Philosophy

Archived items are listed in reverse order of publication date.

The Is-Altruism Dichotomy

Shows why, even after Ayn Rand created a complete morality based exclusively on observation and logic, many people persist in believing that moral principles cannot be derived from the facts of reality.

The DIM Hypothesis: Why the Lights of the West Are Going Out, by Leonard Peikoff

Great Islamic Thinkers Versus Islam

Examines the Golden Age of Islam and considers the ideas of some of its leading thinkers, telling “a story of great achievements—and their rejection; of great heroes—and their defeat; of great minds—and their suppression; ultimately, of great danger—and its cancerous growth.”

Sam Harris’s Failure to Formulate a Scientific Morality

Examines Harris’s claims to have grounded his brand of utilitarianism in reality, and finds them wanting.

Independent Thinking, Morality, and Liberty

Examines the crucial need for advocates of liberty to uphold the same cognitive standard in considering moral matters as they do in considering political matters.

Ayn Rand: America’s Comeback Philosopher

Highlights the essential principles of Rand’s philosophy; compares them to the essentials of the predominant philosophies of the day, religion and subjectivism; relates each to the American ideal of individual rights and liberty; and shows why, if America is to make a comeback, Americans must embrace Rand’s ideas.

Religion Versus Morality

Surveys the history and tenets of religion and shows that religion, in every essential respect, is utterly at odds with the requirements of a rational, practical, life-serving morality.

Why Marxism? Evil Laid Bare

Examines key ideas that have driven Marxists and socialists?from Asian and European dictators to American college professors?to enact or advocate an ideology that is historically and philosophically pure evil.

Atlas Shrugged and Ayn Rand's Morality of Egoism (accessible for free)

Provides a myth-busting introduction to the Objectivist ethics. (Does not contain spoilers about the novel.)

Individualism vs. Collectivism: Our Future, Our Choice

Surveys the metaphysics, epistemology, ethics, and politics of these two creeds, showing, at each level, that only one of them corresponds to observable reality.

Objectivism vs. Kantianism in The Fountainhead

Examines these opposing philosophies in the story, characters, and theme of Ayn Rand’s great novel.

The Closing of the Muslim Mind: How Intellectual Suicide Created the Modern Islamist Crisis by Robert R. Reilly

The American Right, the Purpose of Government, and the Future of Liberty

Identifies the proper role of government; applies this principle to crucial issues of the day, including “entitlement” programs, corporate bailouts, and the Islamist threat; and calls for lovers of liberty to save America by adopting this moral truth as their fundamental political principle.

The Assault on Abortion Rights Undermines All Our Liberties (accessible for free)

Surveys the expanding efforts to outlaw abortion in America, examines the facts that give rise to a woman’s right to abortion, and shows why the assault on this right is an assault on all our rights.

Dare to Stand Alone: The Story of Charles Bradlaugh, Atheist and Republican by Bryan Niblett

9/11 Ten Years Later: The Fruits of the Philosophy of Self-Abnegation (accessible for free)

Examines the essence of this approach and what it’s delivered so far.

Ayn Rand's Theory of Rights:
The Moral Foundation of a Free Society (accessible for free)

Examines the essential aspects of her philosophy that give rise to her theory of rights, as against the theories of God-given, government-granted, and "natural" rights.

The Bourgeois Virtues: Ethics for an Age of Commerce by Deirdre N. McCloskey

Anti-intellectualism in American Life by Richard Hofstadter and The Age of American Unreason by Susan Jacoby

The Philosophical Breakfast Club: Four Remarkable Friends Who Transformed Science and Changed the World by Laura J. Snyder

The Republicans’ Opportunity to
Restore America . . . and Their Obstacle

Considers the Republicans’ alternatives following their victories in the 2010 midterm elections, and identifies a moral conflict, which, if unresolved, will preclude them from saving the land of liberty.

The Conclusion of Loving Life

Includes the book's final, summarizing chapter along with an afterword on terrorism and an appendix on emergency situations.

The Ground Zero Mosque, the Spread of Islam, and How America Should Deal with Such Efforts (accessible for free)

Considers the Ground Zero mosque, the spread of Islam in America, and how Americans and Westerners in general should deal with such efforts.

Herman Boerhaave: The Nearly Forgotten Father of Modern Medicine

Looks at the accomplishments and legacy of a great hero of science, Herman Boerhaave, the nearly forgotten father of modern medicine, who may well be responsible for the fact that you are still alive.

A Civilized Society: The Necessary Conditions

Discusses the necessary conditions of a civilized society—or, the moral nuts and bolts of freedom and capitalism.

Neoconservatism: An Obituary for an Idea, by C. Bradley Thompson with Yaron Brook

The Passion of Ayn Rand’s Critics: The Case Against the Brandens, by James Valliant

Why Anthony Daniels Smears Ayn Rand (accessible for free)

Examines Daniels’s recent New Criterion article “Ayn Rand: Engineer of Souls” and ponders the question, “Why, to the detriment of his own credibility, would an otherwise capable intellectual so grossly misrepresent Rand’s actual views—and do so, not at a cocktail party, but in a public forum?”

An Interview with Philosopher of Science David Harriman

Philosopher of science David Harriman discusses his new book, The Logical Leap, in which he presents Leonard Peikoff’s theory of induction; the Falling Apple Science Institute; and the future of science and science education.

Objective Moral Virtues: Principled Actions

Presents and concretizes the principles of action essential to a lifetime of happiness.

Freethinkers: A History of American Secularism, by Susan Jacoby

The Practicality of Private Waterways

Shows how the establishment of private waterways, and the protection of property rights therein, would solve myriad pressing problems, from water pollution to depleting fish stocks to disputes about rights-of-way.

Making Life Meaningful: Living Purposefully

Identifies and concretizes the principles by means of which one can fill one’s life with meaning and joy.

Why Are Jews Liberals? by Norman Podhoretz

Capitalism Unbound: The Incontestable Moral Case for Individual Rights,
by Andrew Bernstein

Essays on Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged, edited by Robert Mayhew

Objective Moral Values

Zeros in on the nature of objective, life-serving values; demonstrates that man’s most fundamental value is his faculty of reason; and shows that both physical survival and spiritual health require keeping one’s thinking tied to reality (via reason) so that one’s ideas, values, actions, and emotions correspond to reality, too.

Goddess of the Market: Ayn Rand and the American Right,
by Jennifer Burns (accessible for free)

Islamic Imperialism: A History, by Efraim Karsh

Obama’s Atomic Bomb: The Ideological Clarity
of the Democratic Agenda (accessible for free)

Examines America’s political climate in light of the unmistakably statist agenda emanating from Washington, and finds cause for optimism in the effect Obama is having on the minds of Americans—and cause for activism toward helping Americans to see the proper political alternative: not conservatism but capitalism.

The Creed of Sacrifice vs. The Land of Liberty (accessible for free)

Examines the morality of altruism, exposing its incompatibility with the basic principle of America (i.e., individual rights), identifying its philosophic roots, and showing that if Americans want to save America, they must repudiate this creed, root and branch.

How Morality is Grounded in Reality

Presents Ayn Rand’s solution to the so-called “is–ought” problem and shows how she identified the requirements of man’s life as the objective standard of moral value.

Objectively Speaking: Ayn Rand Interviewed, edited by Marlene Podritske and Peter Schwartz

Justice Holmes and the Empty Constitution (accessible for free)

Examines the meaning and consequences of Oliver Wendell Holmes’s famous dissent in Lochner v. New York, showing how and why it has devastated American jurisprudence, and indicating what future jurists must grasp and do in order to begin reversing the damage.

The Is–Ought Gap: Subjectivism’s Technical Retreat (accessible for free)

Examines the prevalent claim that moral principles cannot be derived from observable facts, and finds the problem in desperate need of a solution.

Animal Spirits: How Human Psychology Drives the Economy, and Why It Matters for Global Capitalism, by George A. Akerlof and Robert J. Shiller

Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged and the World Today (accessible for free)

An Interview with Yaron Brook

Explains why, more than fifty years ago, Rand was able to project the kinds of crises we are seeing today.

Altruism: The Moral Root of the Financial Crisis (accessible for free)

Zeros in on the fundamental cause of the problem, showing that widespread acceptance of the morality of self-sacrifice necessitated the kinds of laws, regulations, and decisions that have driven the financial markets into the gutter.

Doubt vs. Certainty

Casts certainty on why the movie Doubt is leaving viewers wondering whether they can know anything for sure.

Religion vs. Subjectivism: Why Neither Will Do (accessible for free)

Examines those alternatives and finds them equally life-thwarting and revealingly similar.

Predictably Irrational: The Hidden Forces That Shape Our Decisions,
by Dan Ariely

Capitalism and the Moral High Ground (accessible for free)

Concretizes the selfishness-enabling nature of capitalism and shows why this feature makes it the only moral social system on earth.

Reason or Faith: The Republican Alternative (accessible for free)

Analyzes the resounding Republican defeat and shows that the party faces a fundamental decision that will determine whether it orchestrates a comeback or stumbles into further defeat.

Bubble Boy: Alan Greenspan’s Rejection of Reason and Morality

Exposes Greenspan as anything but a principled capitalist whose free-market ideas somehow failed.

Errors in Inductive Reasoning

Examines several illustrative cases in which scientists failed to employ the principles of inductive logic properly and thereby arrived at faulty conclusions.

McBama vs. America (accessible for free)

Surveys the promises of John McCain and Barack Obama, shows that these intentions are at odds with the American ideal of individual rights, demonstrates that the cause of such political aims is a particular moral philosophy (shared by McCain and Obama), and calls for Americans to repudiate that morality and to embrace instead a morality that supports the American ideal.

The Mystical Ethics of the New Atheists (accessible for free)

Examines the moral ideas of Christopher Hitchens, Sam Harris, Daniel Dennett, and Richard Dawkins, exposes some curious truths about their ethics, and provides sound advice for theists and atheists alike who wish to discover and uphold a rational, secular morality.

The Menace of Pragmatism

Examines the nature of this widely-accepted philosophy, identifies its remarkable "essence," surveys its disastrous implications, and provides pointers for effectively opposing this persistent philosophical problem.

Nudge: Improving Decisions About Health, Wealth, and Happiness, by Richard H. Thaler and Cass R. Sunstein

Proof of the Atomic Theory

Surveys the observations, experiments, and generalizations that led to the discovery and validation of the atomic theory of matter; and, using that process of validation as an example, outlines the three criteria that are essential to the proof of any broad theory.

Reforming Philosophy: A Victorian Debate on Science and Society, by Laura J. Snyder (accessible for free)

Immigration and Individual Rights (accessible for free)

Zeros in on the basic principle of America and demonstrates that this principle mandates a policy of open immigration, debunks several common arguments for prohibiting or limiting immigration, shows why all such arguments are necessarily invalid, and indicates what Americans must do if we are to reestablish and maintain the kind of moral, rights-respecting immigration policy that was advocated by the Founders.

Isaac Newton: Discoverer of Universal Laws

Examines key aspects of Newton’s discoveries, shows how he embraced and employed the scientific context established by giants who came before him (such as Galileo and Kepler), and indicates how he rose to even greater heights of explanation through a breathtaking unity of observation, experimentation, conceptual expansion, concept formation, generalization, induction.

Instrumentalism and the Disintegration of American Tort Law

Illustrates the utter insanity of today’s liability law, recounts the roots and original purpose of the law of torts, surveys the missing links and corrupt ideas that led to its destruction, and sheds light on the path to identifying a sound body of principles that will ground this field in the ultimate purpose of objective law: the protection of individual rights.

The Morality of Moneylending: A Short History (accessible for free)

Presents an essentialized history of usury, showing that, just as moneylenders are being damned and blamed for today's "sub-prime mortgage crisis," so they have been condemned and castigated for alleged wrongdoing from the beginning of Western civilization. Brook zeros in on the economic and moral premises that give rise to contempt for this profession; he identifies the moral-practical dichotomy inherent in these ideas; and he discusses a unified set of principles that must be understood and embraced if moneylending is to be seen as the noble business that it actually is.

The Rise and Fall of Ancient Greek Justice: Homer to the Sermon on the Mount

Surveys the ancient Greek conception of justice and shows how this relatively healthy idea is later twisted into utter malignancy by Christianity.

Induction and Experimental Method

Examines the key experiments involved in Galileo’s kinematics and Newton’s optics, identifies the essential methods by which these scientists achieved their discoveries, and illustrates the principle that induction is inherent in valid conceptualization.

Egoism Explained

A Review of Tara Smith’s Ayn Rand's Normative Ethics: The Virtuous Egoist

Reviews Tara Smith’s latest book, Ayn Rand’s Normative Ethics: The Virtuous Egoist, and finds it to be a welcome addition to the existing literature on the Objectivist ethics—and a sizable challenge for critics of egoism.

The Tragedy of Theology: How Religion Caused and Extended the Dark Ages (accessible for free)

A Critique of Rodney Stark’s The Victory of Reason

Critiques Rodney Stark’s best-selling book The Victory of Reason: How Christianity Led to Freedom, Capitalism, and Western Success. Bernstein’s analysis proves Stark’s thesis to be historically false and philosophically impossible. The fundamental factor that led to freedom, capitalism, and Western success, Bernstein shows, was not the Christian, scripture-based approach of applying “reason” to the goal of understanding “super-nature,” but rather the Aristotelian, observation-based method of applying reason to the goal of understanding actual nature.

The Educational, Psychological, and Philosophical Assault on Self-Esteem

Examines the misconceptions of self-esteem that are widely accepted and propagated by educators and psychologists today, illustrates the philosophical causes of those misconceptions in modern philosophy, and presents the correct view of self-esteem along with its philosophical roots in rational philosophy.

The Decline and Fall of American Conservatism (accessible for free)

Examines today's putatively splintered conservative movement, zeros in on the essence of its two dominant factions, and shows the movement to be only superficially split while fundamentally unified—and stultified—by the conservatives' universal acceptance of a morality that is antithetical to liberty.

Religion vs. Free Speech (accessible for free)

Demonstrates that the tenets of religion are incompatible with the right to free speech, and shows why those who want to establish and maintain freedom of speech must repudiate religion and embrace the rational, secular foundation for rights.

Introducing The Objective Standard (accessible for free)

Outlines the philosophy on which The Objective Standard is based and indicates what is to come.