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Aristotle | Frédéric Bastiat | Founding Fathers | John Locke | Ludwig von Mises | Ayn Rand | Adam Smith

Aristotle

Complete Works of Aristotle, Vol. 1
Edited by John Barnes

The Oxford Translation of Aristotle was originally published in 12 volumes between 1912 and 1954. It is universally recognized as the standard English version of Aristotle. This revised edition contains the substance of the original Translation, slightly emended in light of recent scholarship; three of the original versions have been replaced by new translations; and a new and enlarged selection of Fragments has been added. The aim of the translation remains the same: to make the surviving works of Aristotle readily accessible to English speaking readers.

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The Basic Works of Aristotle
Edited by Richard McKeon

Preserved by Arabic mathematicians and canonized by Christian scholars, Aristotle’s works have shaped Western thought, science, and religion for nearly two thousand years. Richard McKeon’s The Basic Works of Aristotle–constituted out of the definitive Oxford translation and in print as a Random House hardcover for sixty years–has long been considered the best available one-volume Aristotle. Appearing in paperback at long last, this edition includes selections from the Organon, On the Heavens, The Short Physical Treatises, Rhetoric, among others, and On the Soul, On Generation and Corruption, Physics, Metaphysics, Nicomachean Ethics, Politics, and Poetics in their entirety.

The Basic Works of Aristotle
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Ayn Rand

The Fountainhead

The Fountainhead has become an enduring piece of literature, more popular now than when published in 1943. On the surface, it is a story of one man, Howard Roark, and his struggles as an architect in the face of a successful rival, Peter Keating, and a newspaper columnist, Ellsworth Toohey. But the book addresses a number of universal themes: the strength of the individual, the tug between good and evil, the threat of fascism. The confrontation of those themes, along with the amazing stroke of Rand's writing, combine to give this book its enduring influence.


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Atlas Shrugged

"Who is John Galt?" He said he would stop the motor of the world... and he did. But who is John Galt? A destroyer or a liberator? Why does he fight his battle, not against his enemies, but against those who need him most? Why does he fight his hardest battle against the woman he loves? One of the most acclaimed and influential works of the 20th century, Atlas Shrugged portrays the murderand rebirthof the human spirit. Tremendous in scope, breathtaking in suspense, profound in meaning, it also illuminates Ayn Rand's unique philosophy, Objectivism, which has gained a worldwide audience. First published in 1957, Atlas Shrugged is considered a modern classic.


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Anthem: 50th Anniversary Edition

This provocative book is "an anthem sung in praise of man's ego"--from the legendary author Ayn RandAnthem has long been hailed as one of Ayn Rand's classic novels, and a clear predecessor to her later masterpieces, The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged. In Anthem, Rand examines a frightening future in which individuals have no name, no independence, and no values. Equality 7-2521 lives in the dark ages of the future where all decisions are made by committee, all people live in collectives, and all traces of individualism have been wiped out. Despite such a restrictive environment, the spark of individual thought and freedom still burns in him--a passion which he has been taught to call sinful. In a purely egalitarian world, Equality 7-2521 dares to stand apart from the herd--to think and choose for himself, to discover electricity, and to love the woman of his choice. Now he has been marked for death for committing the ultimate sin. In a world where the great "we" reign supreme, he has rediscovered the lost and holy word--"I."


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Capitalism : The Unknown Ideal

The foundations of capitalism are being battered by a flood of altruism, which is the cause of the modern world's collapse. This is the view of Ayn Rand, a view so radically opposed to prevailing attitudes that it constitutes a major philosophic revolution. In this series of essays, she presents her stand on the persecution of big business, the causes of war, the default of conservatism, and the evils of altruism. Here is a challenging look at modern society by one of the most provocative intellectuals on the American scene.

This edition includes two articles by Ayn Rand which did not appear in the hardcover edition: "The Wreckage of the Consensus," which presents the Objectivists' views on Vietnam and the draft; and "Requiem for Man," an answer to the Papal encyclical Progressio Populorum.


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Virtue of Selfishness : A New Concept of Egoism

This collection of essays on objectivism sets down Ayn Rand's views on individual rights and challenges readers on all sides of the political fence to consider their views. Although published in 1961 and aimed at the Cold War world, the essays hold up well and often seem related to today's issues and headlines. Most of Rand's barbs are aimed at liberals, but conservatives also draw fire for faltering in defense of liberties and the Constitution. C.M. Herbert reads with a passion and confidence that seems to personify Rand. One passage depicts a hypothetical conversation in which she defends her views to a critic.

(Adapted from review by J.A.S. © AudioFile 2001)


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Philosophy : Who Needs It

Who needs philosophy? Ayn Rand's answer: Everyone.

This collection of essays was the last work planned by Ayn Rand before her death in 1982. In it, she summarizes her view of philosophy and deals with a broad spectrum of topics. According to Ayn Rand, the choice we make is not whether to have a philosophy, but which one to have: rational, conscious, and therefore practical; or contradictory, unidentified, and ultimately lethal. Written with all the clarity and eloquence that have placed Ayn Rand's Objectivist philosophy in the mainstream of American thought, these essays range over such basic issues as education, morality, censorship, and inflation to prove taht philosophy is the fundamental force in all our lives.


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For the New Intellectual

"Everybody seems to agree that civilization is facing a crisis, but nobody cares to define its nature, to discover its cause and to assume the responsibility of formulating a solution. In times of danger, a morally healthy culture rallies its values, its self-esteem and its crusading spirit to fight for its moral ideals with full, righteous confidence. But this is not what we see today ...

"... With very rare and brief exceptions, pre-capitalist societies had no place for the creative power of man's mind, neither in the creation of ideas nor in the creation of wealth. Reason and its practical expression-free trade-were forbidden as a sin and a crime, or were tolerated, usually as ignoble activities, under the control of authorities who could revoke the tolerance at whim."


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Introduction to Objectivist Epistemology

Today man's mind is under attack by all the leading schools of philosophy. We are told that we cannot trust our senses, that logic is arbitrary, that concepts have no basis in reality. Ayn Rand opposes that torrent of nihilism, and she provides the alternative in this eloquent presentation of the essential nature - and power - of man's conceptual faculty. She offers a startlingly original solution to the problem that brought about the collapse of modern philosophy: the problem of universals.

Ayn Rand's masterwork has been greatly expanded to include never-before-published excerpts from a series of workshops on Objectivist epistemology that Ayn Rand conducted between 1969 and 1971. These workshops were opportunities for a select group of professionals in the fields of philosophy, physics, and mathematics to question Rand about her theory of concepts. This is a rare opportunity to witness Rand in action - in the swift cut-and-parry of debate - at the very peak of her intellectual prowess and power.


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Romantic Manifesto

In this beautifully written and brilliantly reasoned book, Ayn Rand throws new light on the nature of art and its purpose in human life. Once again Miss Rand eloquently demonstrates her bold originality and her refusal to let popular catchwords and conventional ideas stand between her and the truth as she has discovered it. The Romantic Manifesto takes its place beside The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged as one of the most important achievements of our time.


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Objectivism: The Philosophy of Ayn Rand
By Leonard Peikoff

Dr Peikoff, Rand's designated heir and foremost interpreter, reveals the abstract fundamentals of Objectivism and its practical applications in the everyday world.

He covers every branch of philosophy recognized by Rand and every philosophic topic she regarded as important - from certainty to money, from logic to art, from measurement to sex.

Illustrated with quotes from her published works, complete with an abundance of new material that Ayn Rand offered only in private conversations with Peikoff, these clear, cogent chapters illuminate Objectivism - and its creator - with startling clarity.
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Ludwig von Mises

Human Action : A Treatise on Economics

"This is Ludwig von Mises's magnum opus, the magisterial contribution in which he develops his flagrantly controversial philosophy of the social sciences, his brilliant entrepreneurial theory of the market process, and his devastatingly consistent classical liberal perspective on political economy, into an overarching system of extraordinarily impressive scope. Human Action is a work that has, for almost half a century, retained its freshness and its relevance, showing how deep economic understanding is to be attained, not by virtuosity of mathematical technique, but by subtlety and penetration of economic insight and interpretation. Recent developments in the economics profession suggest that the most far-reaching impact upon economic thought exerted by this celebrated work may be that still to come." -- Israel M. Kirzner, New York University


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Theory of Money and Credit

In 1912, when Mises, at age 31, wrote this landmark book, no monetary theory could be described as both securely founded on economic reality and properly incorporated into an analysis of the entire economic system. The Theory of Money and Credit opened up new vistas.


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Socialism : An Economic and Sociological Analysis

A classic tour-de-force by an economics genius.

A thorough analysis and brilliant refutation of socialism and the politics of redistribution. This book confront the many myths surrounding socialism that are stilled echoed today. It is so concise, straight-forward and covers all the bases in a simple, yet powerful text. Also, this book confronts all the so called "Third Way" positionists advocating social justice, a mixed economy, a corporatist state, fascism, syndicalism and other dubiously named contrivances that are essentially socialist forms of economic organization.

Mises makes it clear that socialism, the so called economic system of the future, is anti-social and incompatible with human nature. As Mises declares, "Men must choose between capitalism and socialism," which is simply because, "If the the market is not allowed to steer the whole economic apparatus, the government must do it." There is no Third Way, how true! The debate lies between free-markets and socialism -and this book makes it clear socialism is illogical. This book might be helpful at deprogramming a quasi-socialist by exposing and refuting all the major myths. If you're getting a start on studying classical economics than get this book.

Reviewer: Ryan Setliff


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Economic Calculation in the Socialist Commonwealth

This is the essay that overthrew the socialist paradigm in economics, and provided the foundation for modern Austrian price theory. When it first appeared in 1920, Mises was alone in challenging the socialists to explain how their pricing system would actually work in practice.

Mises proved that socialism could not work because it could not distinguish more or less valuable uses of social resources, and predicted the system would end in chaos. The result of his proof was the two-decade-long "socialist calculation" debate. This new edition contains an afterword by Joseph Salerno, who applies the calculation argument to contemporary problems like environmentalism and business regulation.


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Bureaucracy

Professor von Mises addressed himself to a particular issue: what is the essential difference between bureaucratic management by government and market management in a system based on private ownership of the means of production? Mises does not discuss bureaus or bureaucrats, but inexorable principles of human action.

He does not condemn bureaucracy, which is the appropriate technique for the conduct of government agencies such as courts of law, police departments, and the Internal Revenue Service; however, in economic production and distribution, the bureaucratic method is shown to be an abomination that spells universal ruin and disaster.


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Liberalism : The Classical Tradition

A brilliant defense of classical, laissez-faire liberalism.

Today, liberalism is a misnomer for an ideology advocating a interventionist welfare-warfare state. This ideology is known as socialism in Europe and the rest of the world and typically known as liberalism in America. For the better part of my life, I considered a classical liberal to be someone like say Ted Kennedy. Mises pointed me back to the pre-20th century classical liberalism... the liberalism of free-markets and individual liberty... the very same liberalism espoused by Thomas Jefferson, John Locke, and Frederic Bastiat. Classical Liberalism is among America's most venerable traditions, for it laid the foundation for everything revered by the conservatism and libertarianism of today. Mises vindicates free-markets and refutes socialism with his amazing verbal logic and innate sense of reasoning.

However, I find Mises' brilliant work to be just as valuable as an economics text as it is a work of political history and theory. This book is a great volume for jumping into the brilliant writings of Ludwig von Mises... Getting this book and companion volumes such as Anti-Capitalistic Mentality and Bureaucracy are a good way to gear up for Mises' magnum opus - Human Action.

Reviewer: Ryan Setliff


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Planned Chaos

An essay on the destruction of individual liberty by totalitarian ideologies.


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The Anti-Capitalistic Mentality

Professor Mises searches for the roots and consequences of the common anti-capitalist bias. What makes so many people unhappy in the private property order? It is precisely the fact that it grants to everyone the opportunity to secure maximum income and obtain the most desirable position. In such a system, the failures need a scapegoat. People whose ambitions have not been fully satisfied and whose dreams are not fully realized blame the system. Frustrated intellectuals, writers, and literati become vocal foes of the system.


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Frédéric Bastiat

Economic Fallacies

"In the department of economy, an act, a habit, an institution, a law, gives birth not only to an effect, but to a series of effects. Of these effects, the first only is immediate; it manifests itself simultaneously with its cause - it is seen. The others unfold in succession - they are not seen: it is well for us, if they are foreseen. Between a good and a bad economist this constitutes the whole difference - the one takes account of the visible effect; the other takes account both of the effects which are seen, and also of those which it is necessary to foresee.

"Now this difference is enormous, for it almost always happens that when the immediate consequence is favourable, the ultimate consequences are fatal, and the converse. Hence it follows that the bad economist pursues a small present good, which will be followed by a great evil to come, while the true economist pursues a great good to come, - at the risk of a small present evil. "


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The Law

"What, then, is law? It is the collective organization of the individual right to lawful defense.

"Each of us has a natural right -- from God -- to defend his person, his liberty, and his property. These are the three basic requirements of life, and the preservation of any one of them is completely dependent upon the preservation of the other two. For what are our faculties but the extension of our individuality? And what is property but an extension of our faculties?

"If every person has the right to defend even by force -- his person, his liberty, and his property, then it follows that a group of men have the right to organize and support a common force to protect these rights constantly. Thus the principle of collective right -- its reason for existing, its lawfulness -- is based on individual right. And the common force that protects this collective right cannot logically have any other purpose or any other mission than that for which it acts as a substitute. Thus, since an individual cannot lawfully use force against the person, liberty, or property of another individual, then the common force -- for the same reason -- cannot lawfully be used to destroy the person, liberty, or property of individuals or groups."


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Economic Harmonies

"It is time, it is high time, that this crusade should begin. The ideological war now being waged against property is neither the most bitter nor the most dangerous that it has had to contend with. Since the beginning of the world there has also been a real war of violence and conspiracy waged against it that gives no sign of abating.

"War, slavery, imposture, inequitable taxation, monopoly, privilege, unethical practices, colonialism, the right to employment, the right to credit, the right to education, the right to public aid, progressive taxation in direct or inverse ratio to the ability to pay-all are so many battering-rams pounding against the tottering column. Could anyone assure me whether there are many men in France, even among those who consider themselves conservatives, who do not, in one form or another, lend a hand to this work of destruction? "


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Economic Sophisms

What gives this work its unique quality and places it among the classics of economic literature is not only the logical rigor with which each fallacy is demolished, but the highly original and striking way in which the author uses wit, irony, satire, dialogue, and apologue to reduce erroneous ideas to patent absurdity, as, for example, in his famous petition of the candlemakers for protection against the competition of the sun.


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Selected Essays in Political Economy

He was the most uncompromisingly consistent advocate of laissez-faire in the 19th Century -- and the most quotable! Here, in a single volume, are this great political economist's most brilliant writings. They include his immortal classic, 'The Law,' as well as such unforgettable essays as 'The State,' 'What Is Seen and What Is Not Seen,' 'Property and Plunder,' 'Declaration of War Against the Professors of Political Economy' and many others. An intellectual feast!


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Adam Smith

The Wealth of Nations

Adam Smith's masterpiece, first published in 1776, is the foundation of modern economic thought and remains the single most important account of the rise of, and the principles behind, modern capitalism. Written in clear and incisive prose, The Wealth of Nations articulates the concepts indispensable to an understanding of contemporary society; and Robert Reich's new Introduction for this edition both clarifies Smith's analyses and illuminates his overall relevance to the world in which we live. As Reich writes, "Smith's mind ranged over issues as fresh and topical today as they were in the late eighteenth century--jobs, wages, politics, government, trade, education, business, and ethics."


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The Theory of Moral Sentiments

"Morality and decency are perequisites to capitalism.

"To truly understand Adam Smith's economic masterpiece "The Wealth of Nations", one must understand its moral foundation ... He describes virtues to cultivate in order to master one's self as well as the power of wealth. These include courage, duty, benevolence, propriety, prudence and self-love (or as we would say, self-respect). He develops a powerful doctrine of "moral duty" based upon "the rules of justice", "the rules of chastity", and "the rules of veracity" that decries cowardice, treachery, and falsity."


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John Locke

The Second Treatise on Civil Government

"Locke is one of the most influential philosophers of all time. In his Second Treatise, Locke lays the foundation for what has become modern western civilization. Locke's arguments are fully developed as he addresses his two greatest adversaries, Sir Robert Filmer and Thomas Hobbes. Though his critique of Filmer's 'Patriarcha' is primarily addressed in the First Treatise and only summed up in the first chapter of the Second Treatise, his ideas of the 'tabula rasa,' refuting the divine right of Kings is the foundation of the essay.

"Locke also gives a profound critique of Hobbes, as he sets forth the true 'state of nature.' Locke's rational and logical conclusions make his ideas extremely easy to understand. This is a must read, since having a clear understanding of Locke's state of nature, state of war, property, power, political and civil societies, conquest, usurpation, and tyranny are fundamental to understanding the history and politics of America."

Revier: Brian A. Paulin


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An Essay Concerning Human Understanding

Locke's Essay Concerning Human Understanding (1690) withstood an onslaught by traditional theologians, for rejecting orthodox theology and the concept of innate ideas: as he suggested that God could make matter think. The Essay quickly became one of the most influential books of the eighteenth century, and its contributions to the philosophy of space and time, matter and power were quickly hailed as formative contributions to the philosophy.


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A Letter Concerning Toleration

"John Locke's Letter Concerning Toleration is one of the most under appreciated texts in the liberal tradition of political philosophy. When read in conjunction with his Second Treatise, it clarifies the relationship Locke envisions between individuals and the Lockean state. The subject of the Letter is specifically religious toleration, but his general argument for toleration is also applicable to issues of more modern concern.

"... In Locke's day, religion was not the dormant issue it is today; rather it was the most controversial issue of public debate. Before Locke, toleration was just something the underdog wished for in order to survive until he gained power over everyone else. Locke, however, goes beyond this pettiness and creates a theoretical defense of toleration as an extension of his political theory. While Locke probably did not imagine the controversial issues of political debate today, the broad basis for his defense of religious toleration implicitly justifies other sorts of social toleration in the modern world."

Reviewer: Bill Schriver


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