Description

Ayn Rand stated the theme of Atlas Shrugged as: “the role of the mind in man’s existence—and, as corollary, the demonstration of a new moral philosophy: the morality of rational self-interest.” This course discusses the manner in which the novel demonstrates a new moral philosophy from the perspective of the protagonists. Follow Rearden and Dagny in their journey as they induce progressively deeper philosophical insights from the events of the novel and see how the philosophical speeches consolidate these inductions to enable further integrations.

The course shows how both Rearden and Dagny struggle with and start to grasp the philosophical principles at the root of their conflict against the looters and within themselves.

Principles discussed include: the sanction of the victim, the spirit-body dichotomy, the difference between motivation by love and by fear, and the nature of morality and why man needs it.

By showing how these principles are presented through the novel’s plot, the course fosters a deeper appreciation of Atlas Shrugged as a work of philosophy and of literature.

This course includes a handout here.

Recommended further reading/watching for this course includes Essays on Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged, which provides further philosophical analysis of Atlas Shrugged. And The Atlas Project, a course led by Gregory Salmieri and Ben Bayer, provides readers of Atlas Shrugged with extensive chapter-by-chapter commentary and analysis.