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Atlas Shrugged as a Work of Philosophy

Gregory Salmieri

Presented at: OCON 2007

Date: Jul 06, 2007

Atlas Shrugged is Ayn Rand's most complete presentation of Objectivism. In this course we considerAtlas as a work of philosophy. We see how philosophical principles are induced by the protagonists from the events of the novel and how the speeches consolidate this induced knowledge, preparing the characters and readers to induce more abstract principles. (In developing this idea, the course draws substantially on Leonard Peikoff's lectures on philosophical induction, but prior familiarity with this material will not be presupposed.)

Principles discussed include: the sanction of the victim, the virtue of honesty, the values of reason, purpose and self-esteem, the nature of free will, the difference between motivation by love and by fear, and Man's Life as the standard of value. By showing how these principles are presented through the novel's plot, the course fosters a deeper appreciation of Atlas Shrugged as a work of philosophy and of literature.


Parts: 4

Handout: none