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Moral compass

How Ethics Can Guide Our Lives, Not Just Resolve Dilemmas

In this episode of New Ideal Live, Gregory Salmieri joins Ben Bayer to discuss the approach that leads many prominent philosophers to analyze far-fetched dilemmas, an approach that offers no serious moral guidance for everyday life. They also discuss how a different approach can actually guide our decisions.

Among the topics covered:

  • How prevalent the study of these dilemmas is among philosophy professors;
  • Whether ethics has always been about resolving dilemmas;
  • The philosophy that leads thinkers to see the subject of ethics as conflict resolution;
  • Ayn Rand’s alternative approach to the ethics of “emergency” situations, and why her approach to ethics does offer positive guidance.

Mentioned in the conversation are Rand’s essays “The Ethics of Emergencies,” “The ‘Conflicts’ of Men’s Interests” and “The Objectivist Ethics” from her book The Virtue of Selfishness; Leonard Peikoff’s book Objectivism: The Philosophy of Ayn Rand, Gregory Salmieri and Allan Gotthelf’s A Companion to Ayn Rand, and Ben Bayer’s article “Why Today’s Ethics Offers No Real Guidance.”

This podcast was recorded on November 18, 2020. Watch or listen to the discussion below. Listen and subscribe from your mobile device on Apple PodcastsGoogle PodcastsSpotify or Stitcher. Watch archived podcasts here.


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Agustina Vergara Cid

Agustina Vergara Cid, LLB and LLM, is an associate fellow at the Ayn Rand Institute and an opinion columnist at the Orange County Register.

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