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Introduction to Objectivist Epistemology

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  • Full Title: Introduction to Objectivist Epistemology
  • Author(s): Ayn Rand, with an additional article by Leonard Peikoff (original edition); edited by Harry Binswanger and Leonard Peikoff (revised edition)
  • Year Published: 1979 (original edition), 1990 (revised edition) [Note: Both Rand's and Peikoff's essays were published as pamphlets prior to being combined in one book. Some people may refer to the 1967 pamphlet of Rand's portion as the "first edition" of ITOE because Rand's essay series bears the same name as the book, but it is not treated as an edition of the book by either the authors or publisher. The 1979 Mentor printing (ISBN 0-451-61751-7) is treated as the first edition of the book.]
  • Publisher: New American Library (Mentor and Signet imprints); Penguin Books (Meridian imprint)
  • Publication Type: Commercial
  • ISBN-10: 0-451-61751-7 (paperback original edition), 0-451-62171-9 (paperback original edition), 0-451-62696-6 (paperback original edition), 0-451-62001-1 (paperback original edition), 0-453-00724-4 (hardcover revised edition), 0-452-01030-6 (paperback revised edition)
  • ISBN-13:
  • Description: ITOE is the only full-length non-fiction book Rand published in her lifetime. All of her other non-fiction books were essay collections. The contents of the book were originally serialized in The Objectivist. Leonard Peikoff's "additional essay" ("The Analytic-Synthetic Dichotomy") also appeared there. The "expanded second edition" includes a lengthy appendix based on a series of epistemology workshops that Rand conducted between 1969 and 1971.
  • Cover Blurb:

    Today man's mind is under attack by all the leading schools of philosophy. We are told that we cannot trust our senses, that logic is arbitrary, that concepts have no basis in reality. Ayn Rand opposes that torrent of nihilism, and she provides the alternative in this eloquent presentation of the essential nature -- and power -- of man's conceptual faculty. She offers a startlingly original solution to the problem that brought about the collapse of modern philosophy: the problem of universals. This brilliantly argued, superbly written work, together with a remarkable essay by philosophy professor Leonard Peikoff, is vital reading for all those who seek to discover that human beings can and should live by the guidance of reason

    And now Ayn Rand's masterwork has been greatly expanded to include never-before-published excerpts from a series of near legendary workshops on Objectivist epistemology that Ayn Rand conducted between 1969 and 1971. These workshops were opportunities for a select group of professionals in the fields of philosophy, physics, and mathematics to question Rand about her theory of concepts. This is a rare opportunity to witness Ayn Rand in action -- in the swift cut-and-parry of debate -- at the very peak of her intellectual prowess and power. (From a Meridian paperback printing of the revised edition.)


Where an item is by an author other than Rand, the author's name is noted in square brackets.

First Edition Contents

Additional Material for the Second Edition

Related Links

Reviews, Criticism and Analysis

The following perspectives on this book are available online:

Note: Essays that critique Rand's epistemological theories in general are not included here, only essays that comment specifically on this book or one of its chapters.

Additional keywords: Ann Rand, Anne Rand, Ayn Rad, Ayn Ran, Any Rand

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