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The Virtue of Selfishness by [Rand, Ayn]
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The Virtue of Selfishness Kindle Edition

4.1 out of 5 stars 63 customer reviews

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Length: 180 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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About the Author

Every book byAyn Randpublished in her lifetime is still in print, and hundreds of thousands of copies are sold each year, so far totalling more than twenty million. Several new volumes have been published posthumously. Her vision of man and her philosophy for living on earth have changed the lives of thousands of readers and launched a philosophic movement with a growing impact on American culture.


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Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 976 KB
  • Print Length: 180 pages
  • Publisher: Signet (1 Nov. 1964)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B002OSXD64
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
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  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars 63 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #71,287 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Mass Market Paperback
This book focuses on the ethics of the philosophy of objectivism. Rather than being a book with chapters, it is a selection of articles which cover various questions, such as what selfishness is, the ethics of charity and voluntary help, the false dichotomy of altruism and selfishness, and what the theory of Objectivism actually is.
This is a good place to start to learn about the philosophy of objectivism as it concentrates on the philosophy itself rather than applying it to real-world examples. For those who wish to know more about objectivism applied, the books "Capitalism, the Unknown Ideal", "The Anti-Industrial Revolution", and "Why Businessmen Need Philosophy" would be more relevant.
Whether one disagrees with the philosophy or not, the articles in this book are clearly written, simple to understand, and passionately argued. Some parts are flippant, particularly with reference to the dismissal of the ideas of other philosophers, and Rand does not truly manage to justify why objectivism is actually objective [see Nozick's book Socratic Puzzles). Nevertheless, this book is worth reading if you are interested in this area of politics and philosophy.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
This, like many of Ayn Rand's works, seems to be one of those "love it or hate it" books that has a very loyal following as well as many opponents. I don't think it's that easy because this is a very mixed collection of essays.

Much of the ideas presented in the first few essays are good and should be truly thought provoking for most readers. I have come to regard selfishness (though I prefer the term "egosim") in a new light, which has been good for me.

But here are also many flaws. Most of these are due to the utopian ideas in the essays. There seems to be no place for sick and unable people in Rand's perfect society. Based on my own self interest, I want a society that takes care of their sick and poor, because I would like to be helped if I got in that situation.

Rand's worldview is an oversimplified version of reality. She seems to believe in the libertairian myth that all men have equal chances in life to pursue their ambitions. She writes that one can only achieve one's goals through one's own effort. Never mind that some people (such as the heroes Dagny Taggart and Hank Rearden in her novel "Atlas Shrugged") are born wealthy while some people have to work full time just to feed themselves, not leaving much spare time to pursue their true ambitions.

Rand is so rabidly opposed to all forms of altruism she goes to the extremes to demonize it. This is another proof of her oversimplified worldview which leads me to the next point, how proudly she declares that she's an extremist. This is the essay titled "The Cult of Moral Grayness", in which she explains that it is evil to combine ideas from different philosophies and that the world must only be viewed in black and white, in terms of absolute good and absolute evil, with no shades of gray.
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By A Customer on 19 Jun. 1999
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I Swear by life and my love of it that I will never live for the sake of another man, nor will I ask another man to live for my sake. - Atlas Shrugged -. If you don't agree with this, read it and you will. the book is about this quote, how to live for yourself, what are the terms on ethics, racism etc... If you agree with this, also read it, I have, it will show little things which become significant. What this book says is to live for yourself and value yourself more than anything else.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
Ayn Rand has got to be one of the most misunderstood philosophers of the 20th Century.

For those that think this book advocates a selfishness at the expense of everyone and everything, you are mistaken. The selfishness advocated by Ayn Rand is not easy and is not about doing what you want, when you want based on your desires or whims. It requires a rational approach based on goals and values and that "human good does not require human sacrifices and cannot be achieved by the sacrifice of anyone to anyone". In today's society, it would be rare to find someone you could define in this way.

The book is a collection of essays that covers a broad range of topics from ethics, through to human rights, the role of government and Racism.

It isn't light reading but it is inspiring and thought provoking. It provides a window into what mankind can be.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Ayn Rand at her brilliant best. If you have n't read her novels or essays this is a good place to start. And whatever you do, don't be put off by comical, cretinous pipsqueaks who have continually lambasted her for 60 years and more, usually with ad hominem attacks: because you will find that in her writings Ayn Rand is pure logic, pure rationality and pure honesty. The chapter on racism is the most powerful and beautifully written indictment of it that I have ever read. She also makes clear in her writings that happiness is the ultimate goal of life, and happiness is defined as a state of non-contradictory joy. How therefore can someone, for example, murder somebody "for their own selfish ends" and feel happy about it? Would n't their conscience bother them?
Miss Rand, unlike her many detractors obviously, had a booming, positive, pro-man sense of life. The one thing she was absolutely against in her writings was the initiation of any form of force against any person, business or organisation. Yes, she wrote often bitterly. When you see naked evil all around you being blithely accepted and even applauded, it tends to make you angry and bitter. The point is she had a brilliant mind, an unusual mind. She did n't like most of us have a thought and then dismiss it with the usual cliches, or "bromides", and go on to the next. Einstein-like, she would probe and examine, going into all the possible outcomes and avenues until she was satisfied either that it was exhausted or that it held promise for further exploration.
An old English teacher once said to a class I was in that when you opened a book you entered a mind. And Ayn Rand had a great mind, one of the best.
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