Ayn Rand is the first philosopher to recognize that the free will is at the root of not only ethics but also epistemology. By identifying that “Man is a being of volitional consciousness,” that one’s choice to think or not is an act of free will, she revolutionized our understanding of the relationship of consciousness to existence. In these lectures, given at 1999 Lyceum Conference, Dr. Binswanger presents and validates the Objectivist theory of free will, with emphasis on the relationship between volition and the reality-orientation.

Topics include:

  • mental focus: what exactly is “focus”? how do we know focus is volitional? focus vs concentration
  • drift, evasion, “meta-evasion” and self-monitoring”
  • the error in asking “what makes one man focus and another not?”
  • free will as the base of objectivity, and determinism as the premise of mysticism