Philosophy: Who Needs It

Philosophy: Who Needs It

4.6 16
by Ayn Rand
     
 

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This collection of essays was the last work planned by Ayn Rand before her death in 1982. In it, she summarizes her view of philosophy and deals with a broad spectrum of topics. According to Ayn Rand, the choice we make is not whether to have a philosophy, but which one to have: rational, conscious, and therefore practical; or contradictory, unidentified

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Overview

This collection of essays was the last work planned by Ayn Rand before her death in 1982. In it, she summarizes her view of philosophy and deals with a broad spectrum of topics. According to Ayn Rand, the choice we make is not whether to have a philosophy, but which one to have: rational, conscious, and therefore practical; or contradictory, unidentified, and ultimately lethal. Written with all the clarity and eloquence that have placed Ayn Rand's Objectivist philosophy in the mainstream of American thought, these essays range over such basic issues as education, morality, censorship, and inflation to prove that philosophy is the fundamental force in all our lives.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780451138934
Publisher:
Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
11/28/1984
Edition description:
Reissue
Pages:
320
Sales rank:
244,441
Product dimensions:
4.21(w) x 6.78(h) x 0.86(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

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Philosophy: Who Needs It 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 16 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
a good introduction to rand style philosophy.it mught make more sense to read this before her other writings.here,rand shows herself to be a bitter enemy of totalitarianism,russia,nazi germany,the philosopher kant, and other freedom obstacles.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I love the first essay where she is talking to the cadets at West Point, and uses the example of the astronaut lost in space needing a philosophy to survive in an unknown world. A very sharp metaphor for life in society, especially if you are young and struggling for answers in a bewildering and confusing world. Just as one needs tools to survive in the wilderness, one needs tools to survive in life, and Ayn Rand provides a very strong foundation for this task as a champion of reason, reality, and individualism. Yes, she was human and her personal life as well as the emerging Objectivist movement was far from perfect, but what great person is without flaws and shortcomings? On the other hand, and in contrast to the flaws, Ayn Rand gave so much, and contributed so much to the concepts of the mind, the objective world, the individual as the owner of his or her life, and of the exchange of ideas and products in the marketplace of the world. This is a great book for those already familiar with Ayn Rand and Objectivism, a book that will give you an insight into the eternal struggle of individual life versus collective duties and suffering.
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Guest More than 1 year ago
Although there's a philosophy section in another anthology called THE VOICE OF REASON, this volume is the only one of Rand's devoted entirely to that subject. It's my recollection that all the others except VOR stuck to particular single subjects with philosophical import 'ethics, knowledge, economics, politics, art, etc.', but this book's not just a survey or a broad view. It's meta-philosophical 'or about philosophy' in that its collected content supports contentions within the first few articles regarding the subject's importance. Rand thought that philosophy directly affected life choices and outcomes, as opposed to the more popular view that the subject is only of narrow technical concern or not relevant to everyday life at all. She also maintained that deny it as they might, people use philosophical suppositions in the act of supporting or attacking any position. The bulk of the articles collected examine specific instances of ideas affecting action. A chess tournament in 1974 provides an opportunity to suggest how Boris Spassky may have reacted had his government 'the USSR of the time' changed the rules of chess as it determined the rules of life. Censorship cases are examined to show how 'do-gooder' efforts against pornographers could affect the ability of everyone else to express anything else. And she describes the contrast of duty VS free will with an apparently 19th-century saying: 'In answer to a man telling her that she's got to do something or other, a wise old Negro woman said, Mister, there's nothing I've got to do except die.' In my experience, serious philosophers are rarely folksy, and Rand's turn of phrase here would be as close as I've ever seen one get.
Guest More than 1 year ago
As for the last few reviews, you should have read the book more clearly. Just because he was not sure whether or not she was a communist (which of course you are right she definately was not) does not make him a moron. To be ignorant of facts is not to be stupid. It was 'an error of knowledge' as Ms. Rand would say, and it can be forgiven. She has been called heartless, yet she is one of the few writers I ever read that had a heart. I recommend every book she ever wrote, although some of it is very difficult. It will do nothing more than change your life, but it is up to YOU to change it...if necessary.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Only a moron who knows nothing of Ayn Rand or who obviously never read this book would call her a communist. Also this book is fantastic, check it out.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Ayn Rand is an author, not a communist you ignorant fools. One, she is the only capitalist person I honestly think lived during the 1950's. Second, the reviews before this lack both in actual depth and vocabulary. In short, its an epitome that humans could be, in short, idiotic by choice.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Her systematic objectiveness is a very present undercurrent that by nature opposes the present day myths we so fearfully embrace. Her full scale assault upon altruistic futility blasts the senses and forces one to ask the most fearful of questions: WHY?