re post #1
In terms of writing philosophy, Branden is actually driving at an important point which he might be intentionally short-changing, perhaps ignoring, or simply neglecting as a psychiologist.
Although philosophy is divided into sub-disciplines, 'ethics' normally includes a comprehensive statement from any particular individuial as to what human catergories of comportment are, and how they fit together to make a whole.
For example, mention 'Nietzsche' (here at Dust-Bunny U) and the ethics you'll derive will center upon 'resentment' caused by Christian charity--ostensibly the conceptual lynchpin that holds his system together.
Accordingly, for Spinoza it would be 'conatus', for Hume, 'habitus, and for Deleuze, desiring machine creating its own agency, etc...
Other philosophers are known for expressions: Gert, 'Do no harm', Kant, the categorical,, Maimonides, 'what we owe each other, etc....
Rand is also simple: "the virtue of selfishness', as stated. Here, the questions of compassion and benevolence beg to be answered in a manner that fits into her overall thrust. And permit me to emphasize that said 'question begging' is a normative part of what philosophy is all about.
In my reading of Rand, it's as if this particular chapter was torn out. Yet since my reading is somewhat that of a neophyte, perhaps there are others who might direct me as to where this missing chapter might be found. Otherwise, you're left wiith a regrettable image of Rand qua philosoopher that's foreshortened, to say the least.
Now to turn the situation around, it's as if one talked of his/her philosophy of benevolence without taking into account the natural capacity for greed. To this end, in passing, many modern theologians have approached this issue regarding the new Testament--it's accounting of evil is hopelessly incomplete.
Speaking as a psychologist wannabe, I do find it interesting how Branden picked up on this particular theme. After all, philosophy and psychology both aim, ultimately , for eudaimia, the peacefiul spirit. according to Branden, Rand simply wasn't.