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What is Objectivism?



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Objectivism is the philosophy developed by Ayn Rand, noted author of Atlas Shrugged and The Fountainhead.  After publication of her novels, her subsequent writing was devoted mostly to further development of the philosophy and commentary on events of the day.


Objectivism is a fully integrated philosophic system.  “Fully integrated” because it covers the major branches of philosophy; “system” because every concept is derived from more basic concepts.

 Objectivism can be encapsulated by the following:
  • Metaphysics:    Absolute reality
  • Epistemology:   Reason
  • Ethics:               Ethical egoism
  • Politics:            Capitalism
  • Esthetics:          Romantic realism


Occasionally, I am asked: "What, in a nut shell, is Objectivism?"  The above is the briefest I could come up with.  Like with any topic, reducing Objectivism to mere sound bites leaves a GREAT deal to be desired.  For more on each of these branches of Objectivist philosophy, I recommend the websites highlighted below.  Better yet, pick up a copy of Atlas Shrugged.  This novel has been an eye-opener for many people.  It is a long novel, but being a novel, it profoundly illustrates how philosophy impacts one's personal life, the world of business and, indeed, an entire culture.


The Importance of PhilosophyThis website offers the best overview of Objectivism I have seen.  The link to the left takes you to a concept chart that shows the relationship of the various branches of philosophy to each other.  Each tab on the chart takes you to an explanation of the concept.
Objectivism 101This website is organized to resemble a traditional textbook format with chapters and text.   Navigating among chapters is very easy.  There is also a useful dictionary of philosophic terms and a concept chart.