“Reading [Ayn] Rand seriously,” writes Gregory Salmieri, “as opposed to merely reacting passively to her writings, is demanding intellectual work.” In this essay, which is chapter 1 of A Companion to Ayn Rand (Blackwell Companions to Philosophy) (2015), co-authored with Allan Gotthelf, Salmieri notes the stark contrast between the extent of Rand’s cultural prominence and the dearth of serious scholarly attention to her philosophy, Objectivism. Acknowledging the obstacles to understanding a radical thinker who challenged conventional wisdom in every branch of philosophy, Salmieri describes the rewards that await readers willing to consider Rand’s systematic philosophy on its own terms. Besides summarizing Rand’s works, this wide-ranging essay also discusses the essentials of Objectivism, its Aristotelian influences, its relation to Rand’s novels and its influence to date in the field of philosophy.

“An Introduction to the Study of Ayn Rand” is available from the publisher by clicking here.

About the Author

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Gregory Salmieri
Gregory Salmieri is an Anthem Foundation Fellow in philosophy. He teaches philosophy at Rutgers University, and has previously held teaching and research positions at Boston University and the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. He has published on issues in Aristotle’s epistemology and ethics and on Rand’s philosophy and novels; he is co-editor of A Companion to Ayn Rand in the Blackwell Companions to Philosophy series. Salmieri received his Ph.D. in philosophy from the University of Pittsburgh in 2008.