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Stephen Parrish

Author Bio ]

Review of Viable Values (2004)

In Viable Values: A Study of Life as the Root and Reward of Morality, Tara Smith attempts to give Ayn Rand's Objectivist ethics a rigorous statement and defense. In this review Stephen Parrish argues that although Smith's book has virtues, it also has major deficiencies. These deficiencies include virtually ignoring important alternative ethical theories like utilitarianism and Kantianism, disregarding extended critiques of Objectivist ethics by contemporary philosophers, and most of all, failing to refute the implication that actions like lying, stealing, and murdering would be considered morally acceptable (indeed, even obligatory) on Objectivist ethics if they furthered one's own interests.