Instructor Bio

Ben Bayer is an instructor and fellow at the Ayn Rand Institute. He brings to ARI more than a decade of experience in teaching a wide range of philosophy courses at colleges and universities around the United States. He was a visiting assistant professor at Loyola University New Orleans for seven years, and previously taught at Metropolitan State University of Denver, Colorado College, Loyola University of Chicago, and the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.

In his time as a professor, Dr. Bayer’s research focused on epistemology and metaphysics (especially, free will and determinism). He has published scholarly articles in American Philosophical QuarterlySynthesePhilosophia, and Acta Analytica, among others. He has also contributed essays to Concepts and Their Role in Knowledge: Reflections on Objectivist Epistemology and Essays on Ayn Rand’s “The Fountainhead.”

Dr. Bayer was one of the two co-founders of the student publication The Undercurrent, for which he served as an editor and contributor between 2005 and 2016. He edited, the blog of the Ayn Rand Society (a professional association affiliated with the American Philosophical Association), from 2016 to 2017.

Dr. Bayer received his Ph.D in philosophy from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, in 2007. He also completed the program of coursework in ARI’s Objectivist Graduate Center, a forerunner of the Objectivist Academic Center.

Request An Interview or Speaker



  • Philosophy
  • Morality/Ethics
  • Epistemology
  • Logic
  • Objectivism
  • Ayn Rand’s novels & ideas

Books and Articles

Courses Taught



  • Ayn Rand Institute
    2017 – present

Visiting Assistant Professor

  • Loyola University New Orleans
    2010 – 2017
  • Colorado College
    2008 – 2009


  • Metropolitan State University of Denver
    Spring 2010
  • Loyola University Chicago
    2007 – 2008

Selected Work


  • Panel on Free Will and Neuroscience, Ayn Rand Student Conference October 2016

Talks & Lectures

  • “A Positive Evidentialist Account of Epistemic Possibility” at the Southern Epistemology Conference, Department of Philosophy, Loyola New Orleans, October 2015, and at Science and Certainty: Historical and Contemporary Perspectives, Department of Philosophy, UC San Diego, May 2015
  • “Belief Ownership Without Belief Authorship: Agent Reliabilists’ Unlucky Gambit Against Reflective Luck.” Presented at the American Philosophical Association, Pacific Division, Vancouver, BC, April 2015
  • “Believing at Will and the Will to Believe the Truth.” Presented at the American Philosophical Association, Eastern Division, Atlanta, GA, December 2012
  • “Freedom for the Self-Made Soul,” The Undercurrent Student Conference, Washington DC, October 2014
  • “History of the Concept of Free Will,” OCON, Chicago, IL, July 2013
  • “Spreading Objectivism by Living It,” OCON, Las Vegas, NV, July 2014
  • “Why Internalists Need an Enriched Theory of Perceptual and Conceptual Awareness to Escape from Bergmann’s Dilemma.” Presented at the 9th International Symposium of Cognition, Logic and Communication, University of Latvia, Riga, Latvia, May 2013
  • “How Understanding the Nature of Perception Helps Solve Central Problems in Epistemology,” Seminar, Koç University, Istanbul, Turkey, February 21, 2010 [Invited]
  • “Understanding Twentieth-Century Philosophy: The Case of Quine,” OCON, Boston, MA, July 2006


  • Philosophical Themes in Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged
  • Epistemology (Advanced)
  • Free Will and Determinism
  • Philosophy of Knowledge
  • Free Will in Thought and Action (Advanced)
  • Making Moral Decisions
  • History of Analytic Philosophy
  • History of Modern Philosophy
  • Philosophy of Language
  • Practical Logic
  • Formal Logic