On Ayn Rand / Edition 1by Allan Gotthelf, Gotthelf Allan
Pub. Date: 12/29/1999
Publisher: Cengage Learning
This brief text assists students in understanding Ayn Rand's philosophy and thinking so that they can more fully engage in useful, intelligent class dialogue and improve their understanding of course content. Part of the "Wadsworth Philosophers Series," (which will eventually consist of approximately 100 titles, each focusing on a single "thinker" from ancient… See more details below
This brief text assists students in understanding Ayn Rand's philosophy and thinking so that they can more fully engage in useful, intelligent class dialogue and improve their understanding of course content. Part of the "Wadsworth Philosophers Series," (which will eventually consist of approximately 100 titles, each focusing on a single "thinker" from ancient times to the present), ON AYN RAND is written by a philosopher deeply versed in the philosophy of this key thinker. Like other books in the series, this concise book offers sufficient insight into the thinking of a notable philosopher better enabling students to engage the reading and to discuss the material in class and on paper.
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Allan Gotthelf succeeds at condensing Ayn Rand¿s entire integrated philosophy of Objectivism into a short (97 pp.), easy to read introductory book. Most of the book is devoted to presenting the core of the philosophical system -- metaphysics, epistemology, and ethics -- but there is a glance at politics and esthetics, and two chapters are devoted to a biography of Ayn Rand. Gotthelf argues that philosophy is not an esoteric game, but a practical tool none of us can do without. He shows how one¿s ability to make decisions and one¿s ethical and political views stem from the metaphysical and epistemological premises one accepts. Ultimately philosophy moves the world. *On Ayn Rand* argues that Objectivism is practical: a guide to living one¿s life, which, when correctly understood and acted upon, will enable its practitioner to achieve happiness. *On Ayn Rand* introduces all the main ideas of Objectivism in a clear manner, easy for the beginner to grasp. For example, Gotthelf explains that three metaphysical axioms, which are perceptually self-evident, underlie all our thinking and are properly the starting point of philosophy: that something exists, that the act of grasping this implies that one is conscious, and that everything that exists has an identity. Using simple examples he shows how even if one tries to deny these axioms one affirms them. *On Ayn Rand* is not written in a detached manner, so common to textbooks. Its author had been a student of Ayn Rand and knows his subject. His presentation is both factual and passionate. Convinced of the practicality of ideas and of their power to change the world, Allan Gotthelf has written a clear and enjoyable introduction to a revolutionary philosophy.
Students who want to learn more about Objectivism will find no better introduction to the philosophy of Ayn Rand than Allan Gotthelf¿s new book. In On Ayn Rand, Gotthelf deftly takes his readers from the first principles of Rand¿s metaphysics to her view of man as a heroic being, showing how each step builds on the one before. What¿s more, unlike many modern philosophy texts, this one is clear, concise and easy to digest. Even advanced scholars will find much of value in this book. They will undoubtedly find it to be a well-organized summary of Objectivism¿s essential points and the book¿s footnotes may serve as starting points for further research. Highly recommended.