Ayn Rand's Normative Ethics: The Virtuous Egoist
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.
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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)