In this course, Leonard Peikoff presents the essentials of Ayn Rand’s philosophy and stresses their practical significance for each individual’s life.

Recorded live before New York City audiences in 1976, this course was endorsed by Rand in print 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.” Rand attended the entire course and participated in eight of the twelve question-and-answer sessions.

In 1991, Peikoff reworked this course into his book Objectivism: The Philosophy of Ayn Rand. Because this book’s formulations and logical structure are “immeasurably superior,” Peikoff regards his book (rather than his course) as “the definitive statement of Objectivism.”

Despite having been superseded, the course has continuing value because it offers us (1) a recorded statement of the essentials of Objectivism, (2) an opportunity to discover the differences between the course and the book and (3) the chance to hear Rand answer questions from the New York audiences.

Topics covered in the course include:

  • Metaphysics and man’s metaphysical nature
  • The foundations of epistemology
  • The nature and function of concepts
  • Rationality
  • The foundations of ethics
  • Virtue, practicality and happiness
  • The principles of politics and the nature of capitalism
  • Esthetics
  • Objectivism’s relation to the past and the future


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.