Morality Archives | The Ayn Rand Institute
Culture And Society

Using Reason to Cultivate Passion: A Moral and Psychological How-To Guide

Despite all the graduation speeches enjoining us to “be passionate” about something, the experience of deep, passionate emotion is not an easy one to achieve, much less sustain. This talk offers guidance for achieving that rarified quality which Ayn Rand ascribed to one of Atlas Shrugged’s heroes — a “disciplined capacity to feel too deeply.” The talk by Gena Gorlin, a postdoctoral fellow at Boston University’s Center for Anxiety and Related Disorders, integrates tools from cognitive-behavioral therapy with insights from Rand’s theory of values, without assuming prior knowledge of either.
Culture And Society

Achieving Happiness: An Interview with Tara Smith

What is happiness? And how can we achieve it? In this interview with Tara Smith, professor of philosophy at the University of Texas at Austin, we learn about the link between philosophy and happiness; the need for purpose and self-esteem; how to discover what will make you happy; whether money will buy you happiness; and other topics.
Culture And Society

“Sargon of Akkad” Interviews Yaron Brook

In this wide-ranging episode of The Thinkery Podcast, Carl Benjamin (known on YouTube as “Sargon of Akkad”), interviews Yaron Brook. Among the many topics covered are: Why Adam Smith’s conventional morality undermines the case for capitalism; why Ayn Rand is not a “liberal” or a “conservative”; communism as the secularization of Christianity; the need for rational education; the essence of morality.
Culture And Society

‪Why a Free Man Fights

“I’m often asked why someone with a penchant for philosophy and an academic life joins the Marine Corps. Why, some ask, does a scribe lower the pen to pick up the sword?” So begins this stirring and thought-provoking Independence Day address by Lt. Col. Scott McDonald, USMC, to attendees at Objectivist Summer Conference 2015 in Charlotte, North Carolina.
Culture And Society

Productive Achievement: Man’s “Noblest Activity”

Most thinkers throughout history have held a negative or, at best, neutral view of productive work. If not scorned outright, production has usually been viewed as having no moral significance. But Ayn Rand had a unique view of the human potential, central to which is the importance she accords to the act of production. Productive achievement, in her philosophy, is man’s “noblest activity.” This talk explores what Objectivism means by the virtue of productiveness and discusses aspects of our culture’s positive and negative attitudes toward producers and productive activity.
Foreign Policy

“What About the Innocents in War?”

If a war ever breaks out between North Korea and the United States, Americans will surely raise some serious questions about the morality of war. For example, do we have the right to bomb and kill innocent civilians? Even in a war of self-defense?

Further Reading

Ayn Rand | 1957
For the New Intellectual

The Moral Meaning of Capitalism

An industrialist who works for nothing but his own profit guiltlessly proclaims his refusal to be sacrificed for the “public good.”
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Ayn Rand | 1961
The Virtue of Selfishness

The Objectivist Ethics

What is morality? Why does man need it? — and how the answers to these questions give rise to an ethics of rational self-interest.
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