The Virtue of Selfishness Chapter Abstracts for Teachers

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Chapter Abstracts

Chapter 1, "The Objectivist Ethics", Ayn Rand (1961)

* Rand uses this first essay to introduce her theory of Objectivism as well as Objectivist ethics.

* Rand introduces her topic by discussing a more socially acceptable form of ethics, being altruism and self-sacrifice.

* Rand claims that society and philosophers invented "good" and "evil" in order to manipulate the actions of human beings.

* "Good" in the society Rand describes is the "good" that is "good for society" rather than what is good for the individual.

* Rand claims that societal standards go against basic human survival, and that no philosopher or scientist can explain why a person must adopt a particular code of ethics to survive as a human.

Chapter 2, "Mental Health versus Mysticism and Self-Sacrifice", Nathaniel Branden (1963)

* The second essay is titled "Mental Health versus Mysticism and Self-Sacrifice" by Rand's associate, Nathaniel Branden.

* Branden defines "Mental Health" as having...

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