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Word Count: 2,320
No thinker perhaps has had more influence upon contemporary libertarians than the novelist and non-academic philosopher Ayn Rand For that reason alone she deserves attention however many of her arguments have been misunderstood misrepresented or ignored As George Smith has commented there has appeared relatively little in the way of competent reflection of Ayn Rand as a philosopher Accountswritten by her admirers are frequently eulogistic and uncritical where as accounts written by her antagonists are often hostile and what is worse embarrassingly inaccurate Reeb 607 Although researchers have discovered that parts of her objectivist theory are plausible academic scholars avoid paying serious attention to her work due the fictional manner in which she first displayed her theory and its hypocritical and often nonsensical contentAyn Rands theory of objectivism is described as a philosophy for living on earth which is an integrated system of thought that defines abstract principles by which a man must think and act if he is to live the life proper to man Rand 1961 57 The basic principals of her theory include metaphysics epistemology human nature ethics politics and esthetics 57 The metaphysical argument aims to show that valuing depends in fact on life or more precisely that it depends on life as a conditional response Rand 1962 54 Because of such dependence it is only living beings that either do or can have goals Ayn Rand further discussed this portion of her theory in her long essay Mans Rights The source of mans rights is not divine law or congressional law but the law of identity A is AMan is Man Rights are conditions of existence required by mans nature for his proper survival If man is to live on earth it is right for him to use his mind it is right to act on his own free judgement it is right to work for his values and to keep the product of his work If life on earth
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