Ayn Rand's Normative Ethics: The Virtuous Egoist

Front Cover
Cambridge University Press, Apr 3, 2006 - Philosophy
2 Reviews
Ayn Rand is well known for advocating egoism, but the substance of that instruction is rarely understood. Far from representing the rejection of morality, selfishness, in Rand's view, actually demands the practice of a systematic code of ethics. This book explains the fundamental virtues that Rand considers vital for a person to achieve his objective well-being: rationality, honesty, independence, justice, integrity, productiveness, and pride. Tracing Rand's account of the harmony of human beings' rational interests, Smith examines what each of these virtues consists of, why it is a virtue, and what it demands of a person in practice. Along the way she addresses the status of several conventional virtues within Rand's theory, considering traits such as kindness, charity, generosity, temperance, courage, forgiveness, and humility. Ayn Rand's Normative Ethics thus offers an in-depth exploration of several specific virtues and an illuminating integration of these with the broader theory of egoism.

What people are saying - Write a review

User Review - Flag as inappropriate

All considered, Ayn Rand’s Normative Ethics offers its readers—whether intellectuals or not—an unparalleled opportunity to substantially deepen and broaden their understanding of Ayn Rand’s ethics of rational egoism. For those inspired by Rand’s ethics, it is an opportunity to learn how to live a more rational, more egoistic, happier life. For those unfamiliar with Rand’s ethics, it is an opportunity to seriously consider the possibilities of an ethics of egoism. Review from The Objective Standard (http://www.theobjectivestandard.com/issues/2007-spring/egoism-explained.asp) 

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

References to this book

About the author (2006)

Tara Smith is Professor of philosophy at the University of Texas, Austin. She is the author of Moral Rights and Political Freedom and Viable Values: A Study of Life as the Root and Reward of Morality, and has contributed to such journals as The Journal of Philosophy, American Philosophical Quarterly, Social Philosophy and Policy, and Law and Philosophy.

Bibliographic information