My Views On Philosophy

Ayn Rand was a twentieth century novelist and philosopher who wrote two classic novels and created a new philosophy called "Objectivism." As a novelist, her writing is full of implicit and explicit philosophic content, so that her novels are not only terrific fiction, but also illustrate, in the form of concrete characters and events, what are otherwise challenging and difficult ideas. As a contemporary philosopher, she was unique in rejecting the entire modern and post-modern (Kantian) tradition. Instead, she chose to correct, develop, integrate and systematize the ideas of Aristotle and John Locke to the extent of creating an essentially new philosophy filled with her own innovative discoveries. Although she was not an academic and wrote for a popular audience, she nevertheless addressed nearly all of the major issues in technical philosophy. As a result, in recent years there has been a rapidly increasing presence of Objectivist philosophers in academia.

In my opinion, there is nothing better one can do for oneself than to gain an understanding of philosophy, and no better or more pleasurable way to initially immerse oneself in the subject than to read the fiction of Ayn Rand. Starting with fiction is, surprisingly enough, the best way to begin gaining an understanding of a philosophic system because it demonstrates concretely, rather than explaining abstractly, the system's ideas.

After reading Ayn Rand's fiction, you may be motivated to explore Rand's ideas, as well as the general subject of philosophy, systematically and in detail. If so, here is my advice on the best way to proceed.