Ayn Rand Integrations: Hamilton, Smith, Roddenberry, Epictetus
with multiple instructors
6 hours total | 4 sessions, beginning February 8, 2023
Deepen your understanding of Ayn Rand’s Objectivism by seeing how it integrates and contrasts with the ideas of four other world-changing thinkers.
Ayn Rand created a rational, observation-based “philosophy for living on earth.” Studying how her ideas integrate with those of other great thinkers can help you leverage the value of each toward clearer thinking and better living. In this course, you will examine how Rand’s ideas integrate with those of Epictetus, Adam Smith, Alexander Hamilton, and Gene Roddenberry.
Epictetus was a highly influential Stoic thinker who focused on ideas for living a good life. Dr. Andrew Bernstein will discuss Epictetus’s ideas on rationality, integrity, free will, happiness, emotions, values, and how these integrate or contrast with Rand’s.
Adam Smith, the “Father of Economics,” pioneered an observation-based approach to the subject. In his seminal work, The Wealth of Nations, he explained how markets incentivize production and trade, harnessing men’s self-interest in ways that ultimately benefit others, as if by “an invisible hand.” His economic ideas derive in part from his lesser known moral views. Jon Hersey will compare Smith’s and Rand’s ideas, showing that despite much common ground, the “Father of Capitalism” and the “Goddess of the Market” had deep differences—and that these differences matter to freedom fighters today.
Alexander Hamilton personified Rand’s claim that the Founding Fathers were “a phenomenon unprecedented in history: they were thinkers who were also men of action.” Hamilton was the primary author of The Federalist Papers and the founder of the Bank of New York, the U.S. Coast Guard, and the New York Post. Robert Begley will compare Hamilton’s and Rand’s views on slavery, business, economics, and industrialization. He’ll highlight how both were immigrants who brought their best efforts to their adopted homeland—and faced staunch opposition, even from their supposed allies.
Gene Roddenberry’s crowning achievement was creating the TV show Star Trek (1967–69), which communicated his vision of man and the future, and his views on social issues. Star Trek celebrated reason, science, and human progress, and it presented an optimistic future in which human beings have advanced beyond such things as racism, mysticism, war, and poverty. Thomas Walker-Werth will discuss the ideas Roddenberry communicated through the original Star Trek, the evolution in his ideas between it and the 1980s sequel series The Next Generation, and contrast both with Rand’s philosophy and fiction.
Meet Your Instructors
Andrew Bernstein holds a PhD in philosophy from the Graduate School of the City University of New York and taught philosophy for many years at Marist College. He is the author of Heroes, Legends, Champions: Why Heroism Matters (2020), Capitalism Unbound: The Incontestable Moral Case for Individual Rights (2010), Capitalist Solutions (2011), and Why Johnny Still Can’t Read or Write or Understand Math: And What We Can Do About It (2022).
Thomas is a fellow and editor at Objective Standard Institute, an assistant editor at The Objective Standard, and an Ayn Rand Fellow with Foundation for Economic Education’s Hazlitt Project. He holds a master’s degree from Oxford Brookes University and has done research for the Adam Smith Institute. His hobbies and interests include travel, aviation, photography, and science. To see more of his work, visit www.walker-werth.com.
In addition to being director of development at OSI, Robert works as a speaking coach, helping TedX speakers and businessmen deliver more memorable messages. He constantly seeks to integrate the principles of Objectivism with those of effective self-development systems to create a personalized “supersystem” for success in work and life. And he teaches courses on these integrations for OSI, called “Your Supersystem for Flourishing.” He is also host of The Hero Show. When he is not working, he enjoys swimming, playing basketball, practicing Bikram yoga, and dancing ballet.
Jon Hersey (@revivingreason) is managing editor of The Objective Standard and holds fellowships at Foundation for Economic Education, where he writes in defense of freedom, and at Objective Standard Institute, where he teaches “How to Write Powerfully in Defense of Liberty.” He hosts the podcast “Philosophy for Flourishing.” He’s on a mission to identify and apply the principles of human flourishing. Get his ebook on writing in defense of liberty here, and join his mailing list at JonHersey.com.
Course & Session Schedule
- Epictetus, Feb 8, 2023, 11–12:30pm PT
- Roddenberry, Feb 15, 2023, 11–12:30pm PT
- Hamilton, Feb 22, 2023, 11–12:30pm PT
- Smith, March 1, 2023, 11–12:30pm PT
How the Course Works
This course is interactive and discussion-driven, so enrollment is limited. Register early to secure your spot.
The course is held live on a video conferencing app called Zoom, which you can download for free here. Sessions are video recorded, so if you miss a session (or want to review), you can watch the recording.
The course is 6 hours long, consisting of 4 sessions of 1.5 hours each.
Course handouts and supplementary materials are delivered via email. Course participants are invited to an exclusive OSI Courses group on Facebook, where they can post questions and engage in discussions with the instructor and other participants.
Have a question that wasn’t answered here? Read our FAQ or email us at [email protected].
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