An Introduction to Ayn Rand’s Ideas

John Lewis looks at Ayn Rand’s thinking through a brief analysis of two of her books, The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged, and observations made during his many years working in the field of construction. He explains her ideas based on five branches of philosophy: metaphysics, epistemology, ethics, politics, and aesthetics. Lewis emphasizes the importance of rationality and comments on Rand’s views on existence, identity, honesty, justice, and charity. Lewis also stresses the need to be free of coercion and comments on the differences between capitalism and socialism. Lewis emphasizes that one of the principal characteristics of Rand’s thinking is her adherence to reality, since she believed it was the fundamental truth of our existence and our rationality. John David Lewis (1955 – 2012) was visiting associate professor at Duke University and senior research scholar at Bowling Green State University. He taught at the University of London and Ashland University; he was also a fellow at the Anthem Foundation for Objectivist Scholarship. His areas of expertise include intellectual history, military history, foreign policy, Islamic terrorism, national security, philosophy of law, and political philosophy. Lewis lectured at numerous universities and private groups and was the author of Nothing Less than Victory: The Will to Fight and the Lessons of History and Solon the Thinker: Political Thought in Archaic Athens and Early Greek Lawgivers. He held a PhD in classics from the University of Cambridge.