This lecture examines a virtue that is essential to leading a rationally self-interested life: independence. It first probes the virtue’s exact meaning, with an emphasis on understanding independence as “a primary orientation to reality” (Objectivism: The Philosophy of Ayn Rand by Leonard Peikoff) rather than to other men. The lecture further explains the value of independence in our lives as well as the practical demands that it places on us. It distinguishes genuine independence from “pseudo-independence,” and responds to the conventional wisdom that man is a “social animal” and that we are inescapably “interdependent.”