The Virtue of Selfishness - Ayn Rand

The Virtue of Selfishness

By Ayn Rand

  • Release Date: 1964-11-01
  • Genre: Philosophy
Score: 4
From 90 Ratings


A collection of essays that sets forth the moral principles of Objectivism, Ayn Rand's controversial, groundbreaking philosophy.

Since their initial publication, Rand's fictional works—Anthem, The Fountainhead, and Atlas Shrugged—have had a major impact on the intellectual scene. The underlying theme of her famous novels is her philosophy, a new morality—the ethics of rational self-interest—that offers a robust challenge to altruist-collectivist thought.

Known as Objectivism, her divisive philosophy holds human life—the life proper to a rational being—as the standard of moral values and regards altruism as incompatible with man's nature. In this series of essays, Rand asks why man needs morality in the first place, and arrives at an answer that redefines a new code of ethics based on the virtue of selfishness.

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  • A Powerful Book

    By DeeGeeKay
    This book lays the philosophical foundation establishing Selfishness as the highest of moral principles. Ayn Rand uses logic like a gifted sculptor welds a chisel.
  • A new take on selfishness

    By vasquja
    You're probably thinking what I thought when I first looked at this book: "Selfishness is good? How could that be after what just transpired in 2008?" Through a series of essays, you will be presented with an objective definition of selfishness, and reasons why it is moral. I read this book in 2010 after hearing about the resurgence of Ayn Rand's ideas during the financial crisis. I had just finished Howard Zinn's and Noam Chomsky's political works and wanted to learn the source of the ideas of the political right so I could shut my right wing friends and colleagues up with solid refutations of their underlying principles. This book wasn't what I expected. Many of the principles laid out in this book aren't even embraced by the right. Some are, some by lip service, but many aren't. Despite what you've heard about Rand, I encourage you to learn of her ideas first hand and judge/refute them for yourself.
  • Crap

    By crowley_one
    Total crap
  • horsecrap.

    By doubleg
    yup.. be selfish to the point you hurt others..
  • Foundation for reading Rand's other works

    By jbalance
    I have read almost all of Rand's works and would suggest that you start with this piece. I highly recommend that you read this and see how applicable it is in today's political-economic interactions.