Ayn Rand's Normative Ethics

Ayn Rand's Normative Ethics : The Virtuous Egoist

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Ayn Rand is well known for advocating egoism, but the substance of that instruction is rarely understood. Far from representing the rejection of morality, selfishness, in Rand's view, actually demands the practice of a systematic code of ethics. This book explains the fundamental virtues that Rand considers vital for a person to achieve his objective well-being: rationality, honesty, independence, justice, integrity, productiveness, and pride. Tracing Rand's account of the harmony of human beings' rational interests, Smith examines what each of these virtues consists of, why it is a virtue, and what it demands of a person in practice. Along the way she addresses the status of several conventional virtues within Rand's theory, considering traits such as kindness, charity, generosity, temperance, courage, forgiveness, and humility. Ayn Rand's Normative Ethics thus offers an in-depth exploration of several specific virtues and an illuminating integration of these with the broader theory of egoism.show more

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'The first detailed and scholarly study of Rand's conception of virtue, Tara Smith's Ayn Rand's Normative Ethics: The Virtuous Egoist is an important and timely book.' Robert Mayhew, Philosophical Books 'The issues raised by this book are manifold and provocative.' Helen Cullyer, Notre Dame Philosophical Reviewsshow more

Table of contents

1. Introduction; 2. Rational egoism: a profile of its foundations and basic character; 3. The master virtue: rationality; 4. Honesty; 5. Independence; 6. Justice; 7. Integrity; 8. Productiveness; 9. Pride; 10. Implications for certain conventional virtues: charity, generosity, kindness, temperance.show more

About Tara Smith

Tara Smith is Professor of philosophy at the University of Texas, Austin. She is the author of Moral Rights and Political Freedom and Viable Values: A Study of Life as the Root and Reward of Morality, and has contributed to such journals as The Journal of Philosophy, American Philosophical Quarterly, Social Philosophy and Policy, and Law and Philosophy.show more

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