Taking Responsibility for Your Happiness: Insights from Ayn Rand’s Ethics [Video]

The life of a creature without free will is determined by factors outside its control, so it is not responsible for what it does or what becomes of it. But because human beings have free will, the shape our lives take is up to us. True, we are born into circumstances that are not of our own making, and there are facts of nature that we cannot change, but there are countless lives possible to each of us, and by recognizing what you cannot control and taking responsibility for what you can, you can create a life of which you can be proud and in which you will be happy.

In this talk, Gregory Salmieri, philosophy fellow at the Anthem Foundation for Objectivist Scholarship, examines some insights from Ayn Rand’s ethics that can help you to achieve such happiness. Topics include Rand’s view that all human values are chosen, rather than innate; the role of reason in forming values; the facts of human nature that she thinks must inform rational values; and the need to organize your life around a productive purpose.