The Philosophic Thought of Ayn Rand

The Philosophic Thought of Ayn Rand

Cover of the paperback edition
Editors Douglas Den Uyl
Douglas B. Rasmussen
Country United States
Language English
Subject Ayn Rand, Objectivism
Published 1984 (University of Illinois Press)
Media type Print
Pages 284 pp
ISBN 0-252-01407-3
OCLC 9392804

The Philosophic Thought of Ayn Rand is a 1984 collection of essays on Ayn Rand's philosophy of Objectivism, edited by Douglas Den Uyl and Douglas B. Rasmussen.[1] It includes essays by nine different authors covering Rand's views in various areas of philosophy.


The book is divided into three sections that represent different areas of philosophy addressed in Rand's thought. Each section starts with an essay by Den Uyl and Rasmussen, followed by essays from other contributors. The first section covers metaphysics and epistemology. It includes essays by Wallace Matson and Robert Hollinger. The second section covers ethics and contains essays by Jack Wheeler, Charles King, and Erick Mack. The final section covers political philosophy and has essays by Antony Flew and Tibor R. Machan.

Publishing history

Den Uyl and Rassmussen began work on the book while Rand was still alive. When she heard about the project, she actively discouraged it, as she had done previously with other projects. Rand died in 1982, and work on the book proceeded despite her disapproval.[2]

The Philosophic Thought of Ayn Rand was first published by as a hardcover book by the University of Illinois Press in 1984. They released it as a paperback in 1986.[3]


A review in The Freeman praised the book as "a valuable beginning by serious philosophers at the important task of evaluating, describing, and developing Rand's philosophy, in a dispassionate, objective manner."[4] In Reason magazine, Randall Dipert said the book "marks a turning point" in getting professional philosophers engaged with Rand's ideas, but it was "not a uniformly successful work".[5] Rand scholar Mimi Reisel Gladstein described it as "a major contribution to Rand scholarship", although not always approachable for readers not versed in academic philosophy.[6]


  1. The Philosophic Thought of Ayn Rand at the Library of Congress
  2. McLemee, Scott (September 1999). "The Heirs Of Ayn Rand: Has Objectivism Gone Subjective?". Lingua Franca. 9 (6): 45–55.
  3. "Formats and Editions of The Philosophic Thought of Ayn Rand". WorldCat. Retrieved November 7, 2013.
  4. Baetjer, Jr., Howard (November 1984). "Book Reviews: The Philosophic Thought of Ayn Rand". The Freeman. 43 (11): 703.
  5. Dipert, Randall (January 1985). "Taking Ayn Rand Seriously". Reason. 16 (8): 58–62.
  6. Gladstein, Mimi Reisel (1999). The New Ayn Rand Companion. Westport, Connecticut: Greenwood Press. pp. 101–102. ISBN 0-313-30321-5. OCLC 40359365.

"The Randian Argument Reconsidered: A Reply to Charles King", a paper by Paul St. F. Blair responding to King's essay in this volume

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