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Rebirth of Reason

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Saturday, June 13 - 5:50amSanction this postReply

That was a cute animated take on the interview so thanks for sharing it.


How would Ayn Rand contrast love based on virtues against benevolence based on species solidarity?

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Saturday, June 13 - 7:21amSanction this postReply

Luke, I think I know what you mean by "species solidarity" but the term is technically flawed.  Sure, we extend benevolence to other people in our social world.  However, I value my cat more than I value my neighbor.  Roy Rogers and Trigger and Bullet, Gene Autrey and Champion, Sgt. Preston and Yukon King, Odysseus and Argo...  versus all the bad guys, the bank robbers, cattle rustlers, horse thieves, claim jumpers, and wife stealers.  And conversely, if Sgt. Preston were attacked by a huskie, you think that King would stand around and enjoy the species solidarity?  


(I think that you need to be more explicit in step two.)


(Edited by Michael E. Marotta on 6/13, 7:22am)

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Saturday, June 13 - 7:25amSanction this postReply

"Species solidarity" was a term coined by Nathaniel Branden in one of his "official" Objectivist essays back in the day.  I cannot recall which one but he used it as a justification for benevolence.  So I thought I would float the question.


I agree that the concept is sketchy which probably explains why it only gained one single mention in the entire Objectivist corpus and was never fleshed into an integral part of Objectivism.


The bottom line is that benevolence is separate and distinct from love as Ayn Rand described it.


EDIT: Ayn Rand made reference to "species solidarity" in "The Ethics of Emergencies" in The Virtue of Selfishness:

“The respect and good will that men of self-esteem feel toward other human beings is profoundly egoistic; they feel, in effect: ‘Other men are of value because they are of the same species as myself.’ In revering living entities, they are revering their own life. This is the psychological base of any emotion of sympathy and any feeling of species solidarity.”4

Rand, Ayn (1964-11-01). The Virtue of Selfishness (Signet) (pp. 41-42). Penguin Group US. Kindle Edition.

Note 4 refers to:


Nathaniel Branden, “Benevolence versus Altruism,” The Objectivist Newsletter, July 1962.


(Edited by Luke Setzer on 6/13, 9:25am)

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