The Study of the fundamental nauture of
existence, of man, and of man’s
relationship to existence.
The Theoretical Foundation of Philosophy
The Theory of Reality
The Study of Existence as Such
Alternative #1 Alternative #2
Where Am I?
In an incomprehensibly chaotic universe.
In a universe which is ruled by natural laws.
It is stable, firm, absolute and knowable. It is a realm of inexplicable miracles –
unpredictable and unknowable.
The things I see around me are real and The things I see around me are only an illusion
exist independent of any observer. created in my own mind.
Things are what they are and can not be Things can be changed by a mere act of my
wished to be otherwise.
Things are the object of my consciousness.
Things are the subject of my consciousness.
The Study of the Theory of Knowledge
Alternative #1 How do I Know Alternative #2
What I Know?
Man acquires knowledge by a sudden
Man acquires knowledge by a process of revelation from a supernatural power.
reason. Reason is a faculty fed by innate ideas that
Reason is a faculty that identifies and were implanted in man’s mind before he was
integrates the material provided by man’s born.
senses. Man’s knowledge consists of automatic instincts
Man’s knowledge is gained and held in and is held as vague emotional responses to
conceptual form. mysterious events.
Reason is competent to perceive reality. Man possesses a cognitive faculty that is
Man can know reality with certainty at the superior to reason.
current level of his knowledge. Man can know nothing with certainty and must
live in perpetual doubt of his consciousness.
From Philosophy, Who Needs it
Page 1 of 2 Ayn Rand
The Technology of Philosophy
Applies only to Man – to his character, actions,
values, and relationship to all existence.
The Theory of Moral Values
Defines a code of values to guide man’s choices
and actions that determine the course of his life.
Alternative #1 What should I Do? Alternative #2
What is good or evil for man – and why?
Commit to avoiding suffering.
Commit to a quest for joy.
Hold self-fulfillment as the goal of man’s life. Hold self-renunciation as the goal of man’s life.
Man should pursue his own values. Man should place the interests of others above
Man should seek his own happiness.
Man should serve and sacrifice for others.
The moral is the understood and the chosen. The moral is the imposed and the obeyed.
Politics and Economics
The Theory of Legal Rights and Government which
defines the principles of a proper social system
Alternative #1 Alternative #2
How should I treat other men?
Protect the rights of the individual. Subjugate the individual to the state.
Create a free government that protects its Create a totalitarian government that enslaves
citizens from aggressors and from injustice. some men for the use of other men.
Establish the system of Capitalism. Establish the system of Collectivism.
The Theory of the Nature of Art
Alternative #1 How do I refuel men’s Alternative #2
spirit and consciousness?
Produce inspiring works of art. Produce boring naturalistic works of art.
Depict men becoming the best they can Depict men accepting whatever fate determines
possibly be. to be their lot in life.
Show the greatness possible to men. Show the smallness of men.
Celebrate the thrill of discovery. Bemoan the mystery of the unknowable.
Page 2 of 2
3. Definition of
Personal Philosophy (Method 1)
A consious, rational, disciplined process of thought
and scrupulously logical deliberation.
A non-contradictory integration of
Emotions that can be identified and that
your observations, experiences,
make sense based on your values.
knowledge and convictions.
Personal Philosophy (Method 2)
Let your subconscious accumulate a junk heap of
unwarranted conclusions, false generalizations,
undefined contradictions, undigested slogans,
unidentified wishes, doubts and fears, thrown
together by chance.
A stupifying mash integrated by your
Everything that you think and feel will
subconscious into a kind of mongrel
be a dark mystery to you.
From Philosophy, Who Needs it
4. Choose Your Values
What is crucial to my life?
Controlling Values: Includes Values such as: Independence
Reason Work Life Honesty
Purpose Love Life Social Life Integrity
Self Esteem Home Life Spirituality Justice
The Ultimate Value
Of Man’s Life 5
Principles: Take Goal Directed Action
Rationally validated Know what you love most and
Clearly understood what to do with your finite life.
What excites and interests me
and ignites my soul?
Use Objective Reality Discover ideas about: Use your Judgment to:
to: What to pursue in life. Decide how to apportion
Help determine the level of The means required to your time and energy.
rationality and metaphysical achieve your values. Organize your time, effort
appropriateness of your How to rank your and lifestyle around the
choices. values. hierarchy of your values.
Survival and Happiness From Ayn Rand’s Normative Ethics
On This Earth Tara Smith, Phd.
The Ruling Values
(1) Reason, (2) Purpose, (3) Self-Esteem)
6 - Productiveness
Diagram From Nathaniel Branden”s
2 - Independence
“Six Pillars of Self Esteem”
1 - Rationality
3 - Honesty
5 - Justice
4 - Integrity
Philosophy of Objectivism
7 – Pride
From Ayn Rand’s
The Seven Objective Virtues
Required To gain and keep One’s Values
1) Rationality: The primary virtue: the recognition
of objective reality, commitment to its perception, 5) Justice: The recognition of the fact that you cannot
and the acceptance of reason as a man’s only fake the character of men. A man of justice earns what
judge of values and guide to knowledge and he receives and neither gives nor takes the undeserved.
action. He does not work except in exchange for something of
value. He does not give his love, friendship, or esteem
2) Independence: The acceptance of one’s except in trade for the pleasure he receives from the
intellectual responsibility for one’s own existence. virtues of individuals he respects. Love, friendship and
It requires that a man form his own judgments and esteem, as moral tributes, are caused and must be
that he support himself by the work of his own earned.
3) Honesty: The selfish refusal to seek values by 6) Productiveness: The virtue of creating material
faking reality. It recognizes that the unreal can values is the art of translating one’s thoughts and goals
have no value. One should tell the truth that is into reality; a constant process of acquiring knowledge
relevant to his relationship to the person with and shaping matter to fit one’s purpose, of translating an
whom he is dealing. idea into physical form.
7) Pride: The recognition of the fact that you are your
4) Integrity: The refusal to permit a breach
own highest value – that of any achievements open to
between thought and action. It acknowledges the
you, the one that makes all others possible is the
fact that man is an indivisible, integrated entity of
creation of your own character- that you are a being of
mind and body.