13.5 hours total | 9 sessions, beginning March 22, 2022
Is artistic taste entirely subjective? Is “to each his own” the only principle we can use when judging works of art?
Absolutely not, said Ayn Rand—one of the most popular novelists of the 20th century, whose works continue to sell hundreds of thousands of copies each year. Underlying Rand’s tremendous success was an objective philosophy of art, which she later cataloged in her treatise on esthetics, The Romantic Manifesto. Integrating observations in metaphysics, epistemology, ethics, psychology, and more, she showed why common conceptions of art as the province of whim are wrong, and she offered the world a vision of what art can and ought to be.
In this reading group, Jon Hersey will lead discussions of each essay in Rand’s The Romantic Manifesto alongside supplementary readings, comparing and contrasting Rand’s views and works with those of other influential novelists, artists, philosophers, and scientists. Join the discussion for a journey into the creative world of one of the 20th century’s most influential artists.