June 14, 2010

Question: What is philosophy?

In order to live, man must act; in order to act, he must make choices; in order to make choices, he must define a code of values; in order to define a code of values, he must know what he is and where he is––i.e., he must know his own nature (including his means of knowledge) and the nature of the universe in which he acts––i.e., he needs metaphysics, epistemology, ethics, which means: philosophy. ––Ayn Rand, The Romantic Manifesto

If Objectivism is a philosophy, the first question to ask is "What is philosophy?"

A philosophy is a comprehensive system of ideas about the world and our place in it, about human nature, about the validity of our knowledge, about the values we should pursue, for ourselves and in our relationships to others. It is a guide for living, because it addresses the course we take in life.

Philosophy has distinct branches that address fundamental questions:

  • Metaphysics (What is reality?)
  • Epistemology (How do I know?)
  • Ethics (What is important for life as a human being?)
  • Politics (What is the purpose of government?)
  • Aesthetics (What is the role of art?)

The most widespread philosophical systems are religions such as Christianity, Judaism, Islam, or Buddhism. Each religion is a philosophy with its own specific views on issues in each branch. The belief in God, or gods, or a realm beyond the natural world is a metaphysical belief. Many religions have a lot to say about ethics, values, and moral principles.

What is ancient greek philosophy study guide

But religions are only one type of philosophy. In ancient Greece, for example, Plato and Aristotle developed distinctive philosophical systems to address all the major issues, from metaphysics to aesthetics, but did not include the idea of a personal god. Objectivism is similar in this respect.

In politics, philosophical views are often known as ideologies, such as liberalism, conservatism, socialism, and libertarianism. Political philosophies like these offer systematic views on issues such as the proper functions of government, the rights of individuals, and the role of democracy.

Next >   Why Does Anyone Need a Philosophy?





David Kelley Ph.D
About the author:
David Kelley Ph.D

David Kelley founded The Atlas Society (TAS) in 1990 and served as Executive Director through 2016. In addition, as Chief Intellectual Officer, he was responsible for overseeing the content produced by the organization: articles, videos, talks at conferences, etc.. Retired from TAS in 2018, he remains active in TAS projects and continues to serve on the Board of Trustees.


ケリーの哲学的著作には、倫理学、認識論、政治学の独創的な著作があり、その多くは客観主義の思想を新たな深みと方向性で発展させている。著書に 五感の証拠を、 認識論で論じたものです。 目的論における真理と寛容目的論運動の問題点に関するもの。 無抵抗の個人主義。博愛の利己的根拠そして 推理の極意論理学入門の教科書として広く利用されている論理学入門』も第5版となりました。

ケリーは、政治や文化に関する幅広いテーマで講演や出版を行っている。社会問題や公共政策に関する記事は、Harpers、The Sciences、Reason、Harvard Business Review、The Freeman、On Principleなどに掲載されています。1980年代には、Barrons Financial and Business Magazineに 、平等主義、移民、最低賃金法、社会保障などの問題について頻繁に執筆した。

彼の著書 A Life of One's Own:個人の権利と福祉国家福祉国家の道徳的前提を批判し、個人の自律性、責任、尊厳を守る私的な選択肢を擁護するものである。1998年、ジョン・ストッセルのABC/TVスペシャル「Greed」に出演し、資本主義の倫理に関する国民的議論を巻き起こした。

客観主義の専門家として国際的に知られ、アイン・ランドとその思想、作品について広く講演を行っている。の映画化ではコンサルタントを務めた。 アトラス・シュラッグドの編集者であり アトラス・シュラッグド小説、映画、哲学.



"Concepts and Natures:A Commentary onThe Realist Turn(by Douglas B. Rasmussen and Douglas J. Den Uyl)," Reason Papers 42, no.1, (Summer 2021); 近著のレビューで、概念の存在論と認識論への深掘りが含まれています。






The Party of Modernity, Cato Policy Report, May/June 2003; andNavigator, Nov 2003; プレモダン、モダン(啓蒙主義)、ポストモダンの文化的分裂に関する論文として広く引用されている。

"I Don't Have To"(IOS Journal, Volume 6, Number 1, April 1996) と "I Can and I Will"(The New Individualist, Fall/Winter 2011): 個人として自分の人生をコントロールすることを現実化するためのコンパニオン作品です。