“’Value’ is that which one acts to gain and keep,” wrote Ayn Rand, “’virtue’ is the action by which one gains and keeps it.” This six-session course, filmed in 2010, focuses on the distinctive virtues highlighted by Objectivism: their basis in fact, their contrast with traditional moral ideals, and their role in a rational, value-seeking human life. TAS Director of Programs William R Thomas goes into depth on the meaning and importance of  pride, rationality,  integrity, productiveness, independence, and justice, devoting one 50-minute lecture to each of these six virtues. Discussions of honesty and benevolence are integrated into the course as well. The course presumes some basic familiarity with Objectivism, but should be intelligible to anyone with a sincere interest in ideas. 

Sesson 1 Outline:

A. Pride and the distinctive Objectivist approach to morality

B.  Rational selfishness and the cardinal value of Self-Esteem

C. Self-evaluation: Pride in the past

  • Pride in your own accomplishments
  • Taking responsibility for shortcomings
  • Seeing yourself in social context. 
  • Living up to your own standards.

D.  Self-improvement for the future

  • Existential efficacy: skills, abilities 
  • Moral ambitiousness

Session 2:   The Major Virtues: Rationality and Honesty >
Session 3:   The Major Virtues: Integrity >

Session 4:   The Major Virtues: Productiveness >
Session 5:   The Major Virtues: Independence >
Session 6:   The Major Virtues: Justice and Benevolence >

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