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Analytic Philosophy

Analytic Ethics

What was Ayn Rand’s philosophy of objectivism?

Most professional philosophers refer to Rand’s (1905–1982) objectivism as a “so-called philosophy.” Rand claimed to have taught herself the history of Western philosophy in a matter of months, which left her a passionate follower of Aristotle (384–322 B.C.E.). She believed that Aristotle’s law of identity, or “A is A,” is a metaphysical principle on which can be based the existence of an objective world that is knowable through reason. Rand remains popular on many contemporary college campuses, although more for her novels and doctrine of selfishness than for her metaphysics. (Most professional philosophers before and after Rand have held “A is A” to be a tautology, telling us nothing about the world, be it objective or otherwise.)



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