Ayn Rand’s major novels—We the Living, The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged—are self-consciously philosophical novels, containing abstract themes, characters driven by opposing moral principles, and conflicts rooted in clashing worldviews. And more than that, Rand’s fictional heroes discover and embody new philosophical ideas, original to Rand. To understand Rand’s distinctive worldview and to learn her new philosophy, Objectivism, there is no better place to start than with careful consideration of the content and meaning of her novels, which contain the richest treatment of a number of central principles of Objectivism available. The course provides a powerful corrective to a tendency among students of Objectivism to neglect Rand’s fiction in their study of Objectivist philosophy. (See extended description below for more details.)
Prerequisite Readings: We the Living, The Fountainhead, Atlas Shrugged and Anthem must be read before beginning this course.
Prerequisite Courses: None. All students must take this course, both new students and returning students who have not yet taken it. It is a prerequisite or corequisite for all other courses.
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