Saturday, February 05, 2011

Objectivist Roundup & Rationally Selfish Webcast

By Diana Hsieh

As part of Modern Paleo's weekend schedule of blogging on Objectivism on Saturdays and free market politics on Sundays, I like to post some weekly links for people interested in Ayn Rand's philosophy of Objectivism.

Here are this week's fresh links:

  • The "Objectivist Roundup" is a weekly blog carnival for Objectivists. Contributors must be Objectivists, but posts on any topic are welcome. Rant from the Rock hosted this week's Objectivist Roundup. If you're interested in learning more about what Objectivists are writing and doing, go take a peek!
  • My own Rationally Selfish Webcast -- where I answer questions on practical ethics and living well -- will be tomorrow (Sunday) morning at 8 am PT / 9 am MT / 10 am CT / 11 am ET. You can submit and vote on questions, as well as watch the live webcast and join the chat, from this page: Rationally Selfish Webcast.

    Here are the questions that I'll answer this week. I've shortened them, except for Question 6, since that's paleo-related!
    • Question 1: Relying on Gut Feelings: Is it ever rational to rely on a “gut” feeling?
    • Question 2: Friendship Versus Emotional Affairs: What’s the difference between a good friendship and an “emotional affair”?
    • Question 3: Desires and Infidelity: Is there a fundamental/substantial difference between seriously wanting to have sex with someone other than your significant other and actually doing it?
    • Question 4: The Morality of Pirating Music: Is pirating music immoral?
    • Question 5: The Supererogatory: Does the moral concept of ‘supererogatory’ have any place in an egoistic ethics?
    • Question 6: From Objectivist Answers: The Morality of Eating Bread: Since eating wheat is purported to be unhealthy due to gluten (and other stuff), is it immoral to eat bread? (Analogous to smoking being purportedly bad for you.) Since one has to eat something, it might be better to ask, “Is eating bread immoral when other food sources are available?”
    You can listen to these webcasts later as NoodleCast podcasts by subscribing in iTunes to either the enhanced M4A format or the standard MP3 format.
For studying Objectivism, I always recommend that people go to the source, i.e. to Ayn Rand's own writings. I'd recommend starting with one of her novels, particularly The Fountainhead or Atlas Shrugged. After that, I recommend her anthologies of philosophy essays, probably starting with The Virtue of Selfishness or Philosophy: Who Needs It. For current commentary on culture and politics from an Objectivist perspective, I heartily recommend perusing The Objective Standard. You can find much of value and interest on the web site of the Ayn Rand Institute too.

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