Aaron Smith

Instructor and Fellow
Ayn Rand Institute

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  • Ancient Greek Philosophy
  • Ayn Rand Novels & Ideas
  • Religion & Morality
  • Stoicism

Aaron Smith is a fellow and instructor at the Ayn Rand Institute. Dr. Smith writes, speaks and gives interviews for the Institute. He teaches philosophy at the Ayn Rand University, designs educational content for the Institute’s intellectual training and e-learning programs 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 ancient Greek philosophy. 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 ancient Greek philosophy, moral theory and epistemology. He is also a graduate of the Objectivist Academic Center and an alumnus of ARI’s Advanced Education Program.



Career Roles


  • Ayn Rand Institute
    2013 – present


  • ARI Internship Program
    2014 – present

    Objectivist Academic Center
    2013 – present

    ARI Campus
    2013 – present


  • Philosophy
    University of Maryland, Baltimore County
    2010 – 2013

Selected Works


“The Serenity Prayer and Why Ayn Rand Liked It,” New Ideal, October 07, 2019

“The False Promise of Stoicism,” New Ideal, June 10, 2019

“Whitewashing Coercion with the Language of Civility,” New Ideal, March 20, 2019

“Individualism: Genuine and Counterfeit,” New Ideal, December 12, 2018

“The Suffering of Moral Saints,” New Ideal, November 14, 2018

“Ayn Rands The Fountainhead: Envisioning a New Moral Ideal,”New Ideal, September 05, 2018

“Why Read Thinkers You Disagree With,” New Ideal, July 02, 2018

“Ayn Rand: A New Concept of Egoism,” De Filosoof, 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


“Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal”; a book discussion for The Nightwatchman Society, a classical liberal organization based in Colombo, Sri Lanka, September 18, 2019

“Introduction to Objectivism”; a half-day seminar at the Ayn Rand Institute for university students from Western Australia associated with the Mannkal Economic Education Foundation, July 03, 2019

“The Philosophy of Objectivism”; a day-long seminar at the Ayn Rand Institute for international students and professionals associated with Project Arizona, held multiple years: March 18, 2017, January 29,2018, April 26, 2019

“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


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

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


“Counterfeit Individualism,” November 04, 2018, Ayn Rand Student Conference 2018

“A Self Worth Preserving : Selfishness and Self-Esteem,” July 02, 2018, Objectivist Summer Conference 2018

“The Sacred and the Profane: Objectivism and Religion,” July 01, 2018, Objectivist Summer Conference 2018

“What Might Be and Ought to Be : The Idealism of Objectivism,” June 30, 2018, Objectivist Summer Conference 2018

“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

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

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

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