Objective Communication

This course applies the principles of Objectivism to the question of how to present ideas effectively. Based on a ten-lecture course given in 1980 by Dr. Leonard Peikoff, this course identifies certain principles of intellectual communication and applies them to three areas: writing, speaking and arguing.

Dr. Peikoff draws on ideas from such diverse fields as epistemology, drama and education. If you want to be able to convey your thoughts objectively whether you are preparing a report for work, a paper for school or a book for a publisher, this course will enhance your skills.

The lectures are part theory, part practical application. Throughout the original lecture course sessions, volunteers were given an opportunity to make brief presentations. Since the subjects of these exercises are limited to aspects of Objectivism, the exercises may also expand or refresh your knowledge of Ayn Rand’s ideas.

NB: In the original 1980 course, Ayn Rand participated in the question period at the end of lecture 1. Some of her answers are retained as part of the lecture 1 FAQ. Others are available in the book Ayn Rand Answers: The Best of Her Q&A, edited by Robert Mayhew.

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Lecture 1 introduces this 10-lecture course on communicating ideas, covers some philosophical preliminaries and presents four general principles for effective communication.

200 - Intermediate 90 minutes


Lecture 2 of “Objective Communication” illustrates how to communicate effectively by analyzing two articles: “Philosophy: Who Needs It” by Ayn Rand and a philosophy paper titled “Certainty” by a graduate student.

200 - Intermediate 120 minutes


Lecture 3 discusses how to keep your writing self-contained by analyzing two articles on the military draft: “The Wreckage of the Consensus” by Ayn Rand and an article that was intentionally poorly written as a point of contrast.

200 - Intermediate 90 minutes


Lecture 4 focuses on principles and tips for effective oral communication, especially for communicating ideas in a lecture format.

200 - Intermediate 135 minutes


Lecture 5 continues the lessons on effective oral communication by analyzing two sample student talks in depth.

200 - Intermediate 120 minutes


Lecture 6 continues the lessons on effective oral communication by analyzing two more student talks in depth.

200 - Intermediate 120 minutes


Lecture 7 of “Objective Communication” focuses on how to argue effectively by uncovering your opponent’s fundamental ideas, and illustrates this by analyzing two mock arguments.

200 - Intermediate 110 minutes


In Lecture 8 of “Objective Communication,” Dr. Peikoff analyzes two more mock arguments to further illustrate the importance of uncovering your opponent’s fundamental ideas.

200 - Intermediate 120 minutes


In Lecture 9 of “Objective Communication,” Dr. Peikoff analyzes two student papers, demonstrating the vital importance of having a clear grasp of the fundamental concepts one is writing about.

200 - Intermediate 120 minutes


Lecture 10 continues the lessons on effective writing and includes an analysis of two more student papers. This lecture concludes the course.

200 - Intermediate 120 minutes