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Lecture: ‘Atlas Shrugged and Ayn Rand’s Morality of Egoism’

In celebration of the fiftieth anniversary of Atlas Shrugged, I’ll be speaking at UCLA this Thursday, October 11.

What: A talk on “Atlas Shrugged and Ayn Rand’s Morality of Egoism” by Craig Biddle

Where: UCLA – Los Angeles, California: Kinsey Pavillion (Knudsen) 1220B

When: Thursday, October 11, 2007, 7:00pm–9:00pm

Admission is FREE.

Description: In her novel Atlas Shrugged, Ayn Rand set forth a new morality, which she called rational egoism. In contrast to altruism—the idea that one should self-sacrificially serve others—rational egoism holds that one should selfishly pursue one’s own life-serving values. Against predation—the practice of sacrificing others for one’s own ends—Rand’s egoism holds that sacrificing others is immoral and impractical. In contrast to hedonism—the idea that pleasure is the standard of value—Rand’s egoism holds that the long-range requirements of one’s life and happiness constitute the standard of value. And against moral relativism—the notion that “anything goes”—Rand’s egoism holds that morality is absolute: Nothing “goes” except that which promotes one’s life while respecting the rights of others.

Rand’s egoism is a system of observation-based principles regarding the requirements of human life, personal happiness, social harmony, and political freedom. In this talk, celebrating the fiftieth anniversary of Atlas Shrugged, Craig Biddle presents the basic principles of rational egoism, contrasts them with the alternatives, and shows why everyone who wants to live happily and freely needs to understand and embrace them.

Craig Biddle is the editor and publisher of The Objective Standard and the author of Loving Life: The Morality of Self-Interest and the Facts that Support It. He is currently writing a book on the principles of rational thinking and the fallacies that are violations of those principles. In addition to writing, he lectures and teaches workshops on ethical and epistemological issues from an Objectivist perspective. He has spoken at Tufts, Johns Hopkins, NYU, and Lawrence University, among others.

If you’re in the area, I hope to see you there!


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