2015 Student Research Conference:
28th Annual Student Research Conference

The Irrationality of an Objectivist: Decision-Making in Atlas Shrugged
Kathryn M. Bollman
Dr. James Padfield , Faculty Mentor

Cast at times as visionary, radical, and lunatic, Ayn Rand's philosophy of Objectivism has made its mark on the world of politics. Built on a foundation of self-interest and reason, Objectivism calls for rational decision-making in both personal and public matters. However, one pivotal portion of Rand's most influential work, Atlas Shrugged, deviates from the reason-based choice framework. We analyze this decision, both within the world of the novel and in the greater context of a real-world cultural and political Objectivist movement. We suggest that a calculated use of irrationality can further Objectivist goals.

Keywords: Objectivism, Ayn Rand , Decision-making, Reason

Topic(s):Interdisciplinary

Presentation Type: Oral Paper

Session: 211-5
Location: MG 2090
Time: 12:00

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