Abstract: This paper reviews some points of agreement between Objectivism and the Austrian school of economics. It also discusses some of my points of departure with Objectivism. One such is Rand’s justification for holding life as man’s ultimate value. I present a case that the recognition of death’s inevitability is needed to establish life as man’s ultimate value. Although death’s inevitability is implicit within Objectivist ethics (in its emphasis on a person’s entire life), the focus of Rand’s discussion of the ultimate value is on life’s contingency, not its limitedness. I present an example comparing a being with a contingent and limited life to a being with a contingent but potentially endless life. This illustrates the function of life’s limitedness in valuation. I qualify my position somewhat by exploring one way in which a being with a contingent but potentially endless life may value his life as a whole. I also explain that a being with an endless life might have no ultimate value, but could have an endless number of goals. Finally, I discuss a desert-island scenario that supports the noninterference principle.
Keywords: Ayn Rand, Austrian school, objectivism, is-ought, ultimate value, eudaemonia, Robinson Crusoe, non-aggression principle