This is an ongoing live course taught in the Objectivist Academic Center (OAC), ARI’s premier intellectual training program featuring weekly classes conducted by videoconference. Visit aynrand.org/oac to learn how you can gain access to this exclusive content and begin participating in live classes!
In this course you will read, write and analyze intellectual work — from more academically oriented writing to more popular applied intellectual writing. The aim is to learn what it really means to engage with other thinkers’ positions and arguments and to learn to think through an issue or an argument from an Objectivist perspective. We will focus on books and articles by non-Objectivist thinkers in conjunction with essays by Ayn Rand (and other Objectivists) on related topics.
In each of the works you will read, the author relies on certain philosophical assumptions as well as explicit premises and arguments, and on that basis develops a position on contemporary cultural, philosophical or political issues. As a student, you will be asked to identify these assumptions, premises and arguments and to evaluate what you think is true and false in the position and what you think Objectivism has to contribute to an understanding of the issues in play. Special emphasis will be placed on taking other thinkers seriously and interpreting their work objectively, while maintaining an Objectivist perspective in one’s own thinking.
This course comprises 4 Units, each led by a different instructor:
- Unit 1 (Onkar Ghate): The Tyranny of Merit: What’s Become of the Common Good?, by Michael Sandel
- Unit 2 (Aaron Smith): A Guide to the Good Life: The Ancient Art of Stoic Joy, by William B. Irvine
- Unit 3 (Gregory Salmieri): Radical: My Journey out of Islamic Extremism, by Maajid Nawaz
- Unit 4 (Ben Bayer): Would You Kill the Fat Man?: The Trolley Problem and What Your Answer Tells Us about Right and Wrong, by David Edmonds
For the communication component, you will complete and receive feedback on written and oral communication assignments. This year we will devote a significant amount of time (11 of our 27 classes) to such communication skills. In addition to the course’s regular faculty, Drs. Keith Lockitch and Gregory Salmieri will be providing feedback on some of the communication assignments.