Atlas University Preview | REASON | Lecture 1: “What is Reason?”

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Reason is a 10-part video lecture series by David Kelley and William R Thomas. It is the first course published by Atlas University, a new educational venture launched by The Atlas Society. Reason presents the essentials of the Objectivist view of knowledge. It explains why reason is an absolute; why emotions are not tools of cognition, despite their psychological importance; and why mysticism is a cognitive dead-end. It presents Ayn Rand’s innovative theory of concepts and objectivity, including the role of sense-perception, logic, and axioms, as well as the nature of certainty. The course shows why a rational approach to life is a vital human need.

David Kelley begins the course by discussing the nature of reason as a cognitive faculty distinct from the perceptual abilities humans share with other animals. Looking back through history, he illustrates the extraordinary power of reason in human life, as well as the issues philosophers have raised about the validity of reason.

Atlas University offers courses on Objectivism, the philosophy Ayn Rand founded, presented by scholars who are experts in the philosophy. Atlas University is a project of the Atlas Society, which promotes Objectivism in life and thought.

David Kelley earned his Ph.D. in philosophy from Princeton University in 1975, and later taught cognitive science and philosophy at Vassar College and Brandeis University. His articles on social issues and public policy have appeared in Harpers, The Sciences, Reason, Harvard Business Review, The Freeman, and elsewhere. His books include Unrugged Individualism: The Selfish Basis of Benevolence; The Contested Legacy of Ayn Rand; The Evidence of the Senses; and The Art of Reasoning, one of the most widely used logic textbooks in the country. Kelley is founder and executive director of The Atlas Society.

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