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Metaethics, Egoism, and Virtue
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Philosopher-novelist Ayn Rand (1905–1982) is a cultural phenomenon. Her books have sold more than twenty-five million copies, and countless individuals speak of her writings as having significantly influenced their lives. In spite of the popular interest in her ideas, or perhaps because of it, Rand’s work has, until recently, received little serious attention from academics. Though best known among philosophers for her strong support of egoism in ethics and capitalism in politics, there is an increasingly widespread awareness of both the range and the systematic character of Rand’s philosophic thought. Metaethics, Egoism, and Virtue examines central aspects of Ayn Rand’s ethical theory. Though her endorsement of ethical egoism is well known—one of her most familiar essay collections is The Virtue of Selfishness—the character of her egoism is not. Leading Rand scholars and specialists in ethical theory address issues such as: the basis of Rand’s egoism in a virtue-centered normative ethics; her account of how moral norms in general are themselves based on a fundamental choice by an agent to value his own life; and how her own approach to the foundations of ethics is to be compared and contrasted with familiar approaches in the analytic ethical tradition. Philosophers interested in the objectivity of value, in the way ethical theory is (and is not) virtue-based, and in acquiring a serious understanding of an egoistic moral theory worthy of attention will find much to consider here

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
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  1. Title Page, Copyright
  2. pp. v-vi
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  1. Contents
  2. pp. vii-viii
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  1. Preface
  2. pp. ix-xi
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  1. Reason, Choice, and the Ultimate End
  2. p. 1
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  1. Reasoning about Ends: Life as a Value in Ayn Rand’s Ethics
  2. pp. 3-32
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  1. The Choice to Value (1990)
  2. pp. 33-46
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  1. Metaethics Objectivist and Analytic
  2. p. 47
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  1. The Foundations of Ethics Objectivism and Analytic Philosophy
  2. pp. 49-73
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  1. Egoism and Eudaimonism Replies to Khawaja
  2. pp. 74-84
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  1. Egoism and Virtue in Nietzsche and Rand
  2. p. 85
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  1. Nietzsche and Rand as Virtuous Egoists
  2. pp. 87-100
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  1. Virtue and Sacrifice: Response to Swanton
  2. pp. 101-110
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  1. Author Meets Critics: Tara Smith’s Ayn Rand’s Normative Ethics
  2. p. 111
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  1. Rational Selves, Friends, and the Social Virtues
  2. pp. 113-125
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  1. Egoistic Relations with Others: Response to Cullyer
  2. pp. 126-130
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  1. Virtuous Egoism and Virtuous Altruism
  2. pp. 131-142
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  1. On Altruism, and on the Role of Virtues in Rand’s Egoism: Response to Swanton
  2. pp. 143-148
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  1. What Is Included in Virtue?
  2. pp. 149-157
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  1. The Primacy of Action in Virtue: Response to Hunt
  2. pp. 158-163
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  1. Uniform Abbreviations of Works
  2. pp. 165-166
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  1. References
  2. pp. 167-173
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  1. Contributors
  2. pp. 175-177
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  1. Index
  2. pp. 179-188
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