Next up on my philosophy reading was Philosophy: Who Needs It by Ayn Rand. This was a non-fiction survey of a number of philosophical, political, and cultural issues from the perspective of Objectivism.
My biggest takeaway is the idea that philosophy affects culture and psychology at a profound level, in a way that we don't think about consciously and take for granted. The many catch phrases and colloquialisms we all use are grounded in the type of philosophy we inherently accept. This raises the importance of paying attention to one's language and listening carefully to what others say. It also makes philosophy a subject that's vitally important to everyone's understanding and living a good life -- not just a purely intellectual subject that's all about abstractions (the more common view of philosophy).
The book spent a lot of time explaining why the philosophy of Kant is evil. I haven't personally read Kant, but I want to read it in the future to better understand this author's point of view. Overall, the book spent a lot of time in a negative tone, using strong negative words (the author apparently loves the words "bromide," "dribble," "louse," and "tripe" -- I think those words are funny too). I thought there was a bit too much time spent critiquing others' work and philosophies and not enough actually teaching/explaining her own. Nonetheless, I did learn a lot about how she thinks and what her philosophy represents (especially from the earlier chapters).
3 metaphysical and man made
4 the missing link