Ayn Rand, of course, believed humans have free will. She asserted this idea many, many times. But, try as I might, I have not been able to find an argument for it from her. It's hard for me to believe that she would simply assert this idea that does not at all receive unanimous agreement (though I myself do agree, by the way) and never actually argue for it. But my searching has turned up nothing. Anyone know?

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    "Rand argues that it is not possible consistently to deny that one has free will. Every human choice and every evaluation presupposes it. One cannot deliberate about something, unless one thinks it is within one's power to do it or not do it; one also can not say that something 'should' or 'shouldn't' be done, unless it is possible for it to be done or not be done. Consequently, if one is deliberating about whether to believe in free will or not, then one is already committed to its existence." Huemer, Objectivist Theory of Free Will
    – Conifold
    Commented Apr 11 at 23:39
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    So it appears to be supported. What are you looking to find out?
    – Scott Rowe
    Commented Apr 12 at 0:06

1 Answer 1


I found this text at the first result on Google for "Ayn Rand free will":


That which you call your soul or spirit is your consciousness, and that which you call “free will” is your mind’s freedom to think or not, the only will you have, your only freedom, the choice that controls all the choices you make and determines your life and your character.

Further down on the same page:

Man’s consciousness shares with animals the first two stages of its development: sensations and perceptions; but it is the third state, conceptions, that makes him man. Sensations are integrated into perceptions automatically, by the brain of a man or of an animal. But to integrate perceptions into conceptions by a process of abstraction, is a feat that man alone has the power to perform—and he has to perform it by choice. The process of abstraction, and of concept-formation is a process of reason, of thought; it is not automatic nor instinctive nor involuntary nor infallible. Man has to initiate it, to sustain it and to bear responsibility for its results. The pre-conceptual level of consciousness is nonvolitional; volition begins with the first syllogism. Man has the choice to think or to evade—to maintain a state of full awareness or to drift from moment to moment, in a semi-conscious daze, at the mercy of whatever associational whims the unfocused mechanism of his consciousness produces.

So Ayn Rand's view is that free will is about your ability to think. If people don't have the ability to think then why are you asking questions on this site?

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