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New Ideal - Reason | Individualism | Capitalism

Objectivism Q&A with Ben Bayer and Mike Mazza

In this episode of New Ideal Live, Ben Bayer, Mike Mazza and Agustina Vergara Cid address questions about Objectivism submitted by the podcast’s audience.

Among the topics covered:

  • How did Rand handle the problem of long- versus short-term happiness in her own life? Did she enjoy leisure activities?
    • The recreational activities that gave Rand joy;
    • Why Rand lived up to her ideal of using philosophy to pursue happiness as the purpose of life;
    • The value of relaxation versus escapism in leisure activities;
    • How work as a central purpose integrates with other values;
  • Is objectivity possible?
    • The possibility of objectivity understood as the use of a logical method;
    • Why denying objectivity amounts to denying free will;
    • Why one can be objective and still reach a wrong conclusion;
    • The importance of using methods that guard against error;
  • In what form does a potential exist, and how does it relate to an actuality?
    • Why every potentiality is a type of actuality;
    • How understanding this distinction can help us solve real-life issues, like the abortion debate;
  • What does the “folly of altruism” achieve?
    • Understanding Ayn Rand’s use of “don’t bother to examine a folly — ask yourself only what it accomplishes”;
    • How altruism is used to rationalize forms of evil;
    • Understanding Ayn Rand’s fictional characters in context;
    • Whether Howard Roark is an example of total objectivity.

Mentioned in the discussion are the Ayn Rand Lexicon entries on “Happiness” and “Objectivity,” the books 100 Voices: An Oral History of Ayn Rand and Facets of Ayn Rand, Leonard Peikoff’s book Objectivism: The Philosophy of Ayn Rand, and Rand’s own Introduction to Objectivist Epistemology.

This episode was recorded on February 9, 2022. Listen to the discussion below. Listen and subscribe from your mobile device on Apple PodcastsGoogle PodcastsSpotify or Stitcher. Watch previous episodes 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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