, 2017 at 7:11 pm

    Hi Jack: Mike Huemer is a smart guy, and I expect he has some thoughtful arguments. Realistically, though, I don’t have time for new projects until after 2018. Perhaps this recent exchange with Matt Zwolinski is a start, as it covers some of the content and, more importantly, methodological differences between some libertarians and Objectivists: http://www.learnliberty.org/blog/debate-is-ayn-rand-right-about-rights/.

  • August 23, 2017 at 3:04 pm

    Hello Stephen, while putting together some art history for my design students I came across your essay, which is defnititely an interesting way of seeing things, and I while introduce it as a counterpoint to mainstream views on art. While reading your thoughts on how art became increasingly negative, I had some thoughts on where to find positive imagery – advertising.
    Some rumination later, I was wondering about what you thought about positive imagery today increasingly connected to products, and somewhat disconnected from actual life experience or, worse, any higher good.
    Happy families have become an image to sell cleaning products with – an image associated with cleaning products.
    I understand, coming from a design point of view, that the advertiser tried to associate his product with the image, but I’m afraid, it also worked the other way around, – and thus, art became negative, but at least not like it’s trying to sell something to me.
    Not that trying to sell something is per se bad, however, the smile one the faces of the -of any- happy family, really, doesn’t feel sincere anymore.

    Yes, art got ugly, and you gave a good overview of how that happened – but at the same time beauty got insincere …

  • August 23, 2017 at 3:05 pm

    sorry for the typos

  • September 21, 2017 at 7:25 pm

    I’m a student of philosophy at a local university, and I’m new to the study of Objectivism. I find that Rand confirms many of my suspicions about much of modern philosophy, and shares my frustrations with the current vogue nonsense being taught as “metaphysics” and “epistemology.” However, being a diligent and independent thinker myself, I have been trying to examine Objectivism objectively, but in actively searching for intelligent critiques of Rand’s arguments, all I find are ad hominem attacks, epithets, and appeals to popular sentiment. I read constantly that Ayn Rand was rude, arrogant, etc., as if Descartes or Hume or Nietzsche were straightlaced saints immune to criticism. It is totally ludicrous. In fact, I share some of the personal criticisms of Rand, but when it comes to the truth and viability of her arguments philosophically, I really just don’t give a damn about her personal life.

    Why do academic philosophers, by and large, fail to actually engage Objectivist arguments in a meaningful way? Why does the very suggestion that they engage her work seriously evoke snickers, as if doing so is beneath them?

    These are honest questions. Thank you.

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