Aaron Smith

Instructor and Fellow
Ayn Rand Institute


  • Philosophy
  • Morality/Ethics
  • Epistemology
  • Objectivism
  • Aristotle
  • Atheism
  • Faith/Mysticism
  • Culture & society

Featured Work

Aaron Smith is an instructor and fellow at the Ayn Rand Institute. He is an instructor for ARI’s Objectivist Academic Center, ARI Campus and ARI’s Internship program. He teaches and designs educational content for the Institute’s intellectual training and e-learning programs. He writes, speaks and gives interviews for the Institute and provides intellectual and editorial support to a variety of ARI’s programs.


Dr. Smith received his PhD in philosophy from Johns Hopkins University where his research focused on Aristotle’s theory of knowledge. Prior to joining ARI in 2013, he was a visiting assistant professor of philosophy at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, where he taught courses in moral theory, epistemology and the history of philosophy. He is also a graduate of the Objectivist Academic Center and an alumnus of ARI’s Advanced Education Program.

Career Roles

Visiting Assistant Professor

University of Maryland, Baltimore County
2010 – 2013


ARI Internship Program
2014 – present

Objectivist Academic Center
2013 – present

ARI Campus
2013 – present


ARI Internship Program
2015 – present

Selected Work

Articles & Essays

“Ayn Rand: A New Concept of Egoism” January 2016


OAC 3-Year Program

OAC Core Course

OAC Objective Communication

OAC Intermediate Writing

History of Ancient Philosophy

Ancient Greek Theories of Knowledge

Abstract Philosophy and Practical Life

Foundations of Ethics: The Nature of Value

Philosophical Skepticism

Hellenistic Philosophy


“The Philosophy of Objectivism”; day-long seminar at ARI for students and professionals from Eastern Europe, Project Arizona, March 18, 2017

“The Importance of Philosophical Training in Changing a Worldview”; Building a Future of Reason and Capitalism, February 25, 2017 (Irvine, CA), and March 11, 2017 (Chicago, IL)

“Non-Academic Jobs for Philosophers: The World of Think Tanks and Non-Profits”; Johns Hopkins University, Department of Philosophy, April 18, 2017

2400 Years Young: A Celebration of Aristotle’s Philosophy (panel moderator), July 05, 2016, Objectivist Summer Conference 2016

“Benevolence, Goodwill and the Rationally Selfish Life”; Road to a Free Society: ARI on Tour (New York, Chicago, San Francisco and Irvine), April 07-16, 2015

Anthem: Discovering Moral Individualism”; panel presentation, Association of Private Enterprise Education, April 15, 2014

Media Interviews

The Yaron Brook Show; guest host with Amanda Maxham, April 08, 2016 April 2015

“Ayn Rand and Selfishness,” BBC Radio 4, April 03, 2015

Talks & Lectures

“Understanding the Appeal of Stoicism," June 14, 2017, Objectivist Summer Conference 2017

“The Morality of Life in Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged”; Mercer University, April 05, 2017

“Why Read Atlas Shrugged?” Northwood University, September 15, 2016

“Ayn Rand’s Philosophy: What It Is and What It Isn’t”; College of Charleston, September 07, 2016

“What Is Art, and Why Does It Matter?” July 02, 2016, Objectivist Summer Conference 2016

“Objectivism and Religion,” July 03, 2016, Objectivist Summer Conference 2016

“Ayn Rand’s Anthem”; Manor New Technology High School, April 11, 2016

“The Morality of Rational Self-Interest”; webinar for the Serbian group LIBEK, May 26, 2015

“Is the Welfare State a Benevolent Institution?”; briefing for congressional staffers, April 09, 2015

“Ayn Rand’s The Fountainhead”; Littlerock High School, May 22, 2014