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Onkar Ghate, Dave Rubin and Tara Smith discussing Objectivism on happiness

Ayn Rand’s Philosophy of Happiness on The Rubin Report

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?
We’re excited to announce that Rubin has recently partnered with the Ayn Rand Institute (ARI) to conduct a whole series of interviews with some of today’s most knowledgeable experts on Rand’s ideas.

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.

Objectivism, Ghate observes, is the philosophy that the Enlightenment deserved, but never got.
Another highlight of the ARI-Rubin Report series is Rubin’s conversation with Ghate and Yaron Brook, chairman of ARI’s board of directors, on tribalism. While explaining the rise of tribalism today, they discuss how this pernicious trend negates the Enlightenment ideals of reason and individualism, and how the recognition that we have free will is crucial to political freedom.

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.

Audio podcasts of the above episode are available on iTunes and Stitcher.

Audio podcasts of the above episode are available on iTunes and Stitcher.

Audio podcasts of the above episode are available on iTunes and Stitcher.

READ ALSO:  'Capitalism': When and How Ayn Rand Embraced the Term (Pt. 2)

Audio podcasts of the above episode are available on iTunes and Stitcher.

Audio podcasts of the above episode are available on iTunes and Stitcher.

Objectivism on Happiness (Rubin Report episode list):

Objectivism on Happiness – Episode list

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Elan Journo

Elan Journo is a senior fellow and vice president of content at the Ayn Rand Institute. His recent books include Failing to Confront Islamic Totalitarianism: What Went Wrong After 9/11 (2021) and What Justice Demands: America and the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict (2018). Elan is a senior editor of New Ideal.

Keith Lockitch

Keith Lockitch, PhD in physics, is a senior fellow and vice president of education at the Ayn Rand Institute. He focuses primarily on the intersection of science with current events and policy issues. He is a senior editor of New Ideal.

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