Summer Seminar 2010 -- “’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 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. We will go into depth on the meaning and importance of pride, rationality, integrity, productiveness, independence, and justice, devoting one lecture to each virtue. 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.
Session 6 Outline:A. Introduction: justice and benevolence as social virtues What is justice?
- Legal justice vs. moral justice
- Sensitivity, courtesy, and generosity
- The impotence of evil
- No existential aid
- No moral support
- Judging actions
- Judging character
Session 1: The Major Virtues: Pride >
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 >