Customer Reviews


105 Reviews
5 star:
 (65)
4 star:
 (12)
3 star:
 (8)
2 star:
 (5)
1 star:
 (15)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favorable review
The most helpful critical review


61 of 66 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best selling book on Ayn Rand's philosophy
Rands philosophical ideas are spread through hundreds of fiction and non-fiction works, radio addresses, taped and untaped lectures, seminars, and discussions.
Until the publication of Peikoff's magnum opus *Objectivism*, there was no single book, the interested student of philosophy could turn to, that presented Rand's philosophy as a single integrated whole...
Published on December 24, 2000 by Mark Da Cunha

versus
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A Knockout
This review is for: Objectivism: The Philosophy of Ayn Rand by Ayn Rand (Ayn Rand Library) (Paperback)

I read this book in 1992 and at this time I found this book was a good kick in the solar plexus where it counted. I found it invigorating, enlightened, inspired, gave "oomph" to my life. Even though I had been round and round the philosophy of...
Published on March 2, 2012 by G. Charles Steiner


‹ Previous | 1 211 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

61 of 66 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best selling book on Ayn Rand's philosophy, December 24, 2000
By 
Mark Da Cunha (Freeport, Bahamas) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Objectivism: The Philosophy of Ayn Rand (Ayn Rand Library) (Paperback)
Rands philosophical ideas are spread through hundreds of fiction and non-fiction works, radio addresses, taped and untaped lectures, seminars, and discussions.
Until the publication of Peikoff's magnum opus *Objectivism*, there was no single book, the interested student of philosophy could turn to, that presented Rand's philosophy as a single integrated whole.
Thanks to Dr. Peikoff this is no longer the case.
Leonard Peikoff's *Objectivism: The Philosophy of Ayn Rand* covers every philosophical topic that Ayn Rand held as important--from the objectivity of concepts and the metaphysical nature of man, to the virtue of selfishness and the purpose of art, this book covers it--and more.
It is clear (Peikoff is a lucid writer), organized (the book presents Rand's philosophy from the ground up, thus showing how her philosophical statement that capitalism is the moral system is inseperably tied to the metaphysical observation that A is A), and tightly written (Peikoff focuses only on essentials).
If you ever had any questions on the philosophy that Ayn Rand presented in her novels, or on the subject of philosophy in general (college students take note), this book has the answers you are looking for.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


57 of 62 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The only good book on Ayn Rand's philosophy, June 21, 1997
By A Customer
This review is from: Objectivism: The Philosophy of Ayn Rand (Ayn Rand Library) (Paperback)
While other books on Objectivism are ignorant of its content and openly contemptuous of Miss Rand, OBJECTIVISM: THE PHILOSOPHY OF AYN RAND avoids the errors of other commentators. If you ever want an idea of the structure of Ayn Rand's philosophy, this is the ONLY book available for doing it. It starts at the starting premises of Rand's philosophic system and moves step by step through the entire structure.

Dr. Peikoff (whom I have seen explain Objectivism to large audiences) is by far the best authority on the subject. He studied under Ayn Rand for 30 years, so he knows her philosophy well, and is, of course, very fair in his presentation of it.

When I started reading the book, by annotations were about technical philosophical issues, but my reading experience became more and more personal as I progressed through the book; I stopped saying things like "This philosophical error that Peikoff is explaining sounds like Descartes" and started saying things like "My friend John Smith needs to read this part."

This book is, of course, nothing near the reading experience of Ayn Rand's own writings, but it is a must-read for those interested in her philosophy, especially since some aspects of Objectivism were never committed to paper by Rand herself. And, if your interest is not in Objectivism but in philosophy in general, I think you will be pleased to have this book in your collection. It is excellent in selling the importance of philosophy in general (and, of course, the best at explaining Objectivism in particular).

No other book on Objectivism comes close to Peikoff's scholarship and honesty, so it is no surprise to me that this book helped me become a better, more integrated person (the other commentary books on Objectivism are no match for Peikoff -- even their titles are cheesy!).

Anyway, I wholeheartedly recommend OBJECTIVISM: THE PHILOSOPHY OF AYN RAND by Leonard Peikoff. It is nothing short of excellent.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


42 of 45 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Logical explanation of Objectivism, June 22, 2006
This review is from: Objectivism: The Philosophy of Ayn Rand (Ayn Rand Library) (Paperback)
Reviews of this book seem to be divided into two camps; those who agree with Objectivism give it high marks while those who disagree denounce it. Whether one agrees with Objectivism or not, however, Leonard Peikoff's explanation of Rand's system is clear and penetrating. It starts from fundamentals and works up logically, so that, even in areas where one may disagree with Peikoff, one always knows his (and Rand's) stand on a given philosophic issue. The book has the added value of being written for laymen in philosophy (as opposed to academics), and is therefore accessible to anyone with an active mind and an interest in the subject matter.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


40 of 48 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Some interesting ideas here, October 26, 2002
This review is from: Objectivism: The Philosophy of Ayn Rand (Ayn Rand Library) (Paperback)
The philosophy called Objectivism, which is expounded in this book, is both an interesting one and, if judged by comparison with what was developed in philosophy in the 20th century, very original. In addition, it is one of the last attempts to build a full-scale "system" of philosophy, integrating epistemology, ethics, aesthetics, ontology, and politics. This is to be contrasted with the "microscopic" approach to philosophical problem solving, which was, one can argue with some confidence, the dominant strategy in mainstream 20th century philosophy. This is not to say of course that this strategy is not an effective one. After all, specialization in any field has the advantage of being thorough, whereas comprehensive system building is both time-consuming and exhausting for the investigator. Objectivism was constructed outside the academy and its elaboration was not reported in the accepted academic journals. This being the case, its statements and positions on philosophical matters may take a considerable amount of time to be accepted by academic circles. Even if Objectivism does not gain respect in such circles, it still could serve as an alternative to the accepted ideas and concepts that are entrenched in the academic journals. The advent of the Internet and more accessible methods of publication will no doubt encourage more thinking outside the academy. It remains to be seen if this strategy results in philosophical theories that are both non-trivial and interesting.
Space does not permit a detailed review of this book, but some of the more interesting ideas that are elaborated on include: 1. The "stolen concept fallacy". Although not really original, this notion is interesting from the standpoint of artificial intelligence and learning theory, as it asserts the existence of "levels of abstraction" and hierarchical organization of knowledge. The author describes the stolen concept fallacy as an error in how a concept is integrated into this hierarchy. Concepts higher in the hierarchy must be shown to be connected to lower level ones, this being called "conceptual reduction" by the author. The process of reduction must end at the level of the raw data of perception. This of course does not settle the issue of whether the perceptual data uniquely determines this conceptual and hierarchical structure. Such uniqueness seems not to be required by the Objectivist system, only that once a conceptual structure is chosen, consistency requires that the hierarchy must be fixed for all time. The idea of a stolen concept fallacy, if coded in the data structures of artificial intelligence, would formalize the notion of what it means for an intelligent machine to make a mistake. Of course, the search algorithms needed for the conceptual reduction and the consequent identification of the stolen concept may be computationally complex. At any rate, the notion of the stolen concept as elucidated briefly by the author deserves further investigation in this regard. 2. The notion of self-interest in ethics. The concept of self-interest has typically been a negative one in the history of ethical thought, meaning that it has been taken as almost axiomatic that individuals engaged in self-interest will always work to the detriment of another. What the author asks the reader to consider is that self-interest not only might not work against the well-being of another, but more than that: self-interest may in fact never work to the detriment of another. This is a fascinating move, and one that has not been done that I am aware of in the history of philosophy. A game theory interpretation and study of this assertion would be interesting both for ethical and political philosophy, as well as economics. The political philosophy of Objectivism is based on this notion of self-interest and its consequences. The author has moved the question of self-interest as to what effect a particular behavior will have on the individual involved, and not on the effect on another person. Traditional notions of self-interest hold to the essential tension between two individuals, and ask each individual to refrain from self-interested behavior in order to not violate another's rights. But in Objectivism, at least as I understand it, the reason that one does not engage in aggressive conduct towards another is that it acts to the detriment of oneself. One is always better off if one pursues a path that requires one to think through every situation, and not to initiate aggressive behavior, the latter only to be used in circumstances of self-defense (the latter could be difficult to define however in a given situation). This concept of self-interest in Objectivism is a refreshingly optimistic one and has tremendous consequences. And again, it would be very interesting to model this notion in a game-theoretic framework.
New ideas usually meet considerable opposition when first proposed. Some of the ideas in this book are original, even radical, and some are mainstream. The negative reaction to some ideas or their standing in the mainstream does not of course determine their truth value. That is to be determined by painstaking analysis and research. And again, the ever-increasing use of alternative methods for publication of philosophical research will no doubt encourage a neutral stance to new ideas as they are proposed. Their consequent value will be determined by how resilient they are to criticism and how useful they are for philosophy. Even if one does not agree with every idea proposed by the author and the school of Objectivism, it is the best apology for doing philosophy that philosophy has ever had. And also, the optimism implicit in this philosophy is unequaled. It celebrates the efficacy and power of the human mind, and in that respect it is pure 21st century....
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


53 of 68 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A masterpiece of a rational, life/man-loving philosophy, August 1, 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: Objectivism: The Philosophy of Ayn Rand (Ayn Rand Library) (Paperback)
Mr. Peikoff has cogently assembled all the principles of Objectivism into a hierarchical, systematic, lucid, comprehensive system of ideas-that system being the philosophy of Ayn Rand: Objectivism. After reading this book you will know how to think clearly in terms of principles, axioms, logic, etc., and you will understand Ayn Rand's philosophy completely, and more so when and if you read her works. The reason why I love this book and Objectivism as a philosophy is because it is true, and that it is the only philosophy in existence which basically says, in a nutshell: that man's life is the standard, or standard of moral value and that happiness is each man's moral obligation and goal, that life is precious, and that it is yours to live it. Have you ever heard or read any other philosophy or religion, such as Christianity or Judaism tell you this? Think about it. The entire philosophy of Objectivism, every 5 branches of it, from metaphysics to esthetics, is devoted to the elaboration and explication of these principles. In other words, the purpose of all philosophy--properly--is to further, sustain, and preserve your life. What else is it or should it be for? Informally, Ayn Rand called her philosophy, "A philosophy for living on earth," but formally called it Objectivism. Anyone who doubts the truth and honesty of this philosophy must either be dishonest, irrational or a collectivist. After all, how can someone deny the truth of 1+1=2 and expect to not have conflict in their lives? Every principle of Objectivism can be proven by logic and reference to the facts and concrete existents in reality. So never mind the smears, misrepresentations and outright lies perpetrated by some against Ayn Rand and Objectivism. The ones that do this have no arguments and in fact present no arguments against Objectivism, which is why they resort to smears. This is indicative and telling only of the person(s) perpetrating the attack (known as ad hominem) rather than the person being attacked in the attack. If you want to seriously know what Objectivism is then read, and more importantly, STUDY AND LEARN it for yourselves, rather than from fourth-hand accounts from people who know little or nothing about it, or from those who are hell-bent on outright lying. And please, don't take my word for it either, since I would be guilty of the same crime as those I have mentioned. This book changed my life because it taught me how to apply abstract principles to innumerable, everyday concrete situations in all areas of life. This is what philosophy is and should be for, and this is why I am giving this book five well-deserved, morally-earned stars. Bravo and cheers to you Mr. Peikoff for giving the world a systematic presentation of a rational, life-giving philosophy!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


18 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Objectivism in One Book, May 10, 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: Objectivism: The Philosophy of Ayn Rand (Ayn Rand Library) (Paperback)
In terms of essentials, Dr. Leonard Peikoff systematically covers every aspect of philosophy which Ayn Rand held as vitally important: reality, sense perception and volition, concept-formation, objectivity, reason, man, the good, virtue, happiness, government, capitalism, and art.
Whether you agree with him or not, this book will be one of the most thought provoking and enlightening books that you will ever read in your life. Dr. Peikoff is the Michaelango of the philosophy profession, and has painted us an intellectual masterpiece. Or, to quote one reviewer from the Detroit Free Press, "Peikoff is an extraordinary communicator... He brings the most difficult intellectual ideas within the grasp of the general reader... Those who decide to examine Objectivism--with this book as a guide--are in for an awesome intellectual experience."
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


18 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A clear and and systematic presentation of Objectivism, December 3, 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: Objectivism: The Philosophy of Ayn Rand (Ayn Rand Library) (Paperback)
Capitalism cannot be defended without a philosophic foundation; it is impossible to argue that the free market is moral unless we know what morality is and how it can be derived. And to know that, we have to know the fundamental nature of man and of the world in which he lives. This book provides that foundation. It is the only definitive, all-in-one-place statement of Ayn Rand's philosophy of Objectivism. It presents, clearly and systematically, her revolutionary philosophic defense of objective reality, reason, and individualism.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


14 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Worth Reading, January 23, 2000
This review is from: Objectivism: The Philosophy of Ayn Rand (Ayn Rand Library) (Paperback)
This book presents in an organized manner, the major points of the philosophy of Objectivism.
As a companion to the works of Ayn Rand, it is invaluable. I enjoyed reading it, and the best compliment I could give it is that I'm truly sorry that I didn't read it the moment it was published. The beginning was especially challenging because the subject is so fundamental that every word and term needs to be explained exactly against our culture's habitual use of inexact language.
For two concepts which are my personal focus, imagination and value, I would have liked to see a fuller treatement (especially missing was the use of the concept value in art).
One sentence I disagreed with: that the artist comes closest to God. This is an fanciful statement which is likely to be misinterpreted by both enemies and friends.
But these complaints are trivial when placed against the achievement which is Peikoff's rational and thorough presentation of Objectivism. This book has rightly gained the status of a text book and is worth reading for anyone who takes ideas seriously.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A remarkable presentation of Objectivism, July 23, 1998
By 
David Peng (Baltimore, Maryland) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Objectivism: The Philosophy of Ayn Rand (Ayn Rand Library) (Paperback)
This book makes a profound contribution to the Objectivist literature: it presents, in detail and in one volume, the essentials of Ayn Rand's philosophy. It is an invaluable aid for students of Objectivism--very comprehensive, and yet also very fun to read. A tremendous accomplishment.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A treatise on Objectivism, April 24, 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: Objectivism: The Philosophy of Ayn Rand (Ayn Rand Library) (Paperback)
I recommend this book to anyone interested in an excellent theoretical explication on the philosophy of Objectivism. This book does not contain any unnecessary jargon which all to often muddles works of this kind.Together with its numerous concrete examples of applied philosphical principles, it makes a suitable introduction for the layperson interested in the philosophy of Ayn Rand.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 211 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

Details

Objectivism: The Philosophy of Ayn Rand (Ayn Rand Library)
Objectivism: The Philosophy of Ayn Rand (Ayn Rand Library) by Leonard Peikoff (Paperback - December 1, 1993)
$22.00 $13.80
In Stock
Add to cart Add to wishlist
Search these reviews only
Rate and Discover Movies
Send us feedback How can we make Amazon Customer Reviews better for you? Let us know here.