Eudaimon in the Rough: Perfecting Rand’s Egoism

Journal of Ayn Rand Studies 20 (2):452-478 (2020)
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Abstract

The author argues that Rand’s ethical theory is much closer in essence to the eudaimonist, self-perfectionist perspectives of Aristotle and the neo-Aristotelians, Douglas Den Uyl and Douglas Rasmussen, than to the “selfish,” egoistic ethics many assume to be her basic position. He discusses Rand’s anti-hedonist and pro-rational selfishness positions as corollaries of man’s life as the standard of moral value, as well as Rand’s point that treating either happiness or personal benefit as the standard of moral value is a reversal of cause and effect. He also identifies the oppressive negativism in Rand’s discussion of the seven canonical Objectivist virtues.

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