In epistemology in general, the kind of knowledge usually discussed is propositional knowledge, also known as "knowledge-that" as opposed to "knowledge-how."
In epistemology in general, the kind of knowledge usually discussed is propositional knowledge, also known as "knowledge-that" as opposed to "knowledge-how."


Ayn Rand has been quoted quite often as the proponent of selfishness… It just goes to show how misconstrued an author’s intent can get…

To all the people who have come to the conclusion, that Ms Rand condoned selfishness, they need to read and reread her work again to gain a correct understanding of her philosophy; because they got it wrong…

Note: The way of anti-collectivism can only be found in the ends of self-rule and governance for equitable economic parity based on contribution to the social means...

Case in Point ~ (drawn from contexts found in Wikepedia)

Ayn Rand's description of egoism cannot be properly justified without an epistomology based on the reasoning she presents: (In the sea of dialectics, truth and investigation one needs an epistemology to discern propositional knowledge, "knowledge-that" as opposed to "knowledge-how")... A philosophy concerned with the nature and scope (limitations) of knowledge. That addresses fundamental questions like: What is the knowledge? How is the knowledge acquired? What do people know about the subject? How do we know what we know? Then one might understand the tenants that formulate the philosophy discussed...

"There is a fundamental moral difference between a man who sees his self-interest in production and a man who sees it in robbery. The evil of a robber does not lie in the fact that he pursues his own interests, but in what he regards as to his own interest; not in the fact that he pursues his values, but in what he chose to value; not in the fact that he wants to live, but in the fact that he wants to live on a subhuman level."

Her book The Virtue of Selfishness (1964) explains in depth the concept of rational egoism. According to Rand's ethical egoism, every rational individual's own life should be his or her own highest value; rationality is every human being's highest virtue, and one's own happiness is the highest purpose of one's life.

So you see those who choose to limit the virtue of her words take on the egotism they desire; but their ego's greed is not justified by her philosophy...

Note: The enclosed content text of the loua articles, post, blog, or hub herein are the intellectual property of TM dewtobe ® and lparchambault loua~8.24.2008© there is no authorization for use without direct permission from the author, loua.

Ayn Rand's notion of selfishness is readily misunderstood:

Ayn Rand born Alisa Zinov'yevna Rosenbaum; February 2 January 20] 1905 – March 6, 1982), was a Russian-American novelist, philosopher, playwright, and screenwriter. She is known for her two best-selling novels, and for developing a philosophical-system she called, Objectivism...

Clarification for the misunderstood philosophy of Objectivism:

The Six Tenants Presented by Ayn Rand supporting Objectivism ~

  • · Holds that reality exists independent of consciousness
  • · Individual persons are in direct contact with this reality through sensory perception
  • · Human beings can gain objective knowledge from perception through the process of concept formation and inductive and deductive logic
  • · The proper moral purpose of one's life is the pursuit of one's own happiness or rational self-interest
  • · The only social system consistent with this morality is full respect for individual rights, embodied in pure laissez faire capitalism
  • · The role of art in human life is to transform man's widest metaphysical ideas, by selective reproduction of reality, into a physical form—a work of art—that he can comprehend and to which he can respond emotionally.

Example of Selfish Notion:

Rand's first major success as a writer came with The Fountainhead in 1943, a romantic drama and philosophical novel that she wrote over a period of seven years. The novel centers on an uncompromising young architect named Howard Roark, and his struggle against what Rand described as "second-handers" — those who attempt to live through others, placing others above self... Let me point out, " Here is where the character demonstrates a lack of rational selfishness"...

Explanation of the Notion, "Rational Selfishness (Rational egoism)":

In ethical philosophy, rational egoism or egotism is the principle that an action is rational if and only if it maximizes one's self-interest. The view is a normative form of egoism. However, it is different from other forms of egoism, such as ethical egoism and psychological egoism. While psychological egoism is about motivation and ethical egoism is about morality, rational egoism is a view about rationality (where rationality may or may not be tied to morality). Ethical egoism is also different from amoralism; where amoralism denotes the lacking of a moral sense; unconcerned with the rightness or wrongness of something: an amoral attitude to sex.


The above notations on Ayn Rand taken from Wikipedia describe a different picture than most believe to be the case about her philosophy... First and foremost the intent and form of her notion of selfishness is most misunderstood...

As you can see in the above script under Rational Selfishness she means to provide a word descriptor for developing ones self-esteem for motivation not ones demented ego of amoralism...


I am happy to state that Ms Rand's philosophy is in coincidence with the philosophy I adhere to... In fact, she expresses the same socioeconomic paradigm I commit to, “A form of rational self-interest; that the only social system consistent with this morality is full respect for individual rights, embodied in pure laissez faire capitalism.”} This statement is generally taken out of context so I am clarifying its meaning herein: To attain the state of social-happiness herein defined by Ms Rand... Ms Rand's means requires a way for parity of harmony, balance and equilibrium found only in the self-rule of a pure-democracy and service-based-capitalism; where a through distribution of wealth can be accomplished...

The body of Ayn Rand's work is a testament to a credible philosophy that supports inclusive civil selflessness as an end, means and way to develop the harmony, balance and equity for the best quality attribute and nature of life's existence experience...

Comments 6 comments

loua profile image

loua 6 years ago from Elsewhere, visiting Earth ~ the segregated community planet Author

star, your thoughts are worth everything that has any meaningful purpose... Wrestling with ones thoughts is the exercise of perfection, notice how it wears you out... Like eating an elephant, one bite at a time and before you know it your mind is running the show rather than playing catchup with your fears reflex reactions... The power is in managing the emotions for the best result...

Exercise: Throw up your arms in defeat, analyze all the evidence, then make the decision... Its called letting go... Trick yourself into the worst position you can be in and then solve the problem... You will then pick the most realistic answer... Remember, you have eternity to figure it out so let it go; and learn from what is dealt you and move on to the next exercise...

Happy New Year...

stars439 profile image

stars439 6 years ago from Louisiana, The Magnolia and Pelican State.

Dear loua: I like your work, and I am impressed by your mind. I must read your work really seriously to understand it. I am glad that you became my fan, and I would like to be yours as well.I am a serious believer in a very intelligent power that has extraordinary abilities, for what my thoughts are worth.

God Bless You.

loua profile image

loua 6 years ago from Elsewhere, visiting Earth ~ the segregated community planet Author

Thank you for visiting and for your interest Rebecca E.

Happy Holidays, lou

Rebecca E. profile image

Rebecca E. 6 years ago from Canada

this has been bookmarked for more reading, excellent points.

loua profile image

loua 6 years ago from Elsewhere, visiting Earth ~ the segregated community planet Author

Larry I have to concur with your summation; Ms Rand was an enlightened soul that gave her message as a prophet, she has predicted the need for social economic parity knowing intrinsically how it was to apply...

I like the way she used Nietzsche's profound sarcastic irony ~ for all to have, "The Virtue of Selfishness" makes all of it selfless by default" as in "Beyond Good and Evil" Nietzsche's sarcasm is, "if your going to be evil without concern for integrity, morals and ethics, then, be good and evil so you might devour yourself in one act"... She used the same affirmative perspectival mechanism to confound the pretentious as he did...

Larry, as always thank you for your interest and participation... lou

maven101 profile image

maven101 6 years ago from Northern Arizona

A concise and factual explanation of Rand's philosophy of Objectivism, written with clarity and scholarship...

I discovered Objectivism in college during a book assignment. It was Ayn Rand's " The Value of Selfishness "...I still have a copy of her essay " Causality verses Duty "...Her concise definition of Objectivism was neatly summed up with " A rational philosophy for living on Planet Earth "...Have you read her treatise " For the New Intellectual " ?

I feel comforted that we can finally agree, in toto, with a philosophical precept that I have long adhered to in my life and career...Everyone should read this Hub to really understand and appreciate the forward thinking of this woefully underrated and prescient woman...Thank you for this...Larry

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