What is virtue?

Virtues are the mental and physical actions necessary to obtain the values necessary to sustain one's life and achieve happiness.

Virtues, according to Rand, are the actions (both mental and physical) necessary to sustain one’s life and achieve happiness; i.e., one’s method of obtaining and using the values (both material and non-material) that one needs to sustain one’s existence and flourish.

The fundamental virtue is rationality — holding reason as one’s only means of knowledge and one’s only guide to action.

All other virtues (productivity, integrity, independence, justice, honesty, pride, etc.) are applications/corollaries of the principle of rationality to various contexts:

  • Productivity is the application of reason to one’s physical means of survival. To be productive is to apply reason to create/produce the physical values one needs for one’s survival.
  • Integrity means to act according to your rational conclusions, in word and deed.
  • Independence is to use one’s own mind to grasp reality, as opposed to blindly following others.
  • Justice is the principle of evaluating others rationally and acting accordingly.
  • Honesty is the principle of not faking reality; of not pretending things are other then they are.
  • Pride (the crown of virtues) is the reward (self-esteem) for virtue — of a life well-lived.

Capitalism FAQ

Intellectually “chew” the ideas brought up in the tour by exploring the Capitalism FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions).


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