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Objectivism is focused on the individual and individual rights. That much is pretty clear to anyone who even casually looks at Objectivist novels, thought and philosophy.

I am curious that Objectivist literature that I have read seems pretty quiet and/or mute on the subject of family, children and family life. Humans don't appear under cabbage leaves: most individuals today are born into families and this is a pretty important facet of society and humanity, yet I don't hear much about how Objectivists really view families. Are families simply "a fact of nature" that happen to incidentally involve individuals or are they more than that?

Being in a family, I can certainly say that I don't see my family members as just interesting individuals who happen to live in my house. They are much more than that. Clearly I earn respect and love by caring for and nurturing my family but there are times when many of us get a lot of "unearned affection" in a family (especially in difficult times). If I were to get sick and become a burden, I know my kids and spouse would be there for me, even though it would not be logically very "selfish" for them to do so. My personal achievements are a huge source of personal pride for me but so are the achievements of my kids and my partner. What explains this deep and abiding bond and why is Objectivism so seemingly disinterested in something so very central to many people's life and happiness? I have wondered whether the fact that Ayn Rand herself remained childless and didn't have a lot of physical attachment to her own spouse (Frank O'Connor vs Nathaniel Branden) could perhaps explain this lack of interest in family matters but I am not very sure and would like to hear what Objectivists think.

asked Oct 05 '14 at 10:11

Danneskjold_repo's gravatar image


closed Oct 06 '14 at 15:55

Greg%20Perkins's gravatar image

Greg Perkins ♦♦

This question seems already well covered in past discussions on this website that can be found via the following tags:

  • Family
  • Children
  • Parenting

My own most comprehensive answer can be found under the question, "Why do Objectivists have children?" (Link).

(Oct 06 '14 at 01:34) Ideas for Life ♦ Ideas%20for%20Life's gravatar image

The question has been closed for the following reason "Duplicate Question" by Greg Perkins Oct 06 '14 at 15:55

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Asked: Oct 05 '14 at 10:11

Seen: 1,472 times

Last updated: Oct 06 '14 at 15:55