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Ayn Rand's Normative Ethics
The Virtuous Egoist

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About the Authors
  • Ayn Rand is well known for advocating egoism, but the substance of that egoism�s 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. Tara Smith examines what each of these virtues consists in, why it is a virtue, and what it demands of a person in practice.

    • Focuses on how to be egoistic, which is usually neglected in discussions of egoism
    • Relates Rand's form of egoism to virtue ethics, which has been prominent in moral philosophy
    • Paints a far more positive portrait of the egoist than the stereotypes that philosophers, as well as other, too often lazily accept
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    Reviews & endorsements

    "...a strongly written addition to the scholarly literature on Ayn Rand's philosophy...belongs in every college and university library, and on the shelves of philosophers interested in Rand's views and current trends in the ethics literature." --Stephen R.C. Hicks, Rockford College: Philosophy in Review

    "...the issues raised by this book are manifold and provocative... This book should force a debate of renewed vigor about what we mean by egoism, whether and how the egoism / altruism dichotomy should be applied within eudaimonistic ethical theories, and what our ethical theories imply about our political outlook. Smith provides us with a version of egoism that will need to be argued against by those who find it distasteful or misguided, rather than simply dismissed." --Helen Cullyer, University of Pittsburgh, Note Dame Philosophical Review

    "For those interested in gaining a full and accurate understanding of Rand’s revolutionary moral code, University of Texas at Austin philosophy professor Tara Smith’s new book Ayn Rand’s Normative Ethics: The Virtuous Egoist is a most welcome addition to the existing literature. Smith describes the book as “an account of what Rand’s rational egoism consists of and requires,” with particular emphasis on its virtues.8 This it is—and more. The book illuminates the central principles of the Objectivist ethics in rich detail, rendering them readily accessible to any sincere inquirer." --Diana Hsieh, The Objective Standard

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    Product details

    • Date Published: May 2006
    • format: Adobe eBook Reader
    • isbn: 9780511190131
    • availability: Adobe Reader ebooks available from eBooks.com
  • 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.

  • Author

    Tara Smith, University of Texas, Austin
    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.

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