Ben Bayer

Fellow and Director of Content
Ayn Rand Institute

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  • Ayn Rand Novels & Ideas
  • Epistemology
  • Free Will & Determinism
  • Objectivism
  • Philosophy
  • Religion & Morality

Ben Bayer is fellow and director of content at the Ayn Rand Institute. He teaches at the Ayn Rand University, lectures and gives interviews for ARI. He writes for and is a managing editor of ARI’s online publication, New Ideal. Dr. Bayer holds a Ph.D. in philosophy and his writing focuses primarily on the application of philosophy to contemporary cultural and political controversies. In 2022, he published Why the Right to Abortion Is Sacrosanct.

Dr. Bayer brings to ARI more than a decade of experience in teaching a wide range of philosophy courses at colleges and universities across the United States. He was a visiting assistant professor at Loyola University New Orleans for seven years, and previously taught at Metropolitan State University of Denver, Colorado College, Loyola University of Chicago, and the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.

In his time as a professor, Dr. Bayer’s research focused on epistemology and metaphysics (especially, free will and determinism). He has published scholarly articles in American Philosophical Quarterly, Synthese, Philosophia, and Acta Analytica, among others. He has also contributed essays to Concepts and Their Role in Knowledge: Reflections on Objectivist Epistemology and Essays on Ayn Rand’s “The Fountainhead.”

Bayer was one of the two co-founders of the student publication The Undercurrent, for which he served as an editor and contributor between 2005 and 2016. He edited, the blog of the Ayn Rand Society (a professional association affiliated with the American Philosophical Association), from 2016 to 2017.

Dr. Bayer received his Ph.D. in philosophy from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign in 2007. He also completed the program of coursework in ARI’s Objectivist Graduate Center between 1997 and 2006.

Full curriculum vitae

Career Roles


  • Ayn Rand Institute
    2022 – Present


  • Ayn Rand Institute
    2017 – 2022


  • Loyola University New Orleans
    2010 – 2017

    Colorado College
    2008 – 2009


  • Metropolitan State University of Denver
    Spring 2010

    Loyola University Chicago
    2007 – 2008

Selected Works


“Abortion Should Be Legal Until Birth,” January 2022.

“Ayn Rand on the Welfare State’s Real Villains,” July 2021.

“The Unscientific, Un-American Ethics of Vaccine Distribution,” April 2021.

“Why Scientific Progress in Ethics Is Frozen,” January 2021.

“Unjust Mask Mandates Distract from Real Pandemic Priorities,” December 2020 (published in The Hill).

“Why Today’s Ethics Offers No Real Guidance,” November 2020.

“The FDA Mandates Ignorance about Covid-19,” October 2020 (published in RealClearPolicy).

“The Dishonesty of ‘Real Socialism Has Never Been Tried’,” August 2020.

“We Can Protect Liberty While Combating Pandemics,” June 2020 (published in the Orange County Register).

“The Guidance We Need to Follow the Coronavirus Science,” June 2020.

“There’s Nothing Exploitative about the Gig Economy,” March 2020 (originally published in the Orange County Register).

“Trump Isn’t Selfish — That’s the Problem,” November 2019 (originally published in Areo)

“Ayn Rand’s Radical Case for Abortion Rights,” September 2019.

“Meet the New Socialism, Same as the Old,” September 2019.

“Why Champions of Science and Reason Need Free Will,” June 2019.

“An Alternative to Conspiracism’s Foolish Illusions,” September 2018.

“The Destructive Illusion of Moral Authority,” September 2018 (originally published in Quillette).

“Science without Philosophy Can’t Resolve Abortion Debate,” August 2018.

Other essays at New Ideal



“The Morality of Life,” Ayn Rand Conference Latin America, Tecnologico Universitario Naucalpan, Mexico City, November 2022.

“Ayn Rand’s Genealogy of Altruism,” OCON 2022.

“‘What For?’: How Atlas Shrugged Dramatizes the Struggle for the Value of Purpose,” OCON 2021.

“That Radiant Selfishness of Soul: the Virtue of Pride,” OCON  2021.

“Abortion and Individual Rights,” Ayn Rand Center Latin America webinar (with Gloria Alvarez), July 2020.

“A Mockery of Morality: The Doctrine of Original Sin,” Ayn Rand Center Latin America webinar, June 2020.

“Reason vs. Faith and Emotionalism,” Ayn Rand Conference Latin America, Buenos Aires, September 2019; Ayn Rand Conference Brazil, Porto Alegre, 2019; AynRandCon, Atlanta, October 2019.

“The Evil of Altruism,” Ayn Rand Conference Latin America, Buenos Aires, September 2019; Ayn Rand Conference Brazil, Porto Alegre, 2019; AynRandCon, Atlanta, October 2019.

“Better Living Through Concepts,” Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul, Porto Alegre, September 2019.

“The Subtheme of Free Will in Atlas Shrugged,” OCON 2019.

“The Romanticism of Atlas Shrugged,” OCON 2019.

“Free Will and Individualism,” AynRandCon Europe, Prague 2018.

“Tribalism in Politics,” AynRandCon, Atlanta 2018.

“Ayn Rand’s Philosophy for Living on Earth,” OCON 2018.

“Thinking Like an Individualist,” OCON 2018.

“Being Objective about the News,” OCON 2017.

“Freedom for the Self-made Soul,” The Undercurrent Student Conference, Washington, DC, October 2014.

“Spreading Objectivism by Living It,” OCON, Las Vegas, NV, July 2014.

“History of the Concept of Free Will,” OCON, Chicago, IL, July 2013.

“Understanding Twentieth-Century Philosophy: The Case of Quine,” OCON, Boston, MA, July 2006.

“Understanding Twentieth-Century Philosophy: The Case of Quine,” OCON, Boston, MA, July 2006.


OAC Year 1 Seminar on Objectivism (as Discussion Leader), 2018 — Present

OAC Year 2 Philosophy Seminar, 2017 — Present

OAC Year 3 Philosophical Analysis and Communication, 2017 — Present

“The Atlas Project” (with Greg Salmieri), Fall 2017 — Spring 2018

Philosophical Themes in Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged

Epistemology (Introductory and Intermediate)

Free Will and Determinism (Introductory and Intermediate)

Making Moral Decisions

History of Analytic Philosophy

History of Modern Philosophy

Philosophy of Language

Logic (Formal and Practical)

Other teaching