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This provocative lecture was given at the Laissez Faire Supper Club in New York City on November 10th, 1988 by David Kelley, the noted Objectivist philosopher, author of The Evidence of the Senses, The Art of Reasoning, former contributor to The Objectivist Forum and frequent editorial writer for Barron's.
Kelley defends Objectivism's role in helping to form the intellectual foundations for a free society in a twofold sense: its necessity for what he sees as a rigorous intellectual defense of the free society, and its role in defending and promoting those cultural values that must be widely accepted for a free society to be stable.
Kelley demonstrates the indispensable role of individual rights as a defining characteristic of a free society, and then proceeds to launch a devastating attack on any form of ethical subjectivism as a basis for defending individual liberty. He examines three broad principles that he argues are absolutely essential in defending and sustaining individual freedom: the primacy of reason; egoism or the doctrine that every individual is an end in himself; and a rejection of the mind/body dichotomy. Finally, Kelley eloquently summarizes some of Ayn Rand's major contributions in defending these principles.
This concise and persuasive talk is followed by a freewheeling question and answer period that is sure to be controversial, as David Kelley fields questions from Libertarians and Objectivists alike, showing once again why his is a mind to be reckoned with and why any thoughts of Objectivism's demise is premature to say the least.