Virtue is Expensive

 Posted by on 23 May 2006 at 6:01 am  Recommendations
May 232006

Tara Smith’s new book, Ayn Rand’s Normative Ethics: The Virtuous Egoist, seems to be selling reasonably well, despite its painful price tag of about $80. The Ayn Rand Bookstore has sold out of copies for the moment. And its sales rank on Amazon has been amazingly strong for a book of that price for the past few days I’ve sampled: #14,903 on Saturday, #35,080 on Sunday, and #65,420 on Monday.

I haven’t had a chance to read it in full yet — and I don’t expect to do so for a few weeks. However, both Paul and I read the chapter on integrity for the 1FROG meeting this past Saturday. I thought it exceedingly well done. It was clearly and engagingly written with a good presentation of the core ideas, plus more fascinating little tidbits than I could count. As I was reading, the thought that stood out most clearly in my mind was that the chapter didn’t just illuminate the nature, justification, and requirements of integrity in an abstract way. If a person reads it with an eye toward his own life, i.e. without sinking into detached rationalism, the chapter will help him practice the virtue of integrity better in countless ways in his own life. I expect similar delights from the rest of the book.

For folks unable to afford the present hefty price tag, you might request that your (university) library purchase the book. Also, I strongly suspect a cheaper paperback to appear within the next year or so. However, if you can afford the current price tag, the book looks to be worth it.

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