Book Title: For the New Intellectual
Author: Ayn Rand
Genre: Political philosophy
Available on Kindle: yes
Amazon Link: ** For the New Intellectual here**
Released in 1961, this is what many have called a manifesto against Nihilism. It’s the first of her non-fiction work laying out her objectivist philosophy. Though it’s been many years since I’ve read this book, a good part of it constitutes my on philosophical viewpoint. Though I find her thinking brilliant, I also find it shallow. Though she clearly subscribes to Friedrich Nietzsche’s view on God, religion and spiritualism, she builds a good structure beyond it into what she considers an objective reality.
She makes an argument that in place of God, or an external moral compass, man can be guided by his own enlightened self-interest. She also stipulates that that there is an objective reality by which existence can be judged. It doesn’t matter that there are things we don’t know as long as there is a level of consistent relevance to our perceptions that we can interact with. She was raised and educated in the Soviet Union so think of her as a liberated communist intellectual who disliked the communist economic and political concepts, because she could see their effects.
Her writing is good and clear. It is worth reading, but it’s not most peoples cup of tea unless you’re into philosophy. Though I enjoy her work, like I said, I find her thinking rather shallow which would be expected since she was working out her thinking at the time. She recognizes that there is an objective reality outside her own perceptions but she makes the mistake of assuming it would have to be directly relatable to our own parameters. In some ways, she’s very hedonistic, judging what may or may not be right, on what she can perceive directly without considering unknown potential consequences.
Whatever your philosophy, it is worthwhile going through her arguments and thinking, because it will have some influence on your own.33