This lecture by Tara Smith was recorded May 9, 2006, as part of the ARC Lecture Series.
It is commonly believed that to be a just person, one who treats others fairly, one must be selfless. Ayn Rand demonstrated that nothing could be further from the truth. She held that justice is a selfish virtue.
In this talk, Dr. Smith, professor of philosophy at the University of Texas and author of Ayn Rand’s Normative Ethics: The Virtuous Egoist, explores Ayn Rand’s unique conception of justice. After explaining why it is in one’s self-interest to be a just person, Dr. Smith explores several related topics, including: the emphatic need to judge other people; how today’s pervasive egalitarianism is completely anti-justice; and when, if ever, forgiveness and mercy are justified.
A fuller understanding of the virtue of justice, Dr. Smith believes, can enable each of us to live more successful, happy lives.