Productiveness as the Adjustment of Nature to Man

An excerpt from chapter 8 on Virtue from Objectivism: The Philosophy of Ayn Rand by Leonard Peikoff.

“Productiveness” is the process of creating material values, whether goods or services. Such creation is a necessity of human survival in any age, whether the values take the form of bearskins, clubs, a pot, full of meat, and paintings on the walls of caves; or of skyscrapers, ballet, brain surgery, and a gourmet meal aboard a computerized spaceship; or of the unimaginable luxuries and splendors yet to come.

The other living species, as we have seen, survive by consuming ready-made values. (I am leaving aside such primitive forms of productive action as the nest-building of birds or the hills and tunnels of the ants.) From bearskins on up, however, the values required by man’s survival must be conceived and then created. For a conceptual being, the only alternative to creativity is …

Read the rest in Objectivism: The Philosophy of Ayn Rand.

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