Tara Smith (philosopher)

Tara A. Smith
Born 1961 (age 5657)
Residence Austin, Texas
Nationality American
Alma mater
School Objectivism
Institutions Ayn Rand Institute

Tara A. Smith (born 1961) is an American philosopher. She is Professor of Philosophy, the BB&T Chair for the Study of Objectivism,[1] and the Anthem Foundation Fellow for the Study of Objectivism[2] at the University of Texas at Austin.


Smith specializes in moral and political theory. She did her undergraduate work at the University of Virginia and received her doctorate from Johns Hopkins University. Her published works include the books Viable Values: A Study of Life as the Root and Reward of Morality (2000), Moral Rights and Political Freedom (1995), and Ayn Rand's Normative Ethics: The Virtuous Egoist (2006). She is also a contributing author to several essay collections about Ayn Rand's novels. Smith has written in journals such as The Journal of Philosophy, American Philosophical Quarterly, Social Philosophy and Policy, and Law and Philosophy.[3]

Smith has lectured all across the United States including Harvard University,[4] Wheeling Jesuit University,[5] Duke University,[6] University of Pittsburgh,[7] and New York University,[8] and to groups of businessmen.[9] She has also organized conferences, often ones emphasizing objective law.[10][11][12]

She is on the board of The Philosopher's Index[13] and is on the Academic Advisory Council of The Clemson Institute for the Study of Capitalism at Clemson University.[14] Smith is a member of the Ayn Rand Society,[15] which exists within the American Philosophical Association. She is also on the board of directors of the Ayn Rand Institute.[16]

Selected publications


  • Moral Rights and Political Freedom. Lanham, Maryland: Rowman & Littlefield. 1997. ISBN 0-8476-8026-6. 
  • Viable Values: A Study of Life as the Root and Reward of Morality. Lanham, Maryland: Rowman & Littlefield. 2000. ISBN 0-8476-9760-6. 
  • Ayn Rand's Normative Ethics: The Virtuous Egoist. New York: Cambridge University Press. 2006. ISBN 0-521-86050-4. 
  • Judicial Review in an Objective Legal System. New York: Cambridge University Press. 2015. ISBN 1-107-11449-7. 


  • "On Deriving Rights to Goods from Rights to Freedom". Law and Philosophy. 11 (3): 217–234. September 1992. doi:10.1007/BF01000643. 
  • "Why a Teleological Defense of Rights Needn't Yield Welfare Rights". Journal of Social Philosophy. 23 (3): 35–50. December 1992. doi:10.1111/j.1467-9833.1992.tb00131.x. 
  • "Rights Conflicts: The Undoing of Rights". Journal of Social Philosophy. 26 (2): 139–156. September 1995. doi:10.1111/j.1467-9833.1995.tb00078.x. 
  • "Tolerance & Forgiveness: Virtues or Vices?". Journal of Applied Philosophy. 14 (1): 31–41. April 1997. doi:10.1111/1468-5930.00037. 
  • "Reconsidering Zero-Sum Value: It's How You Play the Game". Journal of Social Philosophy. 28 (2): 128–139. September 1997. doi:10.1111/j.1467-9833.1997.tb00381.x. 
  • "Rights, Wrongs, and Aristotelian Egoism: Illuminating the Rights/Care Dichotomy". Journal of Social Philosophy. 29 (2): 5–14. September 1998. doi:10.1111/j.1467-9833.1998.tb00104.x. 
  • "Intrinsic Value: Look-Say Ethics". The Journal of Value Inquiry. 32 (4): 539–553. December 1998. doi:10.1023/A:1004333128077. 
  • "The Practice of Pride". Social Philosophy and Policy. 15 (1): 71–90. December 1998. doi:10.1017/S0265052500003071. 
  • "The Metaphysical Case for Honesty". The Journal of Value Inquiry. 37 (4): 517–531. December 2003. doi:10.1023/B:INQU.0000019033.95049.1e. 
  • "'Social' Objectivity and the Objectivity of Value" in Machamer, Peter K. & Wolters, Gereon, eds. (2004). Science, Values, and Objectivity. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania: University of Pittsburgh Press. ISBN 0-8229-4237-2. 
  • "Morality Without the Wink: A Defense of Moral Perfection". Journal of Philosophical Research. 29: 315–331. 2004. doi:10.5840/jpr_2004_6. 
  • "Forbidding Life to Those Still Living" in Mayhew, Robert, ed. (2004). Essays on Ayn Rand's We the Living. Lanham, Maryland: Lexington Books. ISBN 0-7391-0697-X. 
  • "Independence in The Fountainhead" in Mayhew, Robert, ed. (2006). Essays on Ayn Rand's The Fountainhead. Lanham, Maryland: Lexington Books. ISBN 0-7391-1577-4. 
  • "Why Originalism Won't Die – Common Mistakes in Competing Theories of Judicial Interpretation". Duke Journal of Constitutional Law & Public Policy. 2: 159–215. 2007. 
  • "The Importance of the Subject in Objective Morality: Distinguishing Objective from Intrinsic Value". Social Philosophy and Policy. 25: 126–148. 2008. doi:10.1017/S0265052508080059. 
  • "'Humanity's Darkest Evil': The Lethal Destructiveness of Non-Objective Law" in Mayhew, Robert, ed. (2009). Essays on Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged. Lanham, Maryland: Lexington Books. ISBN 978-0-7391-2779-7. 

See also


  1. "BB&T Donates $2 Million for Ayn Rand Research at The University of Texas at Austin | The University of Texas at Austin". Utexas.edu. 2008-12-07. Retrieved 2009-04-04.
  2. "Anthem Foundation Renews Gift for Ayn Rand Research on 50th Anniversary of "Atlas Shrugged" | The University of Texas at Austin". Utexas.edu. Retrieved 2009-04-04.
  3. "Ayn Rand's Normative Ethics". Cambridge University Press. Retrieved 2009-04-04.
  4. "The Harvard Objectivist Club". Hcs.harvard.edu. Retrieved 2009-04-04.
  5. "News Story – Wheeling Jesuit University". Wju.edu. 2008-02-19. Retrieved 2009-04-04.
  6. "VEM News & Events". Vem.duke.edu. Archived from the original on 2009-02-15. Retrieved 2009-04-04.
  7. "Talks & Conferences Archive- Department of History and Philosophy of Science". Pitt.edu. Retrieved 2009-04-04.
  8. "TARA SMITH at NYU – Feb. 6th – "Unborrowed Vision" – THE FORUM for Ayn Rand Fans". Forums.4aynrandfans.com. Retrieved 2009-04-04.
  9. "The Ayn Rand Institute: Tara Smith". Aynrand.org. Retrieved 2009-04-04.
  10. http://www.pitt.edu/~hpsdept/news/news/ConceptsObjConf2006.pdf
  11. "Objectivity in the Law" (PDF). University of Texas. 2008-02-03. Archived from the original (PDF) on May 12, 2008. Retrieved 2009-04-04.
  12. "Weekend Conference on Law, Individual Rights and the Judicial System". Front Range Objectivism. Retrieved 2009-04-04.
  13. "Department of Philosophy". Utexas.edu. 2005-03-08. Archived from the original on January 4, 2009. Retrieved 2009-04-04.
  14. "The Clemson Institute for the Study of Capitalism". Business.clemson.edu. 2009-03-02. Archived from the original on 2009-03-29. Retrieved 2009-04-04.
  15. "The Ayn Rand Society". Ayn Rand Society. 1982-03-06. Retrieved 2009-04-04.
  16. "The Ayn Rand Institute:". Aynrand.org. July 29, 2005. Retrieved 2009-04-04.
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