"Philosophy: Who Needs It" (PWNI) is another collection of articles by Ayn Rand, mainly from the 60s and the early 70s. Most of the articles here were taken from the Ayn Rand Newsletter that was distributed to the members of the Ayn Rand foundation. The articles deal with distinct topics, and although mostly related, they have to be treated as separate entities.

I must say that I've disliked most of the articles in this book, for the following reasons:

A few of the articles attack several ideas by Immanuel Kant and his proponents. These articles are very purely philosophical, too pure for me to really connect with. Besides, they attack the ideas of Kant, and individual of whom I've certainly heard but am not very familiar with. Several other articles either deal with various topics very relevant to the early 70s, or reviewing and rebuking ideas by various people who hold opinions Ayn Rand did not agree with. Again, having never lived in that time and having no acquaintance with those people, I found these articles quite boring, and very repetitive. There's a good chance that have I lived in the 70s and read these articles in the newsletter I'd like them. But reading them now, almost 40 years later, feels a bit like anachronism.

I did like a few of the articles though. Those are:

  • The title article - "Philosophy: Who Needs It" is excellent, and very worth reading.
  • Faith and force: the destroyers of the modern world
  • Egalitarianism and inflation
  • What can one do?

4 out of 18 is not such a good ratio, so in conclusion I can't say I really enjoyed the book. Truth be told, of all the books I've read by Rand so far I liked this one the least. So, unless you're a very hard-core follower of Rand who is determined to read every word written by her, my advice is to just read the first article - "Philosophy: Who Needs It", separately, and not waste time on the whole book.