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Tuesday, July 24, 2012

• • • Flourishing and Happiness in a Nutshell 
Egoism  | Ayn Rand makes a powerful case that the rational pursuit of one’s flourishing requires the consistent practice of seven essential virtues—rationality, honesty, independence, justice, integrity, productiveness, and pride. She saw rationality as the master virtue and the other six virtues as derivative from the primary virtue. Some scholars have pointed out that Rand did not specifically discuss the intellectual virtue of practical wisdom (i.e., prudence). It is likely that she considered practical wisdom as part of rationality. Others have suggested that her version of virtue ethics might be improved by including positive qualities such as benevolence, kindness, generosity, charity, tolerance, and so on in her prescription for moral perfection.

Thursday, May 31, 2012

• • • Objectivist Virtue Ethics in Business 
The Virtue of Selfishness  |Egoism  | Given the laws of nature and of human nature, there exists a set of virtues that fit reality and that are most likely to lead to success and happiness in business. Ayn Rand’s Objectivist ethics specifically recognizes production as the central human value. In addition, the personal virtues that she advocated have a direct bearing on work: rationality, honesty, independence, justice, integrity, productiveness, and pride. These virtues can be used as guiding forces in a business career and in the management of a business. They define the excellent manager (or other employee) and provide the principles that a corporation should adopt with respect to investors, employees, customers, vendors, and others.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

• • Cash McCall: The Story of a Heroic Corporate Raider 
Atlas Shrugged  | Cash McCall (1955) is a novel by Cameron Hawley that is positive about business and free-market capitalism. It explores many of the same themes as does Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged but it is not nearly as philosophical. Like Atlas Shrugged, Cash McCall is populated with a range of good and bad characters.

Monday, December 19, 2011

• • • Creating a Virtue-Based Business 
Ayn Rand Institute  |Atlas Shrugged  |Capitalism  |Individual Rights  |John Allison  | BB&T Corporation is a great example of a company that has successfully adopted an Objectivist virtue-based framework.(5) John Allison, an articulate advocate of Ayn Rand’s ideas, took BB&T, a local Winston-Salem, North Carolina bank, and built it into the tenth largest bank in the United States. Allison began his career at BB&T in 1971 and became CEO in 1989. During his tenure at the top, the bank went from having $4.7 billion in assets to having $152 billion in assets. Under Allison’s leadership, BB&T bought up 60 competitors and expanded into 11 states. The bank has grown into a multi-state financial services holding company and is considered to be a regional leader in banking. In order to create superior long-term economic rewards for its stockholders, BB&T has provided excellent service to its clients. In order to do that, it has attracted, hired, and maintained excellent employees. To accomplish all of the above, the bank has focused on creating a corporate culture based on values and virtues.

Monday, September 19, 2011

• • • Flourishing & Happiness in a Free Society: Preface 
Capitalism  |Egoism  |Individual Rights  |Leonard Peikoff  | Book excerpt.
Ayn Rand (1905-1982) constructed an entire integrated and coherent philosophy to underpin her ethics and politics, which stress individual happiness and natural rights. In her normative argument for classical liberal ideas Rand places freedom as a precondition for virtue. She derives an objective ethics based on the nature of man as a goal-seeking entity with the end goal as life as man qua man. According to Rand, happiness relates to a person’s success as a unique, rational human being possessing free will.

Friday, September 18, 2009

 Executive Suite: A story of corporate success and succession 
Capitalism  | Both the novel and film remind one of an Ayn Rand novel. Overall, both versions provide a realistic and positive image of the businessman, and show the actual machinations and politics of corporate life. They communicate the drama and romance of business, and make excellent business school case studies.

Monday, March 16, 2009

• • • Ayn Rand, human flourishing, and virtue ethics 
Atlas Shrugged  |Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal  |Introduction to Objectivist Epistemology  |The Virtue of Selfishness  |Egoism  |Objectivist author  | Rand defends the principled pursuit of one's own flourishing. She explains that promoting one's own interest requires a person to consistently follow principles. A human being needs to understand, in the framework of principles, the cause and effect relationships between his actions and the achievement of his values. Moral principles are formulated through observation and induction regarding the effects of various forms of action on one's well-being. A man must identify and follow rational principles if he is to flourish.

Monday, October 08, 2007

• • • Atlas and economics: Celebrating Atlas Shrugged’s 50th anniversary 
Atlas Shrugged  |Capitalism  | "Text of a talk delivered on October 6, 2007, in Washington D.C., as part of a celebration of Atlas Shrugged's 50th Anniversary sponsored by the Atlas Society."
Atlas Shrugged illustrates that government intervention discourages innovation and risk-taking and obstructs the process of wealth creation. It also demonstrates that wealth is not causeless and that by removing the cause (i.e., the mind) the strike removes the effect (i.e., wealth). Capitalism is thus shown to be the only moral economic system because is protects a man's mind, his primary means of survival and flourishing.

Monday, September 10, 2007

• • • A review of Andrew Bernstein’s The Philosophic and Literary Integration in Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged 
Atlas Shrugged  | I can think of no better source for people who wish to gain an understanding and appreciation of the philosophical and literary aspects of Atlas Shrugged than Professor Bernstein's excellent course.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Capitalism: The only moral social system 
Although Ayn Rand promulgated what [legal philosopher Lon L.] Fuller would call a morality of aspiration, derived natural rights and all of Objectivism's other moral principles by way of ethical egoism, and did not use the word "duty," she still spoke of natural rights that must be respected by every human being.

Monday, May 07, 2007

• • •Toward a paradigm for a free society 
The predominant value theory among Austrian thinkers is Ludwig von Mises' subjectivist approach. This approach takes personal values as given and assumes that individuals have different motivations and prefer different things. By contrast, some Austrians follow Carl Menger, the father of Austrian economics, in agreeing with Ayn Rand that the ultimate standard of value is the life of the valuer and that objective values support man's life and originate in a relationship between man and his survival requirements.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Natural rights as derived from ethical egoism: T.R. Machan’s Randian approach 
Building upon the thought of Ayn Rand and Aristotle, Machan argues in a series of books that each person should pursue his rational self-interest as a matter of his primary moral responsibility. He explains that it is from this responsibility that every other moral principle, including the principle of natural rights, gains its justification.

Monday, September 18, 2006

• •Revisiting the intellectual heritage of a free society 
The philosophy of Ayn Rand (1905-1982) is a systematic and integrated unity that is founded on the axioms of existence, identity, and consciousness. Rand explains that knowledge is based on the observation of reality and that to attain knowledge a person employs the processes of induction, deduction, and synthesis.

Sunday, February 12, 2006

• •Jean-Baptiste Say’s law of markets: A fundamental, conceptual integration 
Say [...] recognized the fact that it is production that opens the demand for products. He saw that money is not the cause of prosperity but rather is its effect. This fact is eloquently stated in Ayn Rand's novel Atlas Shrugged (1957, 387) through her character Francisco d'Anconia.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

• • •Reconciling Austrian economics and Objectivism 
By combining and synthesizing elements found in Austrian Economics, Ayn Rand's philosophy of Objectivism, and the closely related philosophy of human flourishing that originated with Aristotle, we have the potential to reframe the argument for a free society into a consistent reality-based whole whose integrated sum of knowledge and explanatory power is greater than that of its parts.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Hegel’s authoritarian state as the divine idea on earth 
Ayn Rand has observed that for Kant one's knowledge lacks validity because to truly know involves relating to reality directly without depending on one's conceptual mechanism.

Monday, August 15, 2005

• •A review of Andrew Bernstein’s The Capitalist Manifesto 
Part II of The Capitalist Manifesto explains that capitalism embodies the rational principles upon which human survival and prosperity depend and that capitalism is the only moral political-economic system. The philosophical and moral theories presented in this section are grounded fully in the work of Ayn Rand.

Thursday, March 17, 2005

“Who is Henry M. Galt?” 
Review of Garet Garrett's novel, The Driver.
It is certainly not in the same class as Atlas Shrugged but what is?

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

• •The road to objective economics: Hayek takes a wrong turn 
Criticism of economist Friedrich A. Hayek's rejection of natural law and objective ethics.
Although Ayn Rand (1905-1982) was not an economist, her rational epistemology and Objectivist ethics not only bring us back on the road to objective economics traveled by Austrians such as Menger and Rothbard, her ideas move us further down that road.