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Philosophy: Who Needs It (The Ayn Rand Library Vol. 1) Mass Market Paperback – November 1, 1984


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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 228 pages
  • Publisher: Signet Books; Reissue edition (November 1, 1984)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0451138937
  • ISBN-13: 978-0451138934
  • Product Dimensions: 6.8 x 4.1 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (77 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #61,053 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

''Ayn Rand's writings have altered and shaped the lives of millions. This selection of essays is an example of her best.'' --Alan Greenspan, former chairman of the Federal Reserve Bank

''Although this omnibus volume. . . is written for an audience of believers, readers unfamiliar with [Rand's] novels might find it a useful starting point.'' --Publishers Weekly

For those who want to understand the philosophic implications of our era, this collection by Ayn Rand is an excellent place to begin. --Richmond News-Leader

''Although this omnibus volume. . . is written for an audience of believers, readers unfamiliar with [Rand's] novels might find it a useful starting point.'' --Publishers Weekly

For those who want to understand the philosophic implications of our era, this collection by Ayn Rand is an excellent place to begin. --Richmond News-Leader --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.

About the Author

AYN RAND (1905-1982) was born in Russia, graduated from the University of Leningrad, and came to the United States in 1926. She published her first novel in 1936. With the publication of The Fountainhead in 1943, she achieved a spectacular and enduring success and her unique philosophy, Objectivism, gained a worldwide following. --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.

More About the Author

Ayn Rand's first novel, We the Living, was published in 1936. With the publication of The Fountainhead in 1943, she achieved spectacular and enduring success. Through her novels and nonfiction writings, which express her unique philosophy, Objectivism, Rand maintains a lasting influence on popular thought.

Customer Reviews

It's a great starting point for anyone who hasn't had exposure to philosophy.
David M. Fanale
Hence, even if you aren't an atheist like Rand was, you can still benefit greatly from studying Objectivist philosophy.
L. Ron Gardner
After reading books on philosophy, I have to put this one among the best top five ever written.
louis smith

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

96 of 101 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 17, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
After writing my review for this book, I found that my opinion had already been expressed in a previous review from July, 1999:
"The title essay was originally a speech given at West Point, and one of Miss Rand's own favorite pieces. In it, she eloquently demonstrates the importance of philosophy in man's life... in EVERY man's life. "...the choice we make is not whether to have a philosophy, but which one to have: rational, conscious, and therefore practical; or contradictory, unidentified, and therefore lethal." This book is for those interested in philosophy, as well as for those who aren't.
"As Leonard Peikoff states in the Introduction, "Ayn Rand was not only a novelist and a philosopher; she was also a salesman of philosophy -- the greatest salesman philosophy has ever had." Philosophy's purpose is not to impress people at cocktail parties or to "trick" people in debates with ready-to-wear paradoxes. Philosophy is essential to life -- read this book to discover why. "
However, some assertions proposed in negative reviews should be addressed for prospective readers. The assertion that her "theory of human nature states that men are the product of whatever philosophical convictions they happen to "program" into their minds" is an absolutely inaccurate representation of Rand's theory and needs to be identified as such. Rand's theory, obvious for any reader with an honest desire to understand what she wrote, was that the state of a person's life, including his actions, productivity and overall happiness, result from the beliefs and values that a person holds.
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45 of 48 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 27, 1996
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Ayn Rand's philosophy of Objectivism is implicit in her novels, but
she held that the plot of a story was never to be subordinated to
didactic philosophical purposes. Thus, even in *Atlas Shrugged*, the
novel in which her philosophy is most explicit, many details are left
out. After *Atlas* was published, Ayn Rand spent much of the remainder
of her life writing essays that elaborate upon her philosophy and apply
it to current events. *Philosophy: Who Needs It* may be the best
collection of these essays for a curious reader to start with.

The answer to the question implicit in the title is that
*everyone* needs philosophy, that philosophy is an inescapable
part of your life. The real questions are: Is your philosophy an
integrated system that you consciously accept? Or is it a random
assortment of rules of thumb, trite slogans, and things you learned in
church, none of which you ever think to question? In the title essay,
Ayn Rand does not try to sell you on her particular philosophy, but on
the importance of philosophy as such. I recommend this book to anyone
who thinks philosophy is merely of "academic" interest.
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33 of 38 people found the following review helpful By Joy Bushnell on May 12, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This book was an absolute eye-opener for me. I had never before understood the importance of philosophy (any philosophy!) in one's life. I too kind of went into a coma when I heard 'if a tree fell in the woods and no one was there to hear it fall, did it still make a sound' or whatever that line is.
Now, I can confidently answer that question and many more. I had no clue of the importance of metaphysics and epistemology in my life. I never even heard of those words in a rational way before. Rand in several paragraphs (of the first chapter especially) laid out all the key elements of philsophy and why a human living on this earth needs them. She also demonstrated how to ask the critical questions we should all ask of ourselves. Even if you choose not to adopt an Objectivist philosphy, she provides the most valuable questions that one really should ask of everything and everyone.
It sounds totally trite to say something like 'this book changed my life' but it is true. She explained so much -- not so much in 'believe this' but more of 'think about this'. That is an amazing difference.
I for one hate to be told what to do and how to do it. All I ever wanted was the tools to make that determination for myself. In this book, Rand provides those tools. But of course, one must use their own tool -- their mind to make such a determination.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 26, 1999
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Though I enjoy Rand's fiction considerably more than her excessively hyperbolic non-fiction, this is undeniably good stuff. Once you seperate the precise reasoning from the loony exaggerations, you have a terrific introduction to objectivism and philosophy in general. Contrary to previous tirades, some of which have been cut and pasted onto all of her book review areas, this book is full of original ideas (I'd really like to know who else preaches individualism like this, otherwise); it punctures many of today's warped worldviews and is quite readable. Buy this book - everybody owes it to themself to glean wisdom from this flawed but brilliant mind
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 31, 1999
Format: Mass Market Paperback
The title essay was originally a speech given at West Point, and one of Miss Rand's own favorite pieces. In it, she eloquently demonstrates the importance of philosophy in man's life... in EVERY man's life. "...the choice we make is not whether to have a philosophy, but which one to have: rational, conscious, and therefore practical; or contradictory, unidentified, and therefore lethal." This book is for those interested in philosophy, as well as for those who aren't.
As Leonard Peikoff states in the Introduction, "Ayn Rand was not only a novelist and a philosopher; she was also a salesman of philosophy -- the greatest salesman philosophy has ever had." Philosophy's purpose is not to impress people at cocktail parties or to "trick" people in debates with ready-to-wear paradoxes. Philosophy is essential to life -- read this book to discover why.
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