life

Happiness by Jean Moroney

Ayn Rand’s distinctive view of values gives her a distinctive view of happiness. Topics discussed:

– What happiness is
– Why it’s “the normal condition of man”
– The practical steps to move from unhappiness to happiness

Recorded live on July 2, 2022 as part of the Objectivist Summer Conference.

Reproduction and the Objectivist Ethics by Gregory Salmieri

The Objectivist ethics is grounded in the nature of life. Spanning meta-ethics to politics, this talk surveys the implications for this ethics of an aspect of life about which Rand said little: reproduction. Topics include what it means for an organism’s life to be its ultimate value, whether (and when) having children is egoistic, and the rights of parents and children.

Recorded live on July 5, 2022 as part of the Objectivist Summer Conference.

Creating a New Generation of Energy Champions: A Panel hosted by Yaron Brook with Bud Brigham, Alex Epstein, and Onkar Ghate.

Recorded as part of the Ayn Rand Institute Gala at OCON 2021.

Today, the energy industry—the industry that powers every other industry—is under unprecedented attack, with widespread calls to eliminate fossil fuels and continue the strangulation of nuclear power. The attack on energy is fundamentally philosophical in nature, rooted in an anti-human philosophy that regards human impact on nature—an essential of human flourishing—as immoral and inevitably self-destructive. Fortunately, there is a growing movement of energy champions, who, armed with pro-human philosophical ideas and a deep command of the facts about energy, environment and climate, are winning hearts and minds. Join us for a panel of distinguished experts who will discuss the intellectual challenges facing the energy industry today and how ARI can help create a new generation of energy champions.

COVID-19, mRNA and the Future of Vaccines by Amesh Adalja

In this talk, Dr. Adalja will discuss the science behind vaccine platform technologies such as the mRNA vaccines. He will also describe how changes in the scientific context impact the role of vaccines, the misconception of science as omniscient, and how the arbitrary must play no role in scientific-medical matters.

Recorded live on July 6, 2022 as part of the Objectivist Summer Conference

Dismantling Roe by Onkar Ghate

If Samuel Alito’s leaked first draft of a potential majority decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization is a reliable indication, the Supreme Court will overturn (and may have already done so by the time of the conference) Roe v. Wade. Onkar Ghate examines the arguments offered in Roe, good and bad, the vulnerabilities of the decision, and the case being made for its overturn.

Recorded live on July 2, 2022 as part of the Objectivist Summer Conference.

Raising Ourselves: A Montessori-Inspired Self-Parenting Guide for All Ages by Gena Gorlin

Selfishness, as Rand conceived it, is a demanding discipline: only by tending to one’s character and nurturing one’s psychological development can one become fully a rational, self-esteeming being capable of authentic happiness. This self-nurturance is a continuation, applied to oneself, of the work a good parent does in raising a child. This workshop will synthesize insights from psychology, Objectivism, and Montessori education and parenting to offer a practical approach for lovingly observing, managing and, when needed, changing one’s own psychology.

Recorded live as part of The Objectivist Conference on August 30, 2021.

That Radiant Selfishness of Soul: the Virtue of Pride by Ben Bayer

Objectivism regards pride as a crucial moral virtue. But what does it mean to act with pride, as opposed to feeling pride or achieving self-esteem? This talk will identify and elaborate on the central concern of the virtue of pride (the creation of one’s own character) and explore the chief practical requirements of the virtue, drawing on crucial examples from the plot of Atlas Shrugged.

Recorded live as part of The Objectivist Conference on August 28, 2021.

Ayn Rand Con Second Q&A Panel on Objectivism with Onkar Ghate, Aaron Smith and Nikos Sotirakopoulos

After reflecting on the day’s talks, the audience asks questions they have about Ayn Rand’s philosophy, Objectivism.

Recorded at AynRandCon – Europe in London on April 3, 2022.

Ayn Rand Con First Q&A Panel on Objectivism with Yaron, Onkar, Keith

After reflecting on the day’s talks, participants asked questions about Ayn Rand’s philosophy, Objectivism.

Recorded at AynRandCon – Europe in London on April 2, 2022.

Capitalism: The System of Individual Rights by Yaron Brook

Do citizens have a duty to serve the state? Or does government exist to protect the freedom of individuals to pursue their own lives and happiness? What are individual rights and what are they based on? Ayn Rand often described her political views by saying that she’s not a conservative but a “radical for capitalism.” What is capitalism? And how does it differ from both socialism and conservatism?

Recorded at AynRandCon – Europe in London on April 2, 2022.

The Evil of Self-Sacrifice by Aaron Smith

Everyone knows that altruism — selfless sacrifice for the sake of others — is the essence of virtue, right? But what if, like the concept “selfishness,” our understanding of the true meaning of “altruism” and “sacrifice” is completely mistaken? What if these ideas are actually destructive and harmful? From Ayn Rand’s perspective, our whole way of thinking about morality needs to be radically rethought.

Recorded at AynRandCon – Europe in London on April 2, 2022.

An Overview of Ayn Rand’s Ideas by Onkar Ghate

This talk was part of Ayn Rand Con Europe on April 3, 2022.

Theory to Practice: Applying Objectivism to the Pursuit of Happiness by Tal Tsfany

Ayn Rand gave us the gift of her fictional characters manifesting moral ideals, and showing us what is possible and admirable. How do we leverage that inspiration toward writing our own story, paving our own path, living our own heroic life? In this talk, ARI’s CEO, Tal Tsfany, shares his experience and insights about the process of implementing moral ideals in one’s life.

This talk was part of Ayn Rand Con Europe on April 3, 2022.

Using Reason to Cultivate Passion: A Moral and Psychological How-To Guide by Gena Gorlin

Despite all the graduation speeches enjoining us to “be passionate” about something, the experience of deep, passionate emotion is not an easy one to achieve, much less sustain. This talk offers guidance for achieving that rarified quality which Ayn Rand ascribed to one of Atlas Shrugged’s heroes — a “disciplined capacity to feel too deeply.” The talk by Gena Gorlin, a postdoctoral fellow at Boston University’s Center for Anxiety and Related Disorders, integrates tools from cognitive-behavioral therapy with insights from Rand’s theory of values, without assuming prior knowledge of either.

This talk was recorded live at Objectivist Summer Conference 2017 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, on Sunday, June 11, 2017.

Celebrating Thirty Years of “OPAR” Panel with John Allison, Yaron Brook, Tara Smith

John Allison, Yaron Brook and Tara Smith each have a unique perspective on the role that Objectivism has played in their lives and work. Join these panelists as they celebrate the 30th anniversary of Leonard Peikoff’s masterwork and reflect on the impact that OPAR has had on their understanding of Objectivism and their ability to apply it successfully in their careers—in business, in public intellectual activism and in academic philosophy.

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 Objectivist ethics, with special attention to what it means to value one’s choice of happiness, and how such a choice can be both a part of one’s ultimate end and an essential means to it.

Recorded on May 16, 2020 as part of OCON Live! 2020

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 your values around that central purpose? Recorded on May 15, 2020 as part of OCON Live! 2020

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 George Mason University, is Chair of the Forum for Intellectual Property at the Hudson Institute, and is affiliated with several other think tanks and policy organizations. He is a nationally recognized expert on intellectual property policy. His research has been relied on by the Supreme Court, by lower federal courts, and by federal agencies, and he has been invited five times to testify before the U.S. Senate and the House of Representatives on patent legislation.

Larry Salzman is the Litigation Director at Pacific Legal Foundation, a public interest law firm dedicated to advancing the principles of individual rights and limited government through law. He leads PLF’s attorneys in developing and litigating cases involving property rights, economic freedom, free speech, equality, and the constitutional separation of powers. He is also a graduate of ARI’s Objectivist Academic Center.

Dr. Robert Mayhew, a member of ARI’s board of directors, teaches philosophy at Seton Hall University. He is the author or editor of seven books in his area of specialization, ancient philosophy (most recently “Aristotle’s Lost Homeric Problems”), and author or editor of ten books related to Ayn Rand and Objectivism.

Alex Epstein is a philosopher and energy expert who argues that “human flourishing” should be the guiding principle of industrial and environmental progress. He is the author of the New York Times best-seller “The Moral Case for Fossil Fuels”.

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 environmental progress. He is the author of the New York Times best-seller “The Moral Case for Fossil Fuels”.

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 of seven books in his area of specialization, ancient philosophy (most recently “Aristotle’s Lost Homeric Problems”), and author or editor of ten books related to Ayn Rand and Objectivism.

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 individual rights and limited government through law. He leads PLF’s attorneys in developing and litigating cases involving property rights, economic freedom, free speech, equality, and the constitutional separation of powers. He is also a graduate of ARI’s Objectivist Academic Center.

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 Intellectual Property at the Hudson Institute, and is affiliated with several other think tanks and policy organizations. He is a nationally recognized expert on intellectual property policy. His research has been relied on by the Supreme Court, by lower federal courts, and by federal agencies, and he has been invited five times to testify before the U.S. Senate and the House of Representatives on patent legislation.

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 Texas at Austin. She has published books on individual rights, the foundations of value, Ayn Rand’s theory of egoistic virtues and the requirements of objectivity in judicial review. Current research focuses on psychological aspects of egoism.

John Allison is an Executive in Residence at the Wake Forest University School of Business. He is the retired president and CEO of the Cato Institute and was chairman and CEO of BB&T Corporation. During Allison’s tenure as CEO from 1989 to 2008, BB&T grew from $4.5 billion to $152 billion in assets.

C. Bradley Thompson teaches Political Philosophy at Clemson University and is the Executive Director of the Clemson Institute for the Study of Capitalism. He received his Ph.D at Brown University, and he has been a visiting scholar at Princeton and Harvard universities and at the University of London.

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.

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 of Capitalism. He received his Ph.D at Brown University, and he has been a visiting scholar at Princeton and Harvard universities and at the University of London.

Professor Thompson has published five books, including: “America’s Revolutionary Mind: A Moral History of the American Revolution and the Declaration that Defined It”; the award-winning “John Adams and the Spirit of Liberty”; “Neoconservatism: An Obituary for an Idea”; “The Revolutionary Writings of John Adams”; and “Antislavery Political Writings, 1833-1860: A Reader”.

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 CEO of the Cato Institute and was chairman and CEO of BB&T Corporation. During Allison’s tenure as CEO from 1989 to 2008, BB&T grew from $4.5 billion to $152 billion in assets.

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, the foundations of value, Ayn Rand’s theory of egoistic virtues and the requirements of objectivity in judicial review. Current research focuses on psychological aspects of egoism.

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 Rand Institute. He specializes in Rand’s philosophy, Objectivism, and is ARI’s senior instructor and editor. He publishes and lectures on Rand’s philosophy and fiction, including application of Objectivism in the culture, and has been a guest on national radio and television programs.

Dr. Brook is chairman of the board of the Ayn Rand Institute. He is co-author, with Don Watkins, of “In Pursuit of Wealth” (2017), of “Equal Is Unfair” (2016) and of the national best-seller “Free Market Revolution” (2012). He is the host of The Yaron Brook Show on BlogTalk Radio.

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 Ayn Rand Center Israel and has published a young adult book titled Sophie.

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 Ayn Rand Center Israel and has published a young adult book titled Sophie.

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” (2017), of “Equal Is Unfair” (2016) and of the national best-seller “Free Market Revolution” (2012).

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 specializes in Rand’s philosophy, Objectivism, and is ARI’s senior instructor and editor. He publishes and lectures on Rand’s philosophy and fiction, including application of Objectivism in the culture, and has been a guest on national radio and television programs.

Inequality: Should We Care? A debate with Dr. Yaron Brook and Dr. James Galbraith

A debate with Dr. Yaron Brook of the Ayn Rand Institute and Dr. James Galbraith of University of Texas at Austin’s Inequality Project.

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 achievement, in her philosophy, is man’s “noblest activity.” This talk explores what Objectivism means by the virtue of productiveness and discusses aspects of our culture’s positive and negative attitudes toward producers and productive activity.

Onkar Ghate is senior fellow and chief content officer at the Ayn Rand Institute. Tara Smith, who participates in the question period, is professor of philosophy and BB&T Chair for the Study of Objectivism at the University of Texas at Austin. This talk was delivered at Objectivist Summer Conference 2017 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, on Saturday, June 10, 2017.

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 only when one character realizes that the mind is volitional. Recorded live at OCON on June 27, 2019

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 in the plot of “Atlas Shrugged” express Rand’s commitment to the premise of volition in man’s existential action, and how the major value-conflicts faced by central characters in the novel express the same commitment in regard to man’s consciousness. We also highlight the importance of each of these features of Rand’s Romanticism and how they contribute to the enjoyment of the novel.

Free Will by Onkar Ghate

Recorded live at Ayn Rand Conference Europe 2020

The Virtue of Selfishness by Elan Journo

Recorded live at Ayn Rand Conference Europe 2020

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 of burnout, so you can experience a virtuous cycle of productivity for achieving selfish goals.

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 destroy the shale revolution, despite its virtues, through Trojan Horse tactics linked to collectivist social purposes. Deluliis examines this effort to build a societal paradigm predicated on government control of private enterprise and the enabling of the second-hander.

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 ailed predictions, and what lessons can we draw from them about today’s concerns related to climate and energy?

Recorded live at OCON on June 25, 2020.

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 values from a uniquely Objectivist perspective.

Recorded live at OCON on June 24, 2019

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. During this talk, you will see these facets illumined by such timeless poets as Tennyson, Donne, Millay, and Browning.

You will experience the power of poetry to sharpen our vision, intensify our feelings, deepen our souls, and expand our capacity to love.

Recorded live at OCON 2018.

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. During this talk, you will see these facets illumined by such timeless poets as Tennyson, Donne, Millay, and Browning.

You will experience the power of poetry to sharpen our vision, intensify our feelings, deepen our souls, and expand our capacity to love.

Recorded live at OCON 2018.

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 Objectivist Summer Conference 2018.

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 life into concrete form. The reward is an increased appreciation of Ayn Rand’s insights into art, as well as of a lesser-known legacy of human creativity.

Recorded live at OCON 2019

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 to act from “motivation by love,” i.e., with the achievement of your values as your primary focus

– How to switch to a values-focus when you spot “motivation by fear”

Recorded live on June 24, 2019 as part of OCON 2019

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 was recorded at Objectivist Summer Conference 2019.

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, he left an enduring legacy of art that can contribute powerfully to ours.

Recorded Wednesday June 26 in Cleveland as part of OCON 2019.