In an era of tweets and memes, Dave Rubin has built a large YouTube following of people seeking deep, long-form conversations with serious thinkers on important intellectual topics.
His show, The Rubin Report, is therefore a fitting venue for an in-depth exploration of Ayn Rand’s philosophy of Objectivism and the guidance it can offer to people seeking meaning and happiness in their lives.
Provocative and wide-ranging, the conversations all center in one way or another around one crucial topic: What is happiness — and how do you achieve it?
The full set of interviews will be released over the next few weeks. We’re delighted to introduce the series by presenting on New Ideal the first five videos: an in-depth exploration of the nature of happiness and of Rand’s radical conception of its roots and requirements.
One of the most provocative features of Rand’s philosophy is that she upholds selfishness as a moral virtue. In her view, the pursuit of your own happiness is not just a good idea; it should be your highest moral purpose. Rubin sat down with ARI senior fellow and chief philosophy officer Onkar Ghate and Tara Smith, professor of philosophy at the University of Texas, Austin, to delve into the question of how selfishness could possibly be a good thing — and why Rand is the only thinker who has dared to challenge the basic moral premises that have animated our culture for more than two thousand years.
Rand’s unique conception of free will, Ghate explains in another interview, is not simply compatible with a scientific outlook, but in fact underpins the pursuit of all knowledge. Rand’s advocacy of reason is a theme running through all the conversations. The faculty of reason, she held, is our only means to knowledge and our source of life-furthering values.
Objectivism, Ghate observes, is the philosophy that the Enlightenment deserved, but never got. These lively, in-depth conversations amply justify that bold claim by introducing viewers to the unique value of Rand’s philosophy.
The first five interviews are now featured here at New Ideal. Stay tuned for the new episodes as they’re published.
Objectivism on Happiness (Rubin Report episode list):
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