This series of lectures was given by Leonard Peikoff in 1987, partway through the writing of his book Objectivism: The Philosophy of Ayn Rand. The book is an edited version of Peikoff’s 1976 lecture course The Philosophy of Objectivism, which Ayn Rand attended and endorsed as “the only authorized presentation of the entire theoretical structure of Objectivism, i.e., the only one that I know of my own knowledge to be fully accurate.”

In revising the 1976 course for publication, Peikoff reorganized the material into an order of presentation that more accurately reflects the logical structure of Objectivism. In Objectivism: The State of the Art, Peikoff discusses this revised structure as well as more precise formulations of various points in Objectivism.

Peikoff described this course as “what I myself learned about Objectivism while writing my current book on the subject.” It contains fascinating technical material suitable for advanced students of Objectivism. Peikoff’s presentation of the hierarchical structure of Objectivism is especially valuable for those who would like to deepen their understanding of the philosophy.

The course consists of six lectures and two 90-minute Q&A sessions. Topics covered include:

  • Where the study of philosophy should begin
  • How philosophy can be a single, integrated whole, yet consist of parts that are proved before one knows the total
  • The logical structure of metaphysics
  • The full definition of ‘objective’
  • The uniqueness of Ayn Rand’s concept of ‘logic’
  • Logic as the means of practicing objectivity
  • The definition of ‘principle’
  • Why that which is obtained dishonestly is not a value


Disclaimer: Although Leonard Peikoff granted permission for the creation of this course in a new format, he has not reviewed or approved any of its content. The recordings are accompanied by supplementary materials that were not part of the original course.

Recorded at The Jefferson School, San Francisco, CA, in 1987.