The Virtue of Selfishness: A New Concept of Egoism

By Ayn Rand with additional articles by Nathaniel Branden
Read by C. M. Hébert

6.25 Hours 03/01/2001 unabridged
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The provocative title of Ayn Rand’s The Virtue of Selfishness introduces an equally provocative thesis about ethics. Traditional ethics has always been suspicious of self-interest, praising acts that are selfless in intent and calling acts that are motivated by self-interest amoral or immoral. Ayn Rand’s view is exactly the opposite. This collection of nineteen essays is an effective summary of Ayn Rand’s philosophy, which holds the value of the individual over and above that of the state or any other collective. The thread running through all of the essays is Rand’s definition of selfishness as “rational self-interest,” with the idea that one has the right to assure one’s own survival, to pursue happiness, and to own the fruits of one’s labor without having to sacrifice any of these to others against one’s will.

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Summary

Summary

The provocative title of Ayn Rand’s The Virtue of Selfishness introduces an equally provocative thesis about ethics. Traditional ethics has always been suspicious of self-interest, praising acts that are selfless in intent and calling acts that are motivated by self-interest amoral or immoral. Ayn Rand’s view is exactly the opposite.

This collection of nineteen essays is an effective summary of Ayn Rand’s philosophy, which holds the value of the individual over and above that of the state or any other collective. The thread running through all of the essays is Rand’s definition of selfishness as “rational self-interest,” with the idea that one has the right to assure one’s own survival, to pursue happiness, and to own the fruits of one’s labor without having to sacrifice any of these to others against one’s will.

Editorial Reviews

Editorial Reviews

“Ayn Rand was the single most important novelist and philosopher of the 20th century. Or so she admitted with all due modesty, whenever the subject came up.” Scott McLemee
“C. M. Hébert reads with a passion and confidence that seems to personify Rand. One especially well-read passage depicts a hypothetical conversation in which she defends her views to a critic.” AudioFile
“C. M. Hébert’s voice is efficient and cold, making it a perfect choice for the narration of this author’s work.” Library Journal

Reviews

Reviews

by Ash Ryan 9/13/2017
Overall Performance
Narration
Story

Passionate, inspiring, and immaculately reasoned

By way of review, I thought I would simply provide some brief excerpts from one of the essays in this collection, "The Argument from Intimidation", so that readers can get a glimpse of her reasoning and writing style. As an added bonus, these excerpts are relevant to some other reviews of it I've seen:

"[The Argument from Intimidation] is used in the form of an ultimatum demanding that the victim renounce a given idea without discussion, under threat of being considered morally unworthy...
"All smears are Arguments from Intimidation: they consist of derogatory assertions without any evidence or proof, offered as a substitute for evidence or proof, aimed at the moral cowardice or unthinking credulity of the hearers...
"A moral judgment must always follow, not precede (or supersede), the reasons on which it is based.
"When one gives reasons for one's verdict, one assumes responsibility for it and lays oneself open to objective judgment: if one's reasons are wrong or false, one suffers the consequences. But to condemn without giving reasons is an act of irresponsibility, a kind of moral 'hit-and-run' driving, which is the essence of the Argument from Intimidation."

This book also includes Rand's groundbreaking essay on moral philosophy, "The Objectivist Ethics", as well as applications of her theory of rational egoism to produce original analyses of topics such as "Racism". A truly exceptional book...read it for yourself and make up your own mind!

Author

Author Bio: Ayn Rand

Ayn Rand (1905–1982) was born in Russia, graduated from the University of Leningrad, and came to the United States in 1926. She published her first novel in 1936. With the publication of The Fountainhead in 1943, she achieved a spectacular and enduring success, and her unique philosophy, Objectivism, gained a worldwide following.

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Author Bio: Dr. Nathaniel Branden

Dr. Nathaniel Branden is the author of numerous books on the psychology of self-esteem, romantic love, and the life and thought of Objectivist philosopher Ayn Rand. His work has been translated into eighteen languages and has sold more than four million copies. Some of his popular titles include Taking Responsibility, The Six Pillars of Self-Esteem, and My Years with Ayn Rand. In addition to his work as a writer, Branden has also worked as a lecturer, therapist, and corporate business consultant. He is the founder and executive director of The Branden Institute for Self-Esteem, a counseling center in Los Angeles, California.

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Details

Details

Available Formats : Digital Download, Digital Rental, CD, MP3 CD
Category: Nonfiction/Philosophy
Runtime: 6.25
Audience: Adult
Language: English