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What books would be a good Introduction to Objectivism?

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Egosum—
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Have you read any already? Your local public library is likely to have either "The Fountainhead" or "Atlas Shrugged" two of her novels. If you want to start with non-fiction, I would suggest the anthology "The Virtue of Selfishness" (used would be $3 plus shipping from Amazon.)

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Definitely start with The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged. Then, once you finish those, move to her non-fiction pieces. Although The Virtue Of Selfishness is quite good (it is one of my favorite books), I recommend you first read For The New Intellectual. It is a very good, pithy essay, wherein Ayn Rand gives a complete, albeit superficial, overview of her philosophy.

Cheers. :thumbsup:

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  • 3 weeks later...

If you just want the philosophy, and are not interested in reading several thousand pages to finish Any Rand's novels, "For the New Intellectual" is a compilation of major philosophical statements taken from her fiction. "The Virtue of Selfishness" is another good choice, as others have mentioned. "Objectivism: The Philosophy of Ayn Rand," while an important book, is somewhat volumous and technical, and perhaps not an ideal starting poitnt.

Edited by Brian Gates
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FTNI was my very first exposure to Objectivism, and as I look back on it, I think the title essay might not be a very good first exposure, it discusses a lot of philosophical history more than it discusses Objectivism--but the excerpts definitely are.

OPAR might work for someone who knows they are interested in the philosophy... e.g., a philosophy major.

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OPAR might work for someone who knows they are interested in the philosophy... e.g., a philosophy major.

Andrew Bernstein's Objectivism in One Lesson is a short, solid introduction to the essentials of Objectivism. The main benefit it provides over Rand's own essays -- and it shares this with Peikoff's Objectivism -- is the presentation of the overall structure of the philosophy. Rand's essays, while brilliant and foundational, are often scattershot. Discussions of important issues are found in odd places, and the reader is left with the difficult task of tying it all together himself. (Two examples: Rand's best discussion of the objective theory of value is in her essay "What is Capitalism?", and her best discussion of the factual basis of justice is in the chapter on definitions in Introduction to Objectivist Epistemology.) Getting the integrated view is important. Objectivism really is a system; understanding and applying the ethical and political principles is really not possible without grasping how they flow from and relate to the metaphysical and epistemological ones.

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