Kane Augustus wrote:I enjoy the ethics of Objectivism. It's a fair mix of utilitarianism and deontology.
Does it go under the title "rational egoism." I have personally never considered them, but then my professors have such a low opinion of Ayn Rand that I was discouraged from really studying her ethics.
Personally I am a form of virtue ethics. I probably come closest to the Stoic tradition due to my personality as a professional stick in the mud and snarker
. Marcus Aurelius was actually the very first philosopher I had ever read (though the whole works of plato was the first I read to completion). Taking that into account I guess it is virtue mixed with a touch of deontology due to the valuing of rational beings.
Your professors probably have a low opinion of Rand because -- as is the case 99% of the time -- they don't really understand her. She is certainly not right on all accounts. For example, her 'objectivity' can only go so far because sooner or later one has to make a decision about things, and decisions are always subjective because one is always invested in their decisions. However, there are a great many useful insights in Objectivist epistemology and ethics that really clear up (at least, they did for me) understandings of human value and ability.
Also, people are turned off of Rand because she comes across quite terse and unsympathetic. But such perceptions, even if they are accurate (which they're not, overall), are more about the person who is offended than about Ayn Rand: many people do not know where they begin and where others end (personal boundaries). So, consequently, they respond to Rand with disdain and offense, as if somehow Rand is intending to hurt them. This only tells me that the person who is offended by Rand has chosen to be offended and refuses to take responsibility for their own limitations, so they thrust that responsibility back on Rand. It's really rather comical, to me.
In any case, Rand is not the whole picture. Her once-spurned lover, Nathaniel Branden
, has a much better view of human nature and ethics. More specifically, his book The Six Pillars of Self-Esteem
is a beautiful tour of human nature and ethical reasoning.