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Objectivism: The Philosophy of Ayn Rand | [Leonard Peikoff]

Objectivism: The Philosophy of Ayn Rand

This brilliantly conceived book is based on a lecture course given by Dr. Leonard Peikoff in 1976 entitled, "The Philosophy of Objectivism". The lectures were attended by Ayn Rand, who helped prepare them and who also joined Peikoff in answering questions.
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Publisher's Summary

This brilliantly conceived book is based on a lecture course given by Dr. Leonard Peikoff in 1976 entitled, "The Philosophy of Objectivism". The lectures were attended by Ayn Rand, who helped prepare them and who also joined Peikoff in answering questions. Ayn Rand said of these lectures: "Until or unless I write a comprehensive treatise on my philosophy, Dr. Peikoff's course is the only authorized presentation of the entire theoretical structure of objectivism; that is, the only one that I know of my own knowledge to be fully accurate."

Peikoff, as Rand's foremost interpreter, here reveals both the abstract fundamentals of objectivism and its practical applications, with much new material that Rand offered only in private conversations with Peikoff.

©1991 Leonard Peikoff; (P)2003 Blackstone Audiobooks

What the Critics Say

"A revelation. Peikoff is an extraordinary communicator....He brings the most difficult intellectual ideas within the grasp of the general reader....An awesome intellectual experience." (Detroit Free Press)

What Members Say

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  •  
    L. Hattery OR USA 06-24-05
    L. Hattery OR USA 06-24-05 Member Since 2001
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "The very best overview of Objectivism"

    If you identified with the heroes of Atlas Shrugged and want to fully explore the philosophical principles on which they were based, this is a great book. There are quite a few good books and lectures available on Ayn Rand's philosphy of Objectivism, but this is by far the best. It starts with the foundation of human understanding and develops the philosophy using self-evident logic and reason. The author does an excellent job of capturing Ayn Rand's compelling philosophy for living a non-contradictory life. If you're going to read only one book about objectivism, this is the one to read and was fully endorsed by Ayn Rand.

    22 of 23 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amanda San Tan Valley, AZ, United States 08-04-10
    Amanda San Tan Valley, AZ, United States 08-04-10
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    "Great work of philosophy could be presented better"

    As some have already noted this book can be heavy to listen to, especially on the first go. I find it works best in conjunction with a physical book. The book for deep study & margin-scribbling, & this audio form is great for me as a refresher after a few years. I think it works best if you approach the audio like a series of lectures & don't try to get every detail or nuance the first time. Peikoff's clear writing/presentation lends itself well to that format.

    As always Ayn Rand's philosophy is honest in its terms, thorough in its reasoning, and profound in its implications.

    The only downside is that the narrator speaks with a very smug tone, especially when reading sections referring to the works of other philosophers or philosophical fallacies. It's disconcerting to hear Ayn Rand's ideas in Peikoff's sincere words with such a sneering voice.

    8 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    W G Lynwood, WA, Australia 05-06-09
    W G Lynwood, WA, Australia 05-06-09
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    "Great Listen"

    Great philosophies, typical Ayn Rand. Definitely something you have to listen to again and again and again and again.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Fabrizio villafranca di veronaItaly 02-17-10
    Fabrizio villafranca di veronaItaly 02-17-10
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    "Great listening."

    Great, great philosophy, it changed and improved my life for the better. Beware two things. First, at least for me was not very easy to grasp every concepts and the overall significance. I had to listen several times. Secondly puts in doubt the cardinals beliefs of your religion whether it'd be Christian, or otherwise. Thanks Ayn Rand!!!

    7 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    David Stewart Ocala, FL United States 11-05-05
    David Stewart Ocala, FL United States 11-05-05 Member Since 2001

    dsjl

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    "Electric reasoning"

    I read the book three years ago. Now, listening to it has made an even stronger impression on me. Contrary to another review, I found it easier to follow the arguments by listening, even "on the go." Peikoff's arguments are tight and insightful. What is most impressive is how far the book goes in integration of the branches of philosophy and the truths within them. If you have ever read much 20th century philosophy, you may be familiar with the arbitrariness, the groundlessness, of virtually every piece of work done in the field. And you'll also find Peikoff's philosophy here alien from what you've experienced. Yet it is this work that starts with reality and proceeds to solve the problems that the mess of 20th Century philosophy has found intractable.

    My only qualms are the narrator's frequent mispronunciations. Most irritating is her mispronuncation of "processes" as "prah-cess-eez." There's no "eez," however many people butcher the word; that pluralization is used for Latin-based words whose singular ends in "is," e.g., "basis," "thesis." The purpose is to eliminate a messy buzz at the end of plurals ("baseses"? Like that?), so the "is" becomes "es" and is pronounced "eez." And oddly, about 40% through the book, she suddenly begins pronouncing it correctly--but not consistently. Another is her mispronunciation of "Aristotelian."

    Other than those qualms, I like the narrator.

    17 of 21 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Marcus Spokane, WA, USA 07-08-07
    Marcus Spokane, WA, USA 07-08-07
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    "Well presented"

    The book is presented very well, with one minor caveat: the narrator breezes through difficult abstractions too quickly at parts. Perhaps it is the terse nature of a philosophy text. Make sure to have your rewind button handy!

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Taylor B. Oneal Seattle, WA 12-11-12
    Taylor B. Oneal Seattle, WA 12-11-12 Member Since 2012

    I'm a project management and analytics consultant based of Seattle. I love to SCUBA dive and seek out adventure in other ways in my spare time.

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    "Fantastic Comprehensive Classic Spoken Well"
    What did you love best about Objectivism?

    The applied Objectivist virtues where the rubber of philosophy meets the road of our lives.


    What does Johanna Ward bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Her reading of this essential Objectivist text gives it a serious energy and cadence that from reading it I didn't impart. The sound quality and her voice are good; she is precise and gives the impression of being knowledgeable about the subject. She is far better than most I've heard on audible.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    In one setting of 20 hours this is probably not advised but for a daily commute of an hour each day you can zoom through this. I played at 1.25x speed which is enough of a pickup to still understand the crucial details of the material but I wouldn't advise going much faster unless you are a savant.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ulrich munich, NY, USA 03-05-05
    Ulrich munich, NY, USA 03-05-05
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    "fascinating content, but annoying voice"

    brilliant theories, just too much and too difficult to listen "on the go"

    5 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jordan Drummond 05-24-14 Member Since 2012
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    "The Most Important philisophical achievement"
    Where does Objectivism rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    Among all the books on audible I have read it is surpassed only by Rands own writings. Dr Peikoff brilliantly presents Rands revolutionary philosophy.


    What other book might you compare Objectivism to and why?

    Anything by Ayn Rand


    Which scene was your favorite?

    My favorite part of the book is his discussion of the formation of concepts.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    I did have an extreme reaction. That reaction was one of exhilarating joy. This book helped make clear to me a who new rational method of thought and along with Rands writings has changed my life


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Keith ST PETERSBURG, FL, United States 02-11-14
    Keith ST PETERSBURG, FL, United States 02-11-14 Member Since 2013
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    "It's The Truth, And Nothing But The Truth"
    What did you love best about Objectivism?

    The lifting of the vail from over my eyes.


    What’s the most interesting tidbit you’ve picked up from this book?

    Altruism is a recipe for relinquishment of control over yourself to others and failed dreams.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 1-10 of 14 results PREVIOUS12NEXT
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  • Lourens
    Ruimsig, South Africa
    10/18/11
    Overall
    "Compulsory listening for today's political leaders"

    The book starts off with a kind of "meta-philosophy" in which it philosophizes about philosophy itself -- which I found very abstract -- but as the book progresses, it becomes more and more concrete and practical, with many hands-on real life examples of how Objectivism could and should be applied in everyday situations.

    It covers a wide range of topics such as ethics, law, business, economy, politics, love, sex, art, literature, journalism and more.

    Even though the book is written by Leonard Peikoff, a female narrator is appropriate because these really are the thoughts of Ayn Rand. While listening, I got the impression that Johanna Ward enjoyed narrating this work just as much as I enjoyed listening to it.

    I will definitely listen to this audiobook often, and I recommend it to anybody who is looking for solutions to the political-social-economic problems we face on a personal and a global level.

    Well done to Blackstone Audio and to Audible!

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • FM Veteran
    UK
    2/9/14
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    "Subjectivism"

    If you’re seeking a cool appraisal of objectivism, this isn’t it. As Rand’s appointed bulldog, the author asserts her ideas unchallenged as though handed down by a prophet. That’s not to say you won’t find this an articulate treatise, provided you can stomach Peikoff’s ludicrous overuse of the poncy Latin term ‘qua’. Just don’t expect objectivity in ‘Objectivism’.

    As for Rand’s philosophy: it’s been said she was a better philosopher than novelist. That may set the bar rather low, but it’s debatable on this evidence whether she cleared it. The one interesting part of her philosophy is of course her politics. As an antidote to the neo-Marxist credo that has now swallowed up the West (except, ironically, for its money-making economics), she has no parallel, and comes across like Thatcher on steroids. The trouble is that, to lend weight to her opinions, she used the age-old trick of presenting them as the logical corollary of philosophical axioms. This would be fine if human logic always corresponded to empirical reality. Certainly it doesn’t here. Indeed, some of Rand’s most forcefully stated ‘truths’ of perception and cognition are the exact reverse of science. Hence her key argument is undermined by too much cleverness.

    On the bright side, reader Johanna Ward captures Rand’s humourless sermonising well – her pleasant voice softening its sharp edge – and sounds throughout as though she follows the torrent of postulates.

    I can only recommend chapter 10 of this slightly tedious work, but the book’s worth hearing if you need to disabuse yourself of the belief that philosophy is something other than the bastard offspring of sophistry and rhetoric. I couldn’t help getting the impression that Rand’s oeuvre is one long justification of her selfish, randy life in America, and revenge on the Europeans who forced her to flee there. Since she famously dismissed unsubstantiated assertion as the squawking of parrots, it’s fitting that her ideology be reduced to a volley of qua’s.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
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