Philosophy, Who Needs It

ISBN: 0672527952
ISBN 13: 9780672527951
By: Ayn Rand

Check Price Now


Ayn Rand Currently Reading Favorites Non Fiction Nonfiction Objectivism Philosophy Politics Rand To Read

Reader's Thoughts


Ayn Rand is completely misunderstood in the popular culture- she was not a heartless selfish individualist without a care for her fellow man. Ayn Rand was a principled philosopher in the tradition of Aristotle- who realized that human beings are ends in themselves and can only flourish by being free to act according to the dictates of reason and conscience. Ayn Rand isn't opposed to love, to friendship, to organized groups of people with a common purpose. She was opposed to coercion in all forms, and as such Ayn Rand was an optimist and a champion of human dignity. Unlike most modern intellectuals, Ayn Rand realized that pure capitalism is good and natural and right. We are men, not ants- and free market capitalism, not socialism or communism, is part of our nature. Let human reason flourish, let markets flourish, and humanity will flourish. I'm not saying I agree with everything she said- I'm just saying that her world is not some kind of dark, dog-eat-dog, man-against-man hell. In fact, her world is one of human flourishing and human dignity where men are free to participate in their own creation- to become persons of character, worthy of love, confident in their own human goodness.

Roslyn Ross

Rand is a pleasure as always. So glad she said finally explained to me the draw of chess! Was a little disappointed with her response to Skinner's Beyond Freedom and Dignity. She complains that no one has refuted him by defending man's mind, yet she doesn't really do much to defend man's mind. She just makes fun of all the dumb he things he says in his book and is appalled that anyone would fall for it. But people DO. And they need a better response than the one she provides. Guess that's where I come in, but wouldn't have minded more help from her!

Antonio Lopez

It was interesting to see how current still are Rand's concerns. The book also opened the door of other authors who she critique. Important to understand the roots of the opposite views.Since the book is a collection of essays it is easy to read and reflect one at a time.In the end the battle for freedom is an intellectual battle. Lots has been said about other sciences yet the enemies of freedom get stronger under the shade of indifference and ignorance. "Philosophy Who needs it" is an invitation to be active learner and defender of freedom.


Life changing.Ayn Rand... anyone who calls her a Communist just proves they have absolutely NO idea what she's about since she's actually the complete opposite.Again, life changing. Changes perspective on life. Makes you think outside the box we've been taught, no, forced to think inside of.The first couple of pages are enough to make your head expand. Amazing woman.

Kelly Murray

The bottom line is, we all live by a philosophy- whether or not we're aware of it. This book shows you why it's so important to know what kind of philosophy you're living and making choices by, and makes one aware of how their pattern of coming to conclusions affects everything about their being. A must read for anyone interested in understanding their inner workings better.

Geoff Paulson

Rand's hero is Aristotle, her enemy is Kant. Anything that is reasoned via that which cannot be viewed and demonstrated is to be rejected. Very interested to learn how she justifies her very black and white talk of Good and Evil. Can an individual acting in his own interest ever commit evil, according to Rand?If altruism and selflessness are the ultimate evils, it is easy to see why Rand hates religion. The sacrifice of Jesus Christ would be the absolute antithesis of her ideals.

Христо Блажев

Айн Ранд създава интелектуално бойно поле във “Философията: кому е нужна”Айн Ранд не може да не бъде полемична, не може да не бъде противоречива, не може да не бъде провокативна. Но във “Философията: кому е нужна” тя е нещо повече – тя е агресивна, настъпателна и гръмогласна. Убедена в собствената си философия, сигурна в моралното превъзходство на идеите си, опряна удобно на величествените романи “Изворът” и “Атлас изправи рамене”… И от този пиадестал тя сипе огън и жупел връз всеки, който според нея застава на пътя на капитализма и цивилизацията, едно тъждество и тържество на разума над духа.


Abstract principles are a part of our life whether we acknowledge it or not. That is the message of Ayn Rand's book, "Philosophy: Who Needs It." In a vigorous and thoughtful list of essays, Ayn Rand talks about how we must return to the original abstract principles that animate our thinking. This book is particularly significant today since capitalism is being challenged on a moral basis, especially from the radical environmental movement. This movement is trying to use emotionalism as a method of furthering their socialistic/communist principles. As Ayn Rand mentions, the socialists/communists could not win on a majority vote by providing the public with a clear statement of what their goals are. However, the socialists/communists--which are dressed up in the Green movement--instead confuse the public through evasions, contradictory statements, censorship, brainwashing them through the government-run school system, in order to get the public to subscribe to these views.What I liked most in particular is Ayn Rand's statement that one has a right to live for one's own sake--and no one else. Rand's view is that capitalism and individualism must be argued on a moral basis, not on an economic one. The economic argument is that capitalism promotes economic growth, and thus, for this reason alone, it must be tolerated. Instead, Ayn Rand's view is that, regardless of the economics, one has a right to live for their own sake, and for the sake of others. A person cannot be compelled to be a slave nor enslave others. (The current welfare system, for instance, requires that one take on unearned obligations to others, and thus, one is living one's life for that of another.) Further, Ayn Rand also discusses how our current mixed economy system (read: Social Security, government-run schools, Medicaid) will eventually result in a dictatorship because in order to keep this sytem going, it requires subjecting the individual to the state. When the individual fails to comply, as is most certainly likely to happen as time goes on, the only way the state will be able to enforce the rule of altruism is at the point of a gun.IN PRACTICE, Ayn Rand's views have been endorsed by reality. The freest states in America--the ones that believe in individualism, and limited government--have had the highest degree of population growth, economic growth (thus, more productivity from the most productive), and, I dare say, happiness (since they are able to pursue their happiness to the maximum extent, without government-control).

Ben Weeks

I haven't read the whole book as Goodread's entry for this work suggests. What I have read is a 12 page pamphlet from the Ayn Rand Institute of the same title. I found it one rainy day while I was working a shift at a bookstore. It was one of those days that makes stepping out of the door a strain on your will, but upon finding this talk, I was glad I did. In the talk, which Ayn Rand gave to West Point's graduating class of '74, she clarifies the need for people to have a personal philosophy, lest the be torn aside by the world. That much I can agree with. When she begins her diatribe against Kant I being to lose her. It seems like Ayn is upset with the current state of the world in '74 and has given Kant the role of whipping-boy for all the failures that she's attributed to the baby-boomers. That much aside, I can agree with her on the point that to evade any personal philosophy is to let yourself run emotionally naked through a world that only seeks to satisfy our most base needs and urges.


Nope. just not going to happen.The only people I can see this book appealing to are one's with the same psychopathic tendencies and Rand herself.This book would resonate with people looking for a way to make selfishness justifiable in every aspect of life, for those who have a complete lack of empathy and think compassion an unnecessary weakness... or those who have no idea what either of those actually are.This was just too depressing to finish, especially when I realised there is a whole mess of people who follow this way of life like a religion.maybe one day, for purely academic purposes, I'll return to it... but I hope that day never comes.

Haider Al-Mosawi

While this book is a great reference to understanding Ayn Rand's philosophy, Objectivism, its true value is in explaining what philosophy is and why it's important. An extremely important lesson in today's world, especially when so many discussions are fruitless exchanges of opinion, without knowing - let alone questioning - basic philosophical assumptions.


I love the severity of her novels and can almost hear her reading the dialogue to me with a great intensity. But to have to deal with that narrative intensity outside of fictional characters and to imagine this rigid capitalist immigrant sitting next to me prattling about the evils of babying your brother.. well I just find it easier to absorb through the analogy of her fictions.

Kyle Thompson

I'm on an Ayn Rand kick right now. I started off with "The Virtue of Selfishness", then went to "Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal", and now I just finished this. I really liked the two previous books, but this one was so-so for me. The first article/chapter in this book by the same name, was very good. A lot of the other chapters, though, were about how much Ayn hated Immanuel Kant. It kind of got repetitive after a while, like many other reviewers have said. I also felt that this book's articles weren't as good as the one's in "Virtue" and "Capitalism", as they discussed the same basic principles/ideas for the most part. So, I would suggest that you read "Virtue" and "Capitalism" before you read this; as they are superior in my opinion, and explain Rand's philosophy and ideas far better than this. Now I'm off to start "For the New Intellectual."

Andrej Drapal

It is simply amazig how Ayn uses her rather narrow vcabulary of concepts to explain thought and lifestyle situations with chrystal precision. This is not any kind of comprehensive philosophy, but stll far the best positioning of a man vesrus a collective. There are few chapters that are outdated, but overall you can simply derive values valid for any situation.

Brent McCulley

In "Philosophy: Who Needs It," Ayn Rand, through a collection of some of her lectures and essays which were compiled posthumously, revisits a lot of her objectivist philosophy that is more eloquently outlined in her book The Virtue of Selfishness. Nevertheless, this compilation was quite a delight to read, as there were little gems scattered throughout the book, that made the collection well worth the 200+ pages. Notwithstanding Rand's seething loath for Kantian epistemology and metaphysics - which she makes abundantly clear throughout the first twelve or thirteen essays - Rand has a affable quality in her writing, despite her coarse prose, which often comes off as arrogance.Even still, the books treatment of reason, as the foundation for metaphysics is made clear the first ten essays, but she takes the last four or five essays dealing with political-theory, and discussed subjects from economics and moral cause vs. duty of an individual citizen. Since a lot of this book is just re-hashed objectivism, if one has already read her other works which make her philosophy very clear such as The Virtue of Selfishness and Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal, this book would still be worth the purchase for the last essay alone, entitled "Don't Let It Go." A clarion call to Americans, who value individualism, reason, and integrity, to be the change, lest our ominous future of chaos and tyranny befall us before it's too late.-Brent McCulley (10/4/13)

Share your thoughts

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *