Re: Self-Ownership as Self-Determination

Spencer Morgan writes:

As for the “is/ought” problem… I’ve always had a hard time seeing where the problem is, unless we are somehow open to the idea of death as being a moral goal, and life being an immoral goal. This is where Rand’s justification (relying on Aristotle somewhat) comes into play.

The “ought” becomes clear once you hold one’s life as a value for each individual. At that point we can see that because of man’s nature as a rational volitional actor as his means of survival, the “ought” becomes implicit from that. It follows from his being in such a condition in nature, presupposing and requiring action upon the premise of this “right to exclude” by his own use, and thus death itself becomes the only option to avoid acting on that presumption.

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Founder and editor of and, Skyler is a husband and unschooling father of three beautiful children. His writings include the column series “One Voluntaryist’s Perspective” and “One Improved Unit,” and blog series “Two Cents“. Skyler also wrote the books No Hitting! and Toward a Free Society, and edited the books Everything Voluntary and Unschooling Dads. You can hear Skyler chatting away on his podcasts, Everything Voluntary and Thinking & Doing.