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Dr. David Kelley

Dr. David Kelley

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Dr. David Kelley

David Kelley founded The Atlas Society in 1990 and served as Executive Director through 2016. In addition, as Chief Intellectual Officer, he was responsible for overseeing all the content produced by the organization: articles, videos, talks at conferences, etc. He is the author of numerous works in philosophy, politics, and culture. Retired from TAS in 2018, he remains active in TAS projects and continues to serve on the Board of Trustees.

Mr. Kelley is a professional philosopher, teacher, and writer. After earning a Ph.D. in philosophy from Princeton University in 1975, he joined the philosophy department of Vassar College, where he taught a wide variety of courses at all levels. He has also taught philosophy at Brandeis University and lectured frequently on other campuses.

Kelley's philosophical writings include original works in ethics, epistemology, and politics, many of them developing Objectivist ideas in new depth and new directions. He is the author of The Evidence of the Senses, a treatise in epistemology; Truth and Toleration in Objectivism, a treatise on issues in the Objectivist movement; Unrugged Individualism: The Selfish Basis of Benevolence; and The Art of Reasoning, a widely used textbook for introductory logic, now in its 5th edition.

Kelley has lectured and published on a wide range of political and cultural topics. His articles on social issues and public policy have appeared in Harpers, The Sciences, Reason, Harvard Business Review, The Freeman, On Principle, and elsewhere. During the 1980s, he wrote frequently for Barrons Financial and Business Magazine on such issues as egalitarianism, immigration, minimum wage laws, and Social Security.

His book A Life of One’s Own: Individual Rights and the Welfare State is a critique of the moral premises of the welfare state and defense of private alternatives that preserve individual autonomy, responsibility, and dignity. His appearance on John Stossel’s ABC/TV special “’Greed’ stirred a national debate on the ethics of capitalism.

An internationally-recognized expert on Objectivism, he has lectured widely on Ayn Rand, her ideas, and her works.

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