Leonard Peikoff has released his eleventh podcast. He discusses seven main questions:
1. Does a John Galt exist in the real world?
2. Is Objectivism hedonistic?
3. What should we make of Bill Gates’s recent comments?
4. Are there evil geniuses in the world?
5. Does everyone appreciate art?
6. When does one develop a sense of life?
7. Is it possible to be moral but miserable?
Peikoff offers some interesting comments about Kant and psychology, but I was most interested in Peikoff’s comments regarding the second question. Peikoff begins by discussing the nature of happiness; it is not a “state of emotional pleasure.” Instead, it is a “long-term… enduring, fundamental pleasure” based on a relationship to reality. Hedonism suggests acting on whim. For Objectivism, happiness is not the standard of ethics, life is. Happiness is the result of a living a moral life. There is a “big difference between standard and purpose” in the Objectivist ethics, Peikoff explains.
By the way, the word is that Peikoff’s podcasts will be made available through iTunes.