By Ayn Rand
In this talk on the role of philosophy in history, Ayn Rand argues that there is a basic contradiction built into Western culture, between reason and the morality of altruism. She identifies the philosophical connections between faith, altruism and rule by force—and between reason, self-interest and freedom. She goes on to relate the political and economic decline of the West since the 19th century to its philosophical cause: the rejection by the culture’s intellectuals of reason in favor of the morality of altruism. The solution she offers—from the perspective of her philosophy, Objectivism—is not a political but a moral revolution.
In this lecture, you will find answers to such issues as:
- Why people today view answers to crucial problems as necessary but beyond reach
- Why Americans have rejected capitalism despite its record of unrivaled productivity
- Why a culture that values reason is the only culture capable of enduring peace and wealth
This lecture and Q & A were recorded at Purdue University at a presentation to the Purdue Young Republicans in April of 1961. It was previously delivered at Yale University on February 17, 1960; at Brooklyn College on April 4, 1960; and at Columbia University on May 5, 1960.
Q & A topics include:
- Ayn Rand's recommended books on capitalism
- The meaning of productiveness for one whose wealth is already assured
- Why the use of force is not in a rational man's interests
- Breaking with society vs. breaking with the culture
- The psychology of Dominique in The Fountainhead
(MP3 download; 110 min., with Q & A, 79.19 MB)
The description of this product was written and/or edited by ARI staff.