Ayn Rand's Normative Ethics: The Virtuous Egoist by Tara Smith

By Tara Smith

Ayn Rand is widely known for advocating egoism, however the substance of that egoism?s guideline isn't understood. faraway from representing the rejection of morality, selfishness, in Rand?s view, really calls for the perform of a scientific code of ethics. This e-book explains the elemental virtues that Rand considers important for someone to accomplish his aim wellbeing and fitness: rationality, honesty, independence, justice, integrity, productivity, and delight. Tara Smith examines what each one of those virtues is composed in, why it's a advantage, and what it calls for of somebody in perform.

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We have neither the memory (in volume or precision) nor the intellectual insight to penetrate to the most salient aspects of a concrete situation when it is considered in isolation from all others. Principles, however, compensate for these limitations by incorporating knowledge gleaned from many situations. Principles reflect a sober assessment of the wider and longerrange repercussions of contemplated actions. For the rational adoption of principles is based not only on recognition of a correlation between 40 This is how principles are properly formed, in Rand’s view; she does not believe that every person who accepts particular principles has necessarily followed this process in validating them.

Rand, “The Objectivist Ethics,” p. 26. This is how we normally use the term. We refer to a plant as flourishing to indicate not that it is barely clinging to life, but that it exhibits signs of hardiness, durability, the ability to withstand future adversity and to realize its potential for flowers or fruit, for instance. Similarly, we speak of a child as flourishing when we observe evidence of his robustness, his having the resources necessary to defeat illness, his developing in physical, intellectual, or emotional ways that augur further success in the future.

While values must be discovered rather than invented, they do need to be discovered. ”18 Although things exist independently of a person’s consciousness and can carry effects on a person’s life regardless of his awareness of those effects (internal chemical processes may, unbeknown to me, be aiding my health even as I write, for instance), they do not exist as values for a person without his identification of them as such. 19 The full explanation of this view depends on Rand’s broader understanding of the nature of objectivity itself.

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