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The Early Development of Ayn Rand's Ethics

Darryl Wright

Presented at: OCON 2003

Date: Jul 05, 2003

Ayn Rand held that moral values are a necessity of human survival and happiness. Her final elaboration of this view is well-known to readers of Atlas Shrugged and The Virtue of Selfishness, but her early fiction and journal writings provide important insights into how her revolutionary ethical theory developed. This lecture—based on Dr. Wright’s contribution to a forthcoming collection of essays on We the Living (edited by Robert Mayhew)—explores the perspective these early writings offer on the role of moral values in human life and on what the absence of life-based values does to those who lack them. Besides We the Living, the lecture discusses (among other sources) Ayn Rand’s plays “Think Twice” and Ideal, and the notes and drafts for her unfinished monograph The Moral Basis of Individualism.


Parts: 1

Handout: none


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