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The Major Virtues: Productiveness

The Major Virtues: Productiveness

2 Mins
April 6, 2013

Summer 2010 -- “’Value’ is that which one acts to gain and keep,” wrote Ayn Rand, “’virtue’ is the action by which one gains and keeps it.” This six-session course focuses on the distinctive virtues highlighted by Objectivism: their basis in fact, their contrast with traditional moral ideals, and their role in a rational, value-seeking human life. We go into depth on the meaning and importance of  pride, rationality,  integrity, productiveness, independence, and justice, devoting one day’s lecture to each virtue. Discussions of honesty and benevolence will be integrated into the course as well. The course presumes some basic familiarity with Objectivism, but should be intelligible to anyone with a sincere interest in ideas. (This presentation was filmed in 2010 at the Free Minds conference in Alexandria, Virginia.)


A. Productive work as the central value of life

  • Production and trade in modern life.
  • Work as a means of surviving and flourishing
  • Work in the long-range: career

B. More than work: elements of the virtue of productiveness

  • Productiveness as Purposiveness
  • Thrift as against waste
  • Industry as against sloth
  • Creativity as against inertia  

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