Founder and Executive Director of The Objectivist Center

David Kelley (born 23 June 1949) is an American philosopher. He is an Objectivist, though his position that Objectivism can be revised and influenced by other schools of thought has prompted disagreements with other Objectivists. Kelley is also an author of several books on philosophy and the founder of The Atlas Society, an institution he established in 1990 after permanently dissociating with Leonard Peikoff and the Ayn Rand Institute.

Awards Received

1974 Garvey Fellow, granted by Independent Institute
Topic: "The Moral Imperative of the American Private Enterprise System of Risks and Rewards"


David Kelley - Hero of the Day, The Daily Objectivist, 2000


Epistemology and Politics: Ayn Rand's Cultural Commentary, Navigator, Dec 2004
Discusses Rand's 1960 essay "Faith and Force: The Destroyers of the Modern World" and the continued currency of her writings
"... reason is an objective means of knowledge; it relies on observation and evidence, with observable reality as the ultimate point of reference. So, when people rely on reason they can interact and resolve conflicts by discussion, persuasion, and debate—that is, by voluntary means. ... If people derive their conclusions from ineffable intuitions or by methods that only they know how to apply, ... [t]hat leaves force as the only method of 'persuasion' ..."
Tax Cuts Are Unfair? It Just Ain't So!, The Freeman, Jul 1999
"... a tax cut does not confer a 'benefit' on taxpayers, as if the money belonged to the government, which was generously conferring gifts on its citizens. ... People are not passive recipients of an income 'distribution.' They acquire money by trading with others, earning income in diverse ways."
Related Topic: Taxation


Interview with David Kelley, by David Kelley, Raymie Stata, Full Context, Jun 1993

Books Authored

A Life of One's Own: Individual Rights and the Welfare State
    by David Kelley, Cato Institute, 1998
Contents: The End of Welfare As We Know It? - What Is a Welfare Right? - The Emergence of Welfare Rights - Economic Freedom and Economic Risk - Welfare and Benevolence - Community and Contract - Conclusion
Related Topic: Rights
The Art of Reasoning, 1988
Related Topic: Logic
The Contested Legacy of Ayn Rand: Truth and Toleration in Objectivism, 1990
Partial contents: Moral Judgment - Cognition and Evaluation - Types of Moral Judgment - The Temperament of a Judge - Sanction - Existential Aid and Moral Sanction - The Case of Libertarianism - Error and Evil - Ideas and Original Sin
Related Topic: Ayn Rand

The introductory paragraph uses material from the Wikipedia article "David Kelley" as of 20 Dec 2011, which is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.