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The Psychology of Altruism

Ayn Rand

Presented at: Ayn Rand On Campus - Columbia WKCR Interviews

Date: Jan 01, 1962

n this 1964 radio interview, Ayn Rand defines altruism as “an ethical system which claims that man has no right to exist for his own sake, that the sole justification of his existence is the service he renders to others, and that self-sacrifice is his cardinal virtue, value and duty.” Explaining why altruism should not be confused with kindness or respect for the rights of others, Rand addresses some of the psychological consequences of attempting to embrace an ideal of self-sacrifice. She also discusses whether anyone can consistently practice altruism, and whether altruism can be justified as self-interested by the claim that is makes one happy.


Parts: 1

Handout: none


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