Ayn Rand originally envisioned Atlas Shrugged as a socio-political novel that would build on the ethical ideas of The Fountainhead, but as she worked on Atlas, she developed and revised her ethical thought in unexpected ways. In his lecture course “Ayn Rand’s Ethics: From The Fountainhead to Atlas Shrugged,” available at ARI’s eStore, Darryl Wright explores how, and why, her ideas changed — as well as what did not change.

The talk also addresses the psychological importance of moral values; the proper derivation of a standard of morality; the idea that morality presupposes a basic choice to live; and the question of whether rationality or independence is the primary moral virtue. Finally, it looks at “The Moral Basis of Individualism,” the nonfiction work Rand began shortly after the publication of The Fountainhead, but later set aside. Find out more about the pivotal role of this work and how Ayn Rand’s ethical thought developed while working on her greatest novel.