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New Ideal - Reason | Individualism | Capitalism

Objectivism Q&A with Aaron Smith and Mike Mazza

In this episode of New Ideal Live, Mike Mazza, Aaron Smith and Sam Weaver address questions about Objectivism submitted by the podcast’s audience.

Among the topics covered:

  • How much should Objectivists value physical health, diet, and exercise?
    • The role of philosophical guidance vs. personal choice in valuing health;
    • Whether Ayn Rand’s portrayal of the physique of her fictional characters has any philosophical significance;
    • Whether physical attractiveness is a valid goal to pursue;
    • Whether the potential of life-extension technology is relevant to the value of health;
    • Whether enjoyable activities that risk shortening one’s life span are rational.
  • Can values be objective if they depend on human evaluations?
    • Objectivism’s distinctive understanding of the concept “objective”;
    • The relevance of Ayn Rand’s “immortal robot” thought experiment.
  • When is aid to others rational?
    • Rational vs. emotionalistic reasons to help others;
    • The rationality of helping strangers out of good will;
    • How to introspect about one’s motivation helping others.

Mentioned in the discussion are Ayn Rand’s essays “What Is Capitalism?” and “The Ethics of Emergencies” from her book The Virtue of Selfishness.

This podcast was recorded on December 1, 2021. Listen to the discussion below. Listen and subscribe from your mobile device on Apple PodcastsGoogle PodcastsSpotify or Stitcher. Watch archived podcasts here.

If you’d like to ask a question to be answered on a future episode, please send an email to newideal@aynrand.org with “Podcast question” in the subject header.

Podcast audio:


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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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