One core premise of Ayn Rand’s philosophy is free will—the idea that you are not the deterministic product of your race or genes or tribal collective—but have a basic form of control over your thoughts and actions. What is Ayn Rand’s theory of free will and how does it provide the foundation for her radical new moral philosophy.
Recorded at AynRandCon – Europe in London on April 3, 2022.
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.
Whether it’s the legality of abortion, the desirability of free speech, the power of social media companies, or the appropriateness of a president’s tweets, we seem to be increasingly divided by issues of value, by what we consider right and wrong,good and evil.
But whichever side we take on these and other controversies, if we’re asked to explain where our very ideas of good and evil and of right and wrong come from, and what exactly they mean, we’re often at a loss.
In the face of such puzzlement, one of the most common responses is to say that God is the source of morality and that if “God is dead, everything is permitted.”
In this webinar, we’ll challenge the idea that morality rests on an authority figure. We’ll discuss how authoritarianism plagues both our religious and secular thinking about ethics. And we’ll sketch an alternative approach to good and evil, one that treats morality as a this-worldly, ordinary, understandable form of knowledge.
Recorded live as part of ARI’s Philosophy of Living on Earth webinar series on July 27, 2019 Sign up up to attend the next webinar live at http://courses.aynrand.org/webinars/register
“More Things in Heaven and Earth”: Spacetime, Black Holes, and Gravitational Waves
The 2017 Nobel Prize in Physics was awarded for the first-ever detection of gravitational waves, confirming a 100-year-old prediction of Einstein’s. The discovery, announced in 2015, launched a new era of gravitational wave astronomy, but also raises challenging philosophical questions about the nature of space, time and gravity. What are gravitational waves and how are they being used to study the universe? And is there an inherent conflict between General Relativity and key metaphysical principles?
This talk was recorded live at Objectivist Summer Conference 2018 in Newport Beach, California.
A video version of this talk that includes supporting images can be found on ARI’s YouTube channel here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wwJ8Rl-dN9s