In this post, Irakli Iagorashvili reminisces on a session on Ayn Rand and Objectivism facilitated by Timothy Sandefur at Project Arizona Class of 2023. As Project Arizona students embarked on a journey through the intricate realms of Metaphysics, Epistemology, and Ethics, Sandefur’s insights provided not only a comprehensive understanding of Ayn Rand’s Objectivism but also ignited a contemplative fire within, prompting a reevaluation of how these timeless principles resonate in our everyday lives. Apply to be a part of the 2024 cohort HERE.

Tim Sandefur’s seminar on Ayn Rand and Objectivism proved to be an enlightening experience for Project Arizona students. From the very beginning of the program, we encountered many individuals who mentioned or were influenced by Ayn Rand and her captivating novels. Finally, the students had the opportunity to delve into her philosophy.

Having immersed myself in Objectivism for three years and currently running an organization that promotes Ayn Rand in Georgia (Ayn Rand Center Georgia), I was well-acquainted with most parts of the seminar. However, Tim’s methods in explaining concepts and major ideas of Objectivism made me contemplate how I could enhance the ways I bring Rand’s ideas to the wider public.

Tim outlined the five main branches of Objectivism and offered additional insights into each, providing a clear demonstration of how these ideas apply to our everyday lives and shape them. We began by discussing the foundational aspects of Ayn Rand’s philosophy, exploring the philosophic ideas of Aristotle on the subject of Metaphysics—the fundamental nature of reality. The main takeaway emphasized that reality is objective, A is A, and understanding the nature of challenges is crucial for future success.

Ayn Rand, a pioneer and innovator in Objectivist thought

Moving on to Epistemology, students explored Ayn Rand’s theory of knowledge and the significance of reason in guiding our lives. We gained insight into the proper way of forming concepts and the fundamental role of reason in acquiring knowledge, distinguishing truth from falsehood, and navigating the complexities of existence. Engaging and critical questions from students further enriched our understanding.

The most thought-provoking part centered around Ethics, particularly applying the idea of rational self-interest to everyday life scenarios. We discussed love, friendship, delved into the Objectivist virtues, and highlighted the importance of being Rational, Honest, Independent, Productive, etc. Additionally, we explored how Ayn Rand’s ethics provided the foundation for her politics, emphasizing the inseparability of politics from morality/ethics.

Irakli Iagorashvili on a cliff during the PA Class of 2023 trip to the Grand Canyon

In conclusion, Tim’s seminar and Ayn Rand’s philosophy introduced students to a novel approach in advocating for freedom through moral arguments. The seminar elucidated the moral justification for individual freedom and outlined the appropriate moral groundwork for liberty.

Summarily, this seminar not only provided a comprehensive overview of Objectivism’s main branches but also encouraged us to reflect on how these principles can be effectively communicated to a wider audience. Tim’s insights challenged us to think deeper about our approach to promoting Ayn Rand’s ideas. The experience affirmed the enduring relevance of Rand’s philosophy in shaping individual lives and advocating for freedom through a solid moral framework. As we continue our journey, we are inspired to apply these insights in our efforts to promote liberty and individualism.

Authored by

Irakli Iagorashvili is the co-founder and CEO of the Ayn Rand Center Georgia (ARCG). He holds bachelor’s degree in Political Science. Irakli has been actively promoting Objectivism in Georgia since 2020. His efforts have reached and enlightened numerous young individuals about the ideas of Ayn Rand. Irakli engages with the youth through personal interactions and engaging lectures. Additionally, he contributes to the dissemination of Ayn Rand’s works by translating related articles, videos, movies, and books into the Georgian language, enhancing accessibility and knowledge of Objectivism in his country.