Robert Mayhew is professor of philosophy at Seton Hall University. His most recent work on Ayn Rand is an annotated edition of her previously unpublished play The Unconquered.
Foundations of a Free Society brings together some of the most knowledgeable Ayn Rand scholars and proponents of her philosophy, as well as notable critics, putting them in conversation with other intellectuals who also see themselves as defenders of capitalism and individual liberty. United by the view that there is something importantly right—though perhaps also much wrong—in Rand’s political philosophy, contributors reflect on her views with the hope of furthering our understandings of what sort of society is best and why. The volume provides a robust elaboration and defense of the foundation of Rand’s political philosophy in the principle that force paralyzes and negates the functioning of reason; it offers an in-depth scholarly discussion of Rand’s view on the nature of individual rights and the role of government in defending them; it deals extensively with the similarities and differences between Rand’s thought and the libertarian tradition (to which she is often assimilated) and objections to her positions arising from this tradition; it explores Rand’s relation to the classical liberal tradition, specifically with regard to her defense of freedom of the intellect; and it discusses her views on the free market, with special attention to the relation between these views and those of the Austrian school of economics.