A common line of attack on Ayn Rand, from “professional” academic philosophers, is to go after her for her defense of egoism. This has always seemed disingenuous to me. Or, at best, uncharitable. The argument goes something like this: Ayn Rand defended selfishness as a virtue Thrasymachus in Plato’s Republic did the same thing Socrates humiliated Thrasymachus in that dialogue Therefore, Ayn Rand’s defense of selfishness is obviously wrong But, anyone trained as a philosopher should be able to recognize the problems with this argument without much effort.
What’s the Goal? In the introduction to Enlightenment Philosophy In A Nutshell, Jane O’Grady makes her intentions for the book quite explicit: I hope to show how Descartes, Locke, Spinoza, Berkeley, Hume, Rousseau, and Kant respond to, develop, reform, and contradict the ideas of their predecessors and peers, such as Hobbes, Leibniz, Hutcheson, Voltaire, and Diderot, and in doing so, to convey the extraordinary courage and innovativeness of the Enlightenment as a whole… (Pg.