Posts tagged with: Atlas Shrugged

Teaching Philosophy with Atlas Shrugged: Francisco vs. Hume on Reason and Emotion

Pike's Peak, Colorado Springs. Photo by the author. It's been a while since I last blogged about my class based on Atlas Shrugged. We are now nearly done with two thirds of the semester. This has probably been my most enjoyable teaching experience to date, and not just because I am sympathetic with the philosophy we are discussing. I've fallen in love with the idea of teaching philosophy through fiction. Students are much more intensely drawn into discussing the ideas of a novel whose characters they come to know, even when they do not necessarily agree with the ideas. It…

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Sunlight filtering through green leaves

This is more of a literary post than a philosophical one, but I think it may interest some readers and it gives me an occasion to explain why we chose the cover image we did for this blog. The image of sunlight filtering through green leaves figures in a number of significant passages from Rand's novels. I'm going to survey them, and make a few comments at the end on what I take to be the significance of this image to Rand. The clearest instances are in The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged, but let me consider first some examples from…

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Teaching Philosophy with Atlas Shrugged: Aristotle and Francisco on Ultimate Ends

I am very privileged to be teaching a course this semester called "Philosophical Themes in Ayn Rand." I've been teaching philosophy in one capacity or another since 2002, but this is the first time I've ever proposed or taught a course focused on Ayn Rand's ideas. The main text of the course is Atlas Shrugged, but I've also assigned a series of secondary readings from classical philosophers whose ideas can be compared or contrasted with Rand's. The purpose of the course is to bring philosophical ideas alive through the reading of a philosophical drama, and to bring Rand's ideas into…

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