Ayn Rand Institute Live!

The Consequences of Enlightenment with Yaron Brook

The Enlightenment enshrined in Western culture a deeply held respect for reason, science and individualism. The result was an explosion of progress unprecedented in human history. In this talk, Yaron Brook discusses the consequences of the Enlightenment, and the future progress that’s possible if Enlightenment ideals can be reestablished on the more secure foundation provided...

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Reason, Faith and the Road to “Alternative Facts” with Tara Smith

Respect for reason has suffered a notable decline in recent decades. This lecture examines one of the central contributors: the attempt to evade the fundamental alternative between reason and faith. It surveys numerous ways in which people disparage reason (sometimes unwittingly) and explains why the prevalent tendency to fudge the reason/faith alternative cannot succeed—and has...

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Extracting Force from Society with Gregory Salmieri

People often speak as though freedom is a default state from which human societies have strayed. This talk argues that the opposite is true. In a state of nature, human beings are unfree because we are under constant threat of force from one another. Extracting this force from human society is a tremendous achievement that...

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Ayn Rand and Enlightenment Attitudes Toward Religion with Robert Mayhew

The rebirth of reason in the Renaissance made possible, in the Enlightenment period that followed, was a reassessment of religion. In this lecture Dr. Mayhew sketches the main trends in a number of Enlightenment figures’ attitudes toward religion—with a focus on faith and Christian ethics—and then describes to what extent Ayn Rand’s criticism of religion...

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The Enlightenment and the Foundations of Liberty and Progress with Onkar Ghate

This talk is the opening keynote of Ayn Rand Conference USA–Live 2020, the Ayn Rand Institute’s two-day virtual conference about “Ayn Rand and the Revival of the Enlightenment.” To attend future talks, Q&As and social events, register now to AynRandCon at http://aynrandcon.org/ What were the essential ideas that defined the Age of Enlightenment? How did...

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Selfishness Starts Here: Self-Esteem as the Gateway to Successful Egoism with Tara Smith

Alongside purpose and reason, self-esteem is one of the foundational values of the Objectivist ethics. By exploring select facets of self-esteem (such as the sense of one’s worth and of one’s ability that it turns on), this lecture seeks to illuminate the way in which self-esteem is indispensable to a fully selfish and happy life....

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Life as the Standard of Value: Ayn Rand’s Proof with Harry Binswanger

What exactly is Ayn Rand’s proof of man’s life as the moral standard? This talk gives the full answer, step-by-step. A brief concluding section analyzes the mistakes in the arguments by Hume and 20th-century philosophers that purport to show that morality is not subject to reason, logic or proof. Recorded on May 16, 2020 as...

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Covid-19 Observations and Insights Panel with Amesh Adalja and Onkar Ghate

Join Onkar Ghate for an interview and Q&A panel with Amesh Adalja—a world expert on infectious disease and pandemic preparedness—about issues related to the Covid-19 pandemic and infectious disease outbreaks more broadly. Recorded on May 16, 2020 as part of OCON Live! 2020

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Purpose and Values with Gregory Salmieri

Ayn Rand described purpose as man’s “choice of the happiness which [his reason] must proceed to achieve.” It is one of the three “supreme and ruling” values that she wrote are “the means to and the realization of one’s ultimate value, one’s own life.” In this talk, Dr. Salmieri explores this distinctive aspect of the...

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The Purpose of Purpose with Yaron Brook

“The principle of purpose,” writes Leonard Peikoff, “means conscious goal-directedness in every aspect of one’s existence where choice applies.” In this talk, Yaron Brook will explore the role of purpose in human life: Why is it important and what does it mean to live purposefully, to have a central purpose, and to integrate all of...

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Perspectives on Pursuing an Intellectual Career | 2nd Panel Q&A

As a professional intellectual or an “intellectual professional,” there is a wide variety of possible avenues for advancing Objectivism in your professional work. In this session, a panel of distinguished speakers from a variety of professional backgrounds talks about their work and careers. Adam Mossoff is Professor of Law at Antonin Scalia Law School at...

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Alex Epstein | Perspectives on Pursuing an Intellectual Career

As a professional intellectual or an “intellectual professional,” there is a wide variety of possible avenues for advancing Objectivism in your professional work. In this session, Alex Epstein talks about his work and career. Mr. Epstein is a philosopher and energy expert who argues that “human flourishing” should be the guiding principle of industrial and...

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Robert Mayhew | Perspectives on Pursuing an Intellectual Career

As a professional intellectual or an “intellectual professional,” there is a wide variety of possible avenues for advancing Objectivism in your professional work. In this session, Robert Mayhew talks about his work and career. Dr. Mayhew, a member of ARI’s board of directors, teaches philosophy at Seton Hall University. He is the author or editor...

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Larry Salzman | Perspectives on Pursuing an Intellectual Career

As a professional intellectual or an “intellectual professional,” there is a wide variety of possible avenues for advancing Objectivism in your professional work. In this session, Larry Salzman talks about his work and career. Larry Salzman is the Litigation Director at Pacific Legal Foundation, a public interest law firm dedicated to advancing the principles of...

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Adam Mossoff | Perspectives on Pursuing an Intellectual Career

As a professional intellectual or an “intellectual professional,” there is a wide variety of possible avenues for advancing Objectivism in your professional work. In this session, Adam Mossoff talks about his work and career. Adam Mossoff is Professor of Law at Antonin Scalia Law School at George Mason University, is Chair of the Forum for...

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Perspectives on Pursuing an Intellectual Career | 1st Panel Q&A

As a professional intellectual or an “intellectual professional,” there is a wide variety of possible avenues for advancing Objectivism in your professional work. In this session, a panel of distinguished speakers from a variety of professional backgrounds talks about their work and careers. Dr. Tara Smith is a professor of philosophy at the University of...

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Matt Bateman | Perspectives on Pursuing an Intellectual Career

As a professional intellectual or an “intellectual professional,” there is a wide variety of possible avenues for advancing Objectivism in your professional work. In this session, Matt Bateman talks about his work and career.

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Brad Thompson | Perspectives on Pursuing an Intellectual Career

As a professional intellectual or an “intellectual professional,” there is a wide variety of possible avenues for advancing Objectivism in your professional work. In this session, Brad Thompson talks about his work and career. C. Bradley Thompson teaches Political Philosophy at Clemson University and is the Executive Director of the Clemson Institute for the Study...

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John Allison | Perspectives on Pursuing an Intellectual Career

As a professional intellectual or an “intellectual professional,” there is a wide variety of possible avenues for advancing Objectivism in your professional work. In this session, John Allison talks about his work and career. Mr. Allison is an Executive in Residence at the Wake Forest University School of Business. He is the retired president and...

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Tara Smith | Perspectives on Pursuing an Intellectual Career

As a professional intellectual or an “intellectual professional,” there is a wide variety of possible avenues for advancing Objectivism in your professional work. In this session, Tara Smith talks about her work and career. Dr. Smith is a professor of philosophy at the University of Texas at Austin. She has published books on individual rights,...

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Keynote Session Q&A with Onkar Ghate, Yaron Brook, Tal Tsfany

In the keynote session preceding this Q&A, Ayn Rand Institute senior fellow and chief philosophy officer, Onkar Ghate, discusses Ayn Rand’s essay “For the New Intellectual,” and Rand’s perspective on the crucial role that intellectuals play in shaping the culture. Dr. Ghate is senior fellow, chief content officer and a board member of the Ayn...

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How ARI is Training Tomorrow’s New Intellectuals by Tal Tsfany

ARI’s CEO, Tal Tsfany, highlights the opportunities that ARI can offer to young people interested in an intellectual career. Mr. Tsfany is the CEO of the Ayn Rand Institute. Prior to this, he was an entrepreneur, investor and executive in the software world in Israel and the United States. He is a co-founder of the...

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What It Takes to Change a Culture by Yaron Brook

Yaron Brook, chair of ARI’s board of directors and host of The Yaron Brook Show, discusses how Rand’s perspective has guided ARI’s strategy over more than three decades. He also discusses his personal career path as an internationally known speaker and YouTube host. Dr. Brook is co-author, with Don Watkins, of “In Pursuit of Wealth”...

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Ayn Rand’s “For the New Intellectual” by Onkar Ghate

In this keynote session, Ayn Rand Institute senior fellow and chief philosophy officer, Onkar Ghate, discusses Ayn Rand’s essay “For the New Intellectual,” and Rand’s perspective on the crucial role that intellectuals play in shaping the culture. Dr. Ghate is senior fellow, chief content officer and a board member of the Ayn Rand Institute. He...

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Productive Achievement: Man’s “Noblest Activity” by Onkar Ghate

Most thinkers throughout history have held a negative or, at best, neutral view of productive work. If not scorned outright, production has usually been viewed as having no moral significance. But Ayn Rand had a unique view of the human potential, central to which is the importance she accords to the act of production. Productive...

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Ayn Rand’s Ideas: An Introduction

Tens of millions have read Ayn Rand’s novels, including The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged, and half a million copies of her works now sell each year, but far fewer people know of the radical system of ideas underlying the stories she created. This lecture by Onkar Ghate introduces some of the main ideas of this...

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Reclaiming Americanism Panel

A New Textbook of Americanism: The Politics of Ayn Rand (2018) presents Rand’s distinctive philosophical conception of “Americanism” and shows why it is so urgently needed today. This panel features the book’s editor Jonathan Hoenig and several contributors. Recorded live at OCON on June 24, 2019

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Foundations of a Free Society Panel

Foundations of a Free Society: Reflections on Ayn Rand’s Political Philosophy (2019) is an in-depth philosophic exploration of Rand’s advocacy of capitalism. The book relates her ideas to contemporary and historical debates, and particularly the views of other thinkers seen as defending individual liberty and free markets. This panel moderated by Elan Journo features contributors...

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Facts and Fallacies About Intellectual Ability by Edwin A. Locke

This talk presents what is known about intellectual ability including its proper definition, its measurement, its genetic basis, its association with life achievements and outcomes, and its relationship to volition. It also explains why the issue of intellectual ability has been politicized especially among intellectuals. A proper view of social justice will be presented. Recorded...

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Earning Your Own Trust: The Psychology of Honesty by Gena Gorlin

This talk discusses the meaning and importance of being honest, especially with oneself—why it matters, why it can be hard and how to make it habit. Dr. Gorlin offers tools for introspecting the difference between reason and rationalizing, for staying selfishly committed to facts even when it hurts, and for correcting habits to the contrary....

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The Subtheme of Free Will in Atlas Shrugged by Ben Bayer

According to Ayn Rand, the theme of Atlas Shrugged is “the role of the mind in man’s existence.” In this session, we explore how Rand conveys her distinctive theory of free will, that the operation of the mind itself is volitional. In particular, we focus on a key conflict in the plot that is resolved...

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The Romanticism of Atlas Shrugged by Ben Bayer

Ayn Rand described Romanticism as “a category of art based on the recognition of the principle that man possesses the faculty of volition.” In this session, we discuss how her novel “Atlas Shrugged” fits into this category. Drawing on the framework Rand establishes in her essay “What Is Romanticism?,” we explore how the major conflicts...

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How Did Freedom Fare in the Supreme Court This Year? (2018) with Amy Peikoff, Larry Salman, Steve Simpson

Gay wedding cakes. Compulsory union dues. Mandatory disclosures for pregnancy centers. Police searches of cell phone records. These are just a few of the subjects the Supreme Court has taken up this term. The Court’s major cases impact freedom in America and involve fascinating political and philosophical questions. Our panel of experts: Amy Peikoff, Larry...

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Music in Stone: Architecture and Sense of Life by Barry Wood

Architecture is in a class of its own among the arts, combining utilitarian function and expressive power. How, though, can a building, which is nonrepresentational, convey meaning? In this lecture, Dr. Wood draws on Ayn Rand’s writings on architecture, including The Fountainhead and The Romantic Manifesto, to deepen our understanding of how great buildings concretize...

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“Crypto Currencies” Panacea or Ponzi Scheme–or Neither? by Jim Brown, Lars Christensen, Carter Laren, Lawrence White

Bitcoin. Ethereum. Litecoin. Ripple. These and other digital currencies have fired the imagination of free-market advocates. Can crypto currencies replace fiat currencies? Can they compete with gold? What’s the future of the blockchain technology on which these inventions are built? Our panel of experts: Jim Brown, Lars Christensen, Carter Laren and Lawrence White have different...

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Creativity Comes from the Subconscious — or Does It? by Edwin A. Locke

This talk argues that the prime mover in creativity is the conscious mind even though the subconscious plays a critical role. The conscious aspect includes: having a purpose or goal, passionate love of the goal, active thinking, vision, independent judgment, tenacity and objectivity, and the willingness to change goals or strategies in the face of...

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Yaron Brook and David Pakman Debate: “Does Pure Capitalism Work?”

Listen to the final installment in a series of four discussions between Ayn Rand Institute chairman Yaron Brook and David Pakman about Ayn Rand and Objectivism. Pakman is the host of the internationally syndicated television and radio program The David Pakman Show.

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Yaron Brook and David Pakman Debate: “Should We Have Welfare Programs?”

Listen to the third in a series of four discussions between Ayn Rand Institute chairman Yaron Brook and David Pakman about Ayn Rand and Objectivism. Pakman is the host of the internationally syndicated television and radio program The David Pakman Show.

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Yaron Brook Debates David Pakman on Ayn Rand

Listen to the first in a series of four discussions between Ayn Rand Institute chairman Yaron Brook and David Pakman about Ayn Rand and Objectivism. Pakman is the host of the internationally syndicated television and radio program The David Pakman Show.

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Transforming Burnout with Selfishness – Ellen Kenner, Edwin A. Locke and Jean Moroney

Burnout is a vicious cycle involving loss of motivation for one’s job or career. Internal causes include altruism, the duty premise and secondhand values. External causes include unrealistic expectations of others and injustice. Our panel of experts: Ellen Kenner, Edwin A. Locke and Jean Moroney discuss how making selfish value choices breaks the vicious cycle...

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A View from the Front Lines of a Public Energy Company by Nicholas J. Deluliis

The shale revolution is one of man’s most impressive achievements. Born out of a spirit of entrepreneurism, disruptive thinking and self-interest, this revolution has brought the United States out of an era of energy scarcity and into an era of energy abundance. However, allied forces in government, media and the radical green movement conspire to...

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Climate, Energy and the Environmentalist Movement by Keith Lockitch

Today, climate change is viewed in our culture as a crisis of unprecedented scale that is uniquely threatening and intractable. Yet if we explore the history of the environmentalist movement, we find a pattern of forecasting similar environmental catastrophes that failed to materialize. What is it about environmentalism that gives rise to this pattern of...

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From Metaphysical Facts to Moral Guidance by Aaron Smith

This session—part lecture, part class discussion—explores the fact that, and the ways in which, the guidance offered by the Objectivist ethics flows from the recognition of certain universal facts about human nature and the nature of the world in which man lives. The purpose of the session is to highlight the connection between facts and...

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Falling In Love With Poetry (Part 2) by Lisa VanDamme

The goal of this talk is to help you fall in love – or more in love – both with poetry and with love itself. With a symphonic integration of all the resources of language, great love poets take the most elusive nuances, thrills, mysteries, and motifs of love and throw them into sharp relief....

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Falling In Love With Poetry (Part 1) by Lisa VanDamme

The goal of this talk is to help you fall in love – or more in love – both with poetry and with love itself. With a symphonic integration of all the resources of language, great love poets take the most elusive nuances, thrills, mysteries, and motifs of love and throw them into sharp relief....

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The Influence of Ayn Rand on My Life and Business Career by Lars Seier Christensen

Mr. Christensen, co-founder of Denmark’s Saxo Bank and founder of the private equity firm Seier Capital, has had a long, successful career as an innovator in banking and finance. In this talk, he discusses his business career and the role that Objectivism has played in his personal and professional development. This talk was recorded at...

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The Philosophical Roots of Chinese Strategic Thought by Scott D. McDonald

Traditional Chinese philosophy continues to influence the thinking and values of Chinese Communist Party leadership, and informs a system of Chinese strategic thought that differs significantly from that of the West. This talk introduces the fundamentals of Chinese philosophy, their relationship to Chinese strategic culture, and their influence on PRC security policy, in order to...

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Sense of Life in Medieval Persia by Barry Wood

Art is a universal need of man qua man, yet most people’s awareness of art is limited to the Western tradition. This horizon-expanding lecture offers an introduction to the culture of medieval Persia. Dr. Wood analyzes, in Objectivist terms, the ways in which the poets, painters and architects of that era distilled their sense of...

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Ayn Rand, Progress and Silicon Valley with Erik Torenberg, Jason Crawford and Yaron Brook

Erik Torenberg interviews Jason Crawford and Yaron Brook. They discuss: – What can destroy — or save — Silicon Valley. – What Rand would say about Silicon Valley if she could see it today. – How to reconcile egalitarianism and meritocracy. – How to make her ideas more mainstream. – Objectivism, libertarianism, and individualism. – Progress as...

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Nurturing the Reader in Every Child with Lindsay Journo and Cornelia Lockitch

Is one of your goals as a parent or teacher to nurture a passion for reading in your children? Do you wonder about the role of reading instruction or screen time on the decline of reading in our culture? This presentation offers inspiration and practical advice for: – Building intrinsic motivation in children – Developing...

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Victor Hugo and You: The Art of Spiritual Splendor by Shoshana Milgram

Hugo was a giant. He created brilliantly Romantic novels, poetry and plays, and he did so with dedicated purpose: “Everything in a work of art is an act of will.” Learn about the life, works and impact of the man Ayn Rand considered “the greatest novelist in world literature.” His writing, he said, “knocks on...

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Practicum on “Motivation by Love” by Jean Moroney

Do you select actions because they help you achieve values (“motivation by love”) or avoid failures (“motivation by fear”)? The same action can lead to happiness or suffereing depending on your reason for taking it. You will learn: – The full meaning of “motivation by love” and its antithesis “motivation by fear – The need...

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Achieving Happiness: Living Life with Purpose

Objectivism is a “philosophy for living on earth” as Ayn Rand wrote. In this discussion, Ms. Agarwal and Mr. Tsfany relate how they understand the process of implementing Rand’s philosophy in one’s life and career. The conversation covers aspects of discovering, defining and pursuing a life of purpose and, consequently, happiness and fulfillment. This talk...

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21st Century Breakthroughs and Challenges in Infectious Disease by Amesh Adalja

In this talk, Dr. Adalja provides a guided tour of some of the most game-changing innovations that are on the horizon in the field of infectious disease. Using the field of infectious disease as a backdrop, he discusses such topics as the microbiome, universal flu vaccines, CRISPR-CAS gene editing, bacteriophages, antimicrobial resistance, and immunotherapies. He...

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Life, Poetry and Keats by Lisa VanDamme

John Keats lived a tragically short and miserably tragic life, and yet in his twenty-five years he wrote poetry that has brought insight, joy and beauty to readers for centuries. This talk weaves together the story of Keats’s life with some of his most beautiful works of poetry. Though what happiness Keats enjoyed was fleeting,...

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Free Speech, Free Minds, Free Markets by Tara Smith

Many people believe that while freedom of speech is a vital human liberty, economic freedom is entirely separate, merely a distant and inferior relation. This lecture exposes their error by examining the underappreciated implications of free speech on free markets. After isolating the First Amendment’s core concern as intellectual freedom, Smith demonstrates how the mind...

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The Fountainhead Discussion Series (Session 8) with Ben Bayer and Keith Lockitch

In this series, teachers from the Ayn Rand Institute will discuss Rand’s background and the history of The Fountainhead; the novel’s plots, central themes and characters; how the novel compares to other well-known works; and how the novel relates to the era in which it was written and to today.   Discussed in this episode:  THE...

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The Fountainhead Discussion Series (Session 7) with Ben Bayer and Paul Taske

In this series, teachers from the Ayn Rand Institute will discuss Rand’s background and the history of The Fountainhead; the novel’s plots, central themes and characters; how the novel compares to other well-known works; and how the novel relates to the era in which it was written and to today.   Discussed in this episode:  THE...

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The Fountainhead Discussion Series (Session 6) with Ben Bayer and Paul Taske

In this series, teachers from the Ayn Rand Institute will discuss Rand’s background and the history of The Fountainhead; the novel’s plots, central themes and characters; how the novel compares to other well-known works; and how the novel relates to the era in which it was written and to today.   Discussed in this episode:  THE...

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Anthem Discussion Series (Session 5) with Aaron Smith and Agustina Vergara Cid

In this series, teachers from the Ayn Rand Institute will discuss Rand’s background and the history of Anthem; the novel’s plots, central themes and characters; how the novel compares to other well-known works; and how the novel relates to the era in which it was written and to today.   Discussed in this episode: A Q&A...

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The Fountainhead Discussion Series (Session 5) with Ben Bayer and Keith Lockitch

In this series, teachers from the Ayn Rand Institute will discuss Rand’s background and the history of The Fountainhead; the novel’s plots, central themes and characters; how the novel compares to other well-known works; and how the novel relates to the era in which it was written and to today.   Discussed in this episode:  THE...

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Q&A Panel: Yaron Brook, Onkar Ghate, Keith Lockitch and Gregory Salmieri

The COVID-19 pandemic and the response to it at all levels of government have disrupted all of our lives. As we begin to contemplate the challenge of reopening and rebuilding the economy in the face on the ongoing spread of the virus, it’s critical to employ the right philosophical framework for thinking about these issues,...

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Thinking Objectively in Times of Crisis by Gregory Salmieri

The COVID-19 pandemic and the response to it at all levels of government have disrupted all of our lives. As we begin to contemplate the challenge of reopening and rebuilding the economy in the face on the ongoing spread of the virus, it’s critical to employ the right philosophical framework for thinking about these issues,...

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Objectivity in Government in Times of Crisis by Yaron Brook

The COVID-19 pandemic and the response to it at all levels of government have disrupted all of our lives. As we begin to contemplate the challenge of reopening and rebuilding the economy in the face on the ongoing spread of the virus, it’s critical to employ the right philosophical framework for thinking about these issues,...

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Infectious Disease Under the American Form of Government by Onkar Ghate

The COVID-19 pandemic and the response to it at all levels of government have disrupted all of our lives. As we begin to contemplate the challenge of reopening and rebuilding the economy in the face on the ongoing spread of the virus, it’s critical to employ the right philosophical framework for thinking about these issues,...

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Anthem Discussion Series (Session 4) with Aaron Smith and Keith Lockitch

In this series, teachers from the Ayn Rand Institute will discuss Rand’s background and the history of Anthem; the novel’s plots, central themes and characters; how the novel compares to other well-known works; and how the novel relates to the era in which it was written and to today.  Discussed in this episode: The Continuing...

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The Fountainhead Discussion Series (Session 4) with Ben Bayer and Keith Lockitch

In this series, teachers from the Ayn Rand Institute will discuss Rand’s background and the history of The Fountainhead; the novel’s plots, central themes and characters; how the novel compares to other well-known works; and how the novel relates to the era in which it was written and to today.   Discussed in this episode:  THE...

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Anthem Discussion Series (Session 3) with Aaron Smith and Agustina Vergara Cid

In this series, teachers from the Ayn Rand Institute will discuss Rand’s background and the history of Anthem; the novel’s plots, central themes and characters; how the novel compares to other well-known works; and how the novel relates to the era in which it was written and to today.  Discussed in this episode: Anthem as...

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The Fountainhead Discussion Series (Session 3) with Ben Bayer and Keith Lockitch

In this series, teachers from the Ayn Rand Institute will discuss Rand’s background and the history of The Fountainhead; the novel’s plots, central themes and characters; how the novel compares to other well-known works; and how the novel relates to the era in which it was written and to today.  Discussed in this episode:  THE...

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The Fountainhead Discussion Series (Session 2) with Ben Bayer and Keith Lockitch

In this series, teachers from the Ayn Rand Institute will discuss Rand’s background and the history of The Fountainhead; the novel’s plots, central themes and characters; how the novel compares to other well-known works; and how the novel relates to the era in which it was written and to today.  Discussed in this episode: THE...

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Anthem Discussion Series (Session 2) with Aaron Smith and Keith Lockitch

In this series, teachers from the Ayn Rand Institute will discuss Rand’s background and the history of Anthem; the novel’s plots, central themes and characters; how the novel compares to other well-known works; and how the novel relates to the era in which it was written and to today. Discussed in this episode: Individualism vs....

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Free Speech and the Threat of Tech Regulation by Yaron Brook, Dave Rubin, Brian Amerige and Greg Salmieri

Dave Rubin of the Rubin Report is joined by Yaron Brook, Brian Amerige, and Greg Salmieri LIVE from OCON to talk about big tech censorship, the Google leak, Project Veritas, free speech, YouTube demonetization, fake news, and more.

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The Fountainhead Discussion Series (Session 1) with Ben Bayer and Keith Lockitch

In this series, teachers from the Ayn Rand Institute will discuss Rand’s background and the history of “The Fountainhead”; the novel’ plots, central themes and characters; how the novel compare to other well-known works; and how the novel relates to the era in which it was written and to today. This is part 1 of...

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Anthem Discussion Series (Session 1) with Aaron Smith and Keith Lockitch

In this series, teachers from the Ayn Rand Institute will discuss Rand’s background and the history of “Anthem;” the novel’ plots, central themes and characters; how the novel compare to other well-known works; and how the novel relates to the era in which it was written and to today. This is part 1 of a...

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Aristotle and the Romantic Manifesto by Robert Mayhew

In the Romantic Manifesto, Ayn Rand reports that before she heard the name “Aristotle,” she had accepted his principle “that fiction is of greater philosophical importance than history, because history represents things only as they are, while fiction represents them ‘as they might be and ought to be.’” The aim of this talk is to...

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Spreading Objectivism: A Vision for ARI’s Future by Tal Tsfany

Tal Tsfany, ARI’s president and CEO, reviews ARI’s mission to spread Objectivism and the progress made during 2018–19. ARI’s strategy for the future is presented together with many data points and insights collected through newly implemented technologies and methodologies. Tal then answers questions about the direction ARI is taking. Recorded live on June 25, 2019...

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The New Moral Case for Fossil Fuels by Alex Epstein

For the last five years, Alex Epstein’s 2014 New York Times bestseller, The Moral Case for Fossil Fuels, has been one of the most important books in the world of energy policy, influencing leading politicians, executives, commentators and court cases. In early 2020, Penguin will release the revised and expanded The Moral Case for Fossil...

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Highlights from the Romantic Manifesto by Onkar Ghate, Yaron Brook

The Romantic Manifesto is a rich and philosophically penetrating book. It is, Rand states in her introduction, a “declaration of my personal objectives or motives” as an artist and “of the theoretical grounds that entitle me to these objectives and motives.” We explore some of the insights into Objectivism we get from her manifesto and...

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How to Fill Your Life With Art by Yaron Brook, Onkar Ghate

A central message of The Romantic Manifesto is the value of enriching your life with great art. But how? Dr. Brook has long pursued a passion for bringing Romantic art to Objectivists and other buyers and seeking out great art around the world. Join him for a discussion of the difference between great art and...

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Literature and the Quest for Meaning by Lisa VanDamme

One essential condition of fulfillment and happiness is the philosophic conviction that your life belongs to you. But it is only a condition. A truly fulfilled and happy life requires a sense of meaning. How to achieve that meaning is a question for which we have few tried-and-true, culturally established answers. Thankfully, one resource we...

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Principles and Personal Values by Gregory Salmieri

Morality is widely seen as a counterweight to self-interest, and it is often thought that adherence to esthetic principles constrains the artist’s ability to express himself and an audience’s ability to respond in a genuinely personal way. On this common view, principles are opposed to personal values. In this talk, Dr. Salmieri explores Rand’s contrary...

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Ayn Rand on Art with Yaron Brook, Onkar Ghate and Robert Mayhew

Yaron Brook, Onkar Ghate and Robert Mayhew have a panel discussion and Q&A on various aspects of Ayn Rand’s perspective on art. Recorded live at OCON 2019 in Clevland, OH on June 23, 2019.

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Why Should I care About Israel? with Elan Journo

Israel is talked about often in the media, but many Americans don’t understand why we are so preoccupied with this country. Often Israel is spoken of in a negative context: boycotts at universities, condemnations by the United Nations, and so on. What makes Israel worse than other countries? On the flip side, good defenses of...

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What’s Wrong with “Virtue Signaling”? by Ben Bayer

Think about celebrities who tweet about their politics all the time, or think about companies who want you to buy their products because they’re supposedly eco-friendly. Some say that these are symptoms of an epidemic that’s coursing it’s way through social media and through our political discourse generally, an epidemic they call “virtue signalling”. Ben...

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Who Decides What’s Right or Wrong? by Elan Journo

In ethics, the question “Who ultimately decides what is morally right or wrong?” is commonly asked. Notice that in other areas of life there’s no issue of “who decides” what’s right or wrong. For example, if your car won’t start, you call a mechanic to inspect it. After he replaces the battery, the car works...

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Why Are New Years Resolutions So Hard To Keep? by Keith Lockitch

Every year droves of people make New Year’s resolutions, but polls suggest that four out of five people fail to keep them. One report even found that most resolutions last less than two weeks. So why are New Year’s resolutions so hard to keep? Are they just a joke and a waste of time? Are...

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Do People’s Interests Have to Conflict? by Gregory Salmieri

People are at odds with one another all the time (we have wars, personal animosities, etc.) and it is generally assumed that people’s interests conflict. We are often told that the only way to have any kind of peace is to compromise—to give up our interests in deference to other people. Ayn Rand rejects this...

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Is Artistic Preference Subjective? by Harry Binswanger

At the turn of the millennium, two different polls were held. The question was: What’s the best English-language novel of the twentieth century? One poll questioned literary experts—they picked Ulysses by James Joyce. The second poll questioned internet users—their choice was Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand. Is there any objective way to settle who is...

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Should You Judge Other People? by Elan Journo

If you want to be considered a caring person, you are expected to offer a “no-judgement-zone.” And you are supposed to believe that it’s an insult to be called “judgmental.” It’s recommended that you live by the biblical advice “Judge not, lest ye be judged,” but can this actually guide us in our daily life...

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