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Staff Bio

David Kelley is a professional philosopher, teacher, and author. After earning a Ph.D. in philosophy from Princeton University in 1975, he taught philosophy at Vassar College (1975-84) and at Brandeis University as a Visiting Lecturer (1989-90). Among his books are Unrugged Individualism: The Selfish Basis of Benevolence; The Evidence of the Senses, a treatise on epistemology; The Art of Reasoning, a college textbook in logic, now in its 4th edition; and A Life of One's Own: Individual Rights and the Welfare State, a critique of the moral premises of the welfare state and defense of private alternatives that preserve individual autonomy, responsibility, and dignity.

Kelley has also written extensively for major publications on issues in philosophy, culture, and politics; and given many talks to academic and policy organizations.

In 1990 Kelley founded The Atlas Society to promote open Objectivism—Ayn Rand’s philosophy of reason, achievement, rational self-interest, and freedom—based on The Contested Legacy of Ayn Rand, his manifesto on the need for an open and benevolent form of the philosophy. He retired from his full-time position at the end of 2017 but remains active as a board member, consultant, speaker, and writer. He is currently working on the 5th edition of The Art of Reasoning.


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