Concepts, though fundamental, are only tools—only means to an end. The end is the practical, productive, rational use of your mind to achieve your values, secure your survival, and enhance your life. That is the topic of this course: four classes on using concepts to think—to think in the way that reaches rational conclusions. Thinking is in sentences—i.e., propositions. Combining theory with homework exercises, two classes contrast the logical and the illogical way to form propositions, then two classes deal with integrating propositions to reach new identifications of facts—i.e., induction and deduction. Emphasis is given to working on practical exercises. The course, recorded at OCON 2019, builds on Binswanger’s OCON 2018 course Logic: The Method of Reason.
Ayn Rand stated the theme of Atlas Shrugged as: “the role of the mind in man’s existence—and, as corollary, the demonstration of a new moral philosophy: the morality of rational self-interest.” This course discusses the manner in which the novel demonstrates a new moral philosophy from the perspective of the protagonists. Follow Rearden and Dagny in their journey as they induce progressively deeper philosophical insights from the events of the novel and see how the philosophical speeches consolidate these inductions to enable further integrations.
The course shows how both Rearden and Dagny struggle with and start to grasp the philosophical principles at the root of their conflict against the looters and within themselves.
Principles discussed include: the sanction of the victim, the spirit-body dichotomy, the difference between motivation by love and by fear, and the nature of morality and why man needs it.
By showing how these principles are presented through the novel’s plot, the course fosters a deeper appreciation of Atlas Shrugged as a work of philosophy and of literature.
This course includes a handout here.
Recommended further reading/watching for this course includes Essays on Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged, which provides further philosophical analysis of Atlas Shrugged. And The Atlas Project, a course led by Gregory Salmieri and Ben Bayer, provides readers of Atlas Shrugged with extensive chapter-by-chapter commentary and analysis.
This is an ongoing live course (Apr. – Jun. 2022) of Ayn Rand University, a new kind of university which provides advanced live courses in philosophy and communication from an Objectivist perspective. ARU courses include weekly live classes conducted by videoconference and taught by experts in Objectivism.
To join this or other ARU courses, sign up as an auditor, or apply to be a graded student in ARU’s Objectivist Academic Center!
This course examines the value philosophy of science offers to scientific practice. We will do so by studying a 19th century debate over the nature of induction, and the influence of that debate on Charles Darwin. In the course of our studies, we will look at the works on scientific induction by John Herschel, William Whewell, and John Stuart Mill.
This is an invitation-only live course (Oct. 2021 – Jun. 2022) of Ayn Rand University, a new kind of university which provides advanced live courses in philosophy and communication from an Objectivist perspective. ARU courses include weekly live classes conducted by videoconference and taught by experts in Objectivism.
To join other ARU courses, sign up as an auditor, or apply to be a graded student in ARU’s Objectivist Academic Center!
This course builds on the skills learned in the Writing Course taught in Year 2 of the Objectivist Academic Center. It focuses on advanced training in writing and editing articles aimed at an intellectually-oriented general audience, and is led by the senior editors of New Ideal.
In this collection of talks spanning more than a decade, Leonard Peikoff reflects on a wide range of topics of significant importance to his life, both personally and professionally. Several of these discussions are informal: Peikoff answers written or verbal questions from audience members or reflects on personal anecdotes. Throughout the various talks, the listener will get a keen sense of Peikoff’s own personal values, especially in relation to his artistic interests, his professional life and his history with Ayn Rand.
Free, unregulated financial markets serve the vital function of providing capital to the producers. Yet, through the ages, banking and other financial activities have been viewed as corrupt and exploitative. From the money-changers of the Middle Ages to the investment bankers of today, financiers have been crippled by the hostility of looters.
In this course, Dr. Yaron Brook defends these victims. He methodically describes how financiers serve a vital role in the economy. Using the stock market to illustrate this principle, Brook explains the important economic role of speculators, the harmony of interest between short-term and long-term investors, and the objective nature of stock prices. In addition, he defends hostile takeovers, leveraged buyouts, “junk” bonds and other financial innovations used extensively in the 1980s.
In the process, he delineates the philosophic ideas that make the attacks on financial markets possible. He defends the profit motive as the only moral and practical motive for financial transactions.
This course was recorded in 1996 at the summer Objectivist conference hosted by Second Renaissance Conferences.
The course outline can be found here.
No thinker has had a greater influence on philosophy in the last two centuries than Immanuel Kant. Building on his metaphysics and epistemology, Kant proposed an ethics that dispensed with the need for a divine authority in ethics, but which distilled and retained Judaeo-Christian morality’s fundamental principle—duty or moral law—and its fundamental virtue, voluntary obedience to the law.
This course examines the major conceptual elements of Kant’s moral philosophy and analyzes Kant’s lasting influence on subsequent ethics. This course is Part 2 of a two-part course on Kant’s philosophy. Part 1 addresses Kant’s theoretical philosophy.
This course was recorded at the 2011 Objectivist Summer Conference in Fort Lauderdale, FL.
This course includes a handout.
No thinker has had a greater influence on philosophy in the last two centuries than Immanuel Kant. This course presents the historical context in which Kant developed his metaphysics and epistemology and explains his most important ideas. By analyzing the content and methodology of his mature philosophical system, the course acquaints you with the essential elements and spirit of Kant’s philosophy and gives you a richer appreciation of his profound influence. This course is Part 1 of a two-part course on Kant’s philosophy. Part 2 addresses Kant’s moral philosophy.
This course was recorded at the 2007 Objectivist Summer Conference in Telluride, CO.
This course includes a handout.
In this free preview course, you can sample the educational experience of being in the Objectivist Academic Center (OAC®), ARI’s premier intellectual training program featuring live courses taught by videoconference. Join at aynrand.org/OAC
The core of the OAC is a 3-year curriculum offering in-depth instruction in Objectivism and how to think about and communicate philosophical ideas. This program can be taken as a graded student or audited. (Auditors are encouraged to take all 3 years of the OAC but there is no expectation that they do so.)
Both students and auditors engage with instructors in the live classroom, in the online class forums, and in 1:1 meetings during office hours, and have access to all class content and recordings. The OAC is tuition-based, but those accepted into the student program are eligible for scholarships.