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Criticisms of Objectivism

Objectivism is controversial in a number of ways. First, it includes positions very much at odds with the ideas held by most people. Rand and other Objectivists have also been open about their own criticisms of other philosophers and intellectual traditions, sometimes denouncing them in very forceful terms. Also, Objectivism is a "popular" philosophy, which originated in the writings of novelist with no formal background as an academic philosopher. Finally, Rand's own personality and personal life have sometimes drawn fire from critics who consider her arrogant, dogmatic, hypocritical, etc.

Links to critical essays and sites are organized into the following categories:

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Criticisms of Objectivist Metaphysics

The following crticize Objectivism on metaphysical issues.

Criticisms of Objectivist Epistemology

The following criticize Objectivism on epistemological issues.

Criticisms of Objectivist Ethics

The following criticize Objectivism on ethical or meta-ethical issues. General criticisms of "egoism" that are not specific to Objectivism are not included here.

Criticisms of Objectivist Politics

The following criticize Objectivism on political issues. General criticisms of "capitalism" or "libertarianism" that are not specific to Objectivism are not included here. In addition, links to essays about Objectivism's relationship to libertarianism and anarchism can be found in our special collection Objectivism, Libertarianism and Anarchism

Criticisms of Objectivist Esthetics

The following criticize Objectivism on esthetic issues. General criticisms of "romanticism" or "romantic realism" that are not specific to Objectivism are not included here. Criticisms of Rand's own artistic work are also not included. Interested readers can find links to reviews and criticisms of Rand's fiction by following the links for each book in the ORC Books section.

Miscellaneous Criticisms

The following criticize Objectivism in multiple areas or on topics that do not fall into any of the categories above.

Other Sources

The following are blogs, link lists or other sites that gather multiple criticisms of Objectivism and/or Ayn Rand in one place:

A large amount of criticism of Objectivism and response to that criticism (including responses to some of the material linked above) can be found in online discussion forums related to Objectivism. Because of the interactive and ongoing nature of such forums, critical materials from them are typically not linked above, even though some forums have web-based archives that would allow such links.

Information on published books criticizing Objectivism can be found in the "Books about Objectivism" section of the ORC.

Additional keywords: Ann Rand, Anne Rand, Ayn Rad, Ayn Ran, Any Rand, critical analysis, refutation of objectivism, rebuttal, opposition, problems


About the Objectivism Reference Center

The philosophy of Ayn Rand, a twentieth-century novelist and philosopher, is known as Objectivism. The Objectivism Reference Center provides resources about Rand, her ideas, her works, and places where those are discussed and debated. Visit the Site Information page for details on site policies. Suggestions for additional materials or additional links are welcomed.

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