Journal of Ayn Rand Studies 7 (2):357 - 369 (2006)

In response to Robert H. Bass's charge that no significant moral thinker ever advocated altruism as Ayn Rand defined it, Campbell points to the writings of Auguste Comte, who invented the word. For Comte, altruism meant living for others, repressing one's "personality," and subordinating oneself to "the Great Being, Humanity." Rand's own conception of altruism was thoroughly Comtean. What's more, her decision (made in 1942, while completing The Vountainhtad) to use "altruism" as her primary term for the moral tendencies that she opposed was plausibly occasioned by an encounter with Comte's ideas
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