Top 10 Articles
Objectivism & Culture
What Moves History: An Introduction to the Philosopy of History
What drives historical change? Is answering this question, Dr. Stephen Hicks outlines the major philosophies of history including various theories of environmental and biological determinism. In defense of the Objectivist view that ideas move history, Hicks presents three theses of causation. First, that individuals are the agents; second, that they have volition, and third, that what they believe is key. In explaining how causation works in an individual's life, and how it works in a culture, he shows how Objectivism is a philosophy that is learned from the lessons of history and has the capacity to continue to do so.
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In this talk, from The Atlas Society’s 1998 Summer Seminar, Dr. Nathaniel Branden presents an uplifting interpretation of what it means to love one’s life. And in the process he explores the preconditions, the obstacles, and the psychological issues involved in achieving this way of thinking.
Defending Shylock: Productive Work in Financial Markets
During the current financial crisis, hostility to markets has again been given wide expression. In this classic 1998 lecture, Stephen Hicks analyzes the anatomy of such hostility. Like Shakespeare's Shylock, market speculators and "junkbond" dealers are criticized as manipulators of money who create no real value. But is this true? Or do financiers perform a valuable function in the economy? Stephen Hicks challenges the conventional view of financiers and explains the role of capital markets.
The Content of Perception
Part of the Symposium on Cognitive Science, presented at The Atlas Society's 2006 Summer Seminar.
(Advanced course) Perennial Questions of Objectivism (6 hours)
From the time Ayn Rand first set forth Objectivism as a philosophical system, a small set of ongoing questions has occupied the attention of people with an intellectual interest in her philosophy: questions about core doctrines, interpretations of certain principles, seeming conflicts among principles. These questions are perennial because they resist easy resolution.
This lecture series by Dr. David Kelley examines five of these seminal questions. In each lecture, the issue is formulated, the arguments for each side put forward, and the strengths of the standard responses from Objectivist literature are considered and evaluated. Each session concludes with lessons on philosophical methodology, and the final lecture is reserved for a brief review integrating the course material, followed bu audience questions.
This is an advanced course presupposing a solid understanding of Ayn Rand's philosophical writings and the secondary literature on Objectivism.
Price: $49.99 for
complete package (6 one-hour lectures)
The Psychology of Belief: Why Religion Seems to Work
Many empirical studies claim to show the psychological benefits of an active religious life. If the benefits of religion do not derive from a supernatural being, what is their actual source? Dr. Kenneth Livingston explains what we can learn about religion about the psychology of happiness and well-being.
Price: $8.99 (1 hour)
Eliminating the Altruistic Baggage
Conventional morality is built upon an altruistic base. While Objectivism rejects altruism in favor of rational self-interest, we can't simply substitute a new goal while using the same flawed framework. This speech will identify several ways in which self-sacrifice still permeates the thoughts of Objectivists, and provide alternatives. It will try to recast our moral tools to be more consistent with a philosophy of living.
Green Cathedrals: Modern Spiritual Poverty and the Rise of Environmentalism
In this lecture, Robert James Bidinotto traces the environmental movement to its religious roots, challenges its claims of Western spiritual bankruptcy, and shows how the modern secular worldview can incorporate a sense of the sacred.
Bidinotto is an award-winning journalist and the author of Criminal Justice? The Legal System vs. Individual Responsibility and the new novel Hunter: A Thriller.
The Instrinsic, the Subjective, the Objective
Dr. David Ross offers and engaging overview of one of Ayn Rand's most important contributions to philosophy: the subjective, objective, intrinsic trichotomy. Objectivity is under attack from many directions today. But what is objectivity? And what viewpoints stand opposed to it?
In forming her philosophy of Objectivism, Ayn Rand insightfully identified intrinsicism and subjectivism as the two essential philosophical approaches that stand against the objective approach. Using examples from cinema, biology, ethics, and the culinary arts, Dr. Ross presents the basics of intricisim and subjectivism, both as philosophical approaches and as thinking styles. And he demonstrates how this distinction is useful in identifying philosophical and psycho-epistemological errors as well as in elucidating the nature of objectivity itself.
Dr. David Ross is professor of mathematics at the Rochester Institute of Technology. Formerly a mathematician at Kodak Research Labs, he's the author of Mathematical Models in Photographic Science, holds several patents, and has been a frequent lecturer at previous Summer Seminars held by The Atlas Society.
Price: $8.99 (1 hour)