Peter2--OCON 2009
Photo curtesy of Godfrey Joseph


Lectures and Courses—a Sampling

  • The Threats to Freedom
    The mounting threats to freedom posed by anti-reason movements—some that are distinctively liberal, others that are distinctively conservative.
  • The Writing Process
    Many of the difficulties people experience in the process of writing are self-imposed—a result of mistaken ideas about the nature of writing.
  • Clarity in Conceptualization: The Art of Identifying “Package-Deals”
    One of the most insidious techniques for undercutting conceptual thinking is the use of “package-deals”— pseudo-concepts such as “extremism” or “McCarthyism”—which are attempts to replace legitimate concepts with vague terms defined by non-essentials.
  • Contextual Knowledge
    Can one hold a true idea for false reasons? A far-reaching examination of the principle that knowledge is contextual.
  • The New Primitivism: Today’s Attacks on Reason and Individualism
    The stagnant oppressiveness of the medieval era was the product of a mentality that cowered before the forces of nature and that obediently followed the dictates of mystical authorities. The same primitive mentality is being resurrected today in the tribalism of multiculturalism, in the anti-science and anti-technology doctrines of environmentalism, in the growing influence of religion.
  • The “Diversity” Delusion
    Across a limitless range of human attributes—from race to literacy, from gender to intelligence, from age to physical handicap—it is now widely accepted that the attainment of “diversity” is a value. What does this doctrine actually mean, and how has it attained such cultural approval?
  • The Epistemology of Altruism
    This talk explains why altruism is at root a product of mysticism. It examines how altruism is a systematic assault on the Law of Identity, and how it gains widespread acceptance only by distorting, rather than defending, its true nature.
  • Capitalism and Selfishness: Ayn Rand’s Radical Code of Values
    A discussion of the three revolutionary elements in Ayn Rand’s ethics and of how they follow from her premise of man as a rational being.
  • Terrorism and the Morality of Self-Defense
    America’s criminal-justice system is generally able to understand the principle distinguishing the criminals from the police. It recognizes the moral necessity of eliminating the danger that the criminal poses to the innocent, law-abiding individual. Why, then, don’t the architects of our foreign policy grasp that same principle when it comes to protecting us from criminal-states?
  • Q & A Panel on Foreign Policy and the State of the Culture (2006)
    By Yaron Brook and Peter Schwartz; Moderator: Harry Binswanger
    A wide-ranging panel discussion of philosophic and moral issues. Topics include: the urgent need for a foreign policy of self-interest; why Israel should be supported in its battle against the Palestinians; and a rational approach to immigration.


Free Video Lectures

The three talks below are available in video format at no cost; click on the image to begin viewing.

• In Defense of Selfishness: What the Term Does and Does Not Mean


• Why Achieving Your Happiness Is Your Highest Moral Purpose


• America’s Foreign Policy: Self-Interest vs. Self-Sacrifice

Brief Comments on Self-Interest (video)

• Why True Selfishness Requires Moral Principles (4:24)


• Honesty, Self-Interest and the “Perfect Crime” (4:13)


• Is Charity a Virtue? (2:56)


• The Real Meaning of “Public Interest” vs. “Private Interest” (5:58)


• The Islamic Threat  (4:07)


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