OCON

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

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

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 also discusses the topic of regulation in this field and how it may impact innovation. Recorded live at OCON on June 23, 2019.

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 view that principles identify what makes personal values possible and that adhering to them enables an individual to value on a grand scale.

Recorded live in Cleveland on June 25, 2019

The Sacred and the Profane: Objectivism and Religion by Aaron Smith

Why was Ayn Rand opposed to religion? What does Rand make of the notions of the sacred, of reverence, of worship, of the exalted? What is the difference between the ideals common to religions and the ideals projected in Rand’s fiction? Why does she think that man is a proper object of reverence? In this session, we discuss these questions from the perspective of Ayn Rand’s view of reason, of man, and of the world in which he lives.

This talk was recorded at Objectivist Summer Conference 2018.