The Atlas Project / LESSON 17
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Part II, Chapter 7: The Moratorium on Brains

Greg Salmieri and Ben Bayer discuss the following questions for Part II, Chapter 7, of Atlas Shrugged: “The Moratorium on Brains” 

  • Question 1: How does Eddie describe Clifton Locey's approach to life and work? Where else do we see a similar attitude expressed by other characters in the chapter?
  • Question 2: How and why does Rearden's view of Ragnar develop over the course of their encounter?
  • Question 3: Which characters by their actions or inactions are partially responsible for the train disaster narrated in this chapter?
  • Question 4: The description of the train's passengers raises the question of whether and in what ways they share any responsibility for their own deaths. What is the author's position on this, and do you agree?
  • Question 5: In the tunnel disaster sequence, several characters are described as knowing certain philosophical truths without knowing anything about the relevant branches of philosophy. What is the significance of the things each of these people knows, and what is the significance of their ignorance of philosophy?
  • Question 6: What other questions or observations do you have about Part II, Chapter 7?

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Lesson Outline

Lead Instructor

Gregory Salmieri
Gregory Salmieri

Gregory Salmieri is an Anthem Foundation Fellow in philosophy. He teaches philosophy at Rutgers University, and has previously held teaching and research positions at Boston University and the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.

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