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Philosophy For Flourishing

65 EpisodesProduced by Objective Standard InstituteWebsite

Philosophy for Flourishing, a podcast of OSI, explores principles and practices for achieving and maintaining physical and spiritual health, and generally living the happiest, most fulfilling life possible. Join Jon Hersey and guests for rich conversations and useful ideas.

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February 22nd, 2024


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Who is John Galt Mortgage Company?

February 12th, 2024


Mitchell Broderick and Tim Chermak join me to discuss their new company and how they’re using it to both promote rational philosophy and upend an industry.

Ayn Rand’s Objectivist Ethics: A Rational Approach to Living the Good Life

February 12th, 2024


This show is all about principles and practices for living the best, most fulfilling life possible, so in this episode, I figured I’d dig into the …

Freedom’s Furies: Timothy Sandefur on the Importance of Isabel Paterson, Rose Wilder Lane, and Ayn Rand | Philosophy for Flourishing, Episode 61

March 20th, 2023


During WWII, while American forces battled dictatorial regimes overseas, three writers back home were unleashing a full-scale assault on the ideas at …

Awful Schools and What to Do

December 26th, 2022


Philosopher, author, and teacher Dr. Andrew Bernstein joins Jon to discuss the abysmal state of American education and what parents and educators can do about it.

#education #teaching #history #objectivity #AynRand

Sex, Attraction, and Healthy Relationships | Philosophy for Flourishing, Episode 59

July 22nd, 2022


Philosopher and psychotherapist Jason Stotts returns to discuss the nature of sex and sexual attraction, common misconceptions and errors related to sexuality, and how to improve one’s sex life and relationships.

Peter Boghossian on Civil Discourse and Why It’s So Hard | Philosophy for Flourishing, Episode 58

May 21st, 2022


Why is intellectual life in America dominated by ideologues that seem disconnected from reality? How can each of us takes steps toward reviving civil …

Navigating Your Emotional Landscape, with Jason Stotts

April 28th, 2022


Our emotions are our means of experiencing our values, so it’s extraordinarily important to grasp why we feel the way we do and how to change it when our emotional lives are just not ideal. In this conversation, …

Objectivism, Common-Sense Realism, and Flourishing

April 8th, 2022


Are you interested in learning about Ayn Rand's Objectivism? Check out this FREE ebook: 👉


Thomas Reid, founder of the …

Religion, Objectivism, Consciousness, & Liberty

April 2nd, 2022


Are you interested in learning about Ayn Rand's Objectivism? Check out this FREE ebook: 👉


Micaela Richmond—of “In Bloom: A Pro-Humanity Podcast”—interviews Jon Hersey about religion, atheism, …

Ayn Rand’s Place in Intellectual History

March 25th, 2022


Ayn Rand was one of the most influential intellectuals of the 20th century, and her works continue to sell hundreds of thousands of copies each year. …

Jon and Jackson: Optional Values, Career, and Hobbies

February 2nd, 2022


Jackson Upmann asks Jon his questions on philosophy and flourishing. The discussion ranges over what philosophy can and cannot tell us about career choices, the nature of values, life as the standard of value, and more.

The Operating System of Progress

January 26th, 2022


The basic ideas that people accept are like a computer’s operating system. If the OS has bugs and is vulnerable to viruses, it wreaks havoc on the …

Scout Mindset: Seeing the World More Clearly

January 5th, 2022


Julia Galef’s The Scout Mindset was one of my favorite books of 2021. It’s loaded with great tips for thinking more clearly and thereby improving …

Independence and the Socratic Method, with Michael Strong

December 22nd, 2021


Michael Strong is an education serial entrepreneur and the author of The Habit of Thought: From Socratic Seminars to Socratic Practice and Be the …

Cal Newport on Flourishing at Work

December 1st, 2021


Cal Newport is a computer science professor at Georgetown University and the bestselling author of So Good They Can’t Ignore You, Deep Work, Digital Minimalism, and most recently, A World Without Email. In this episode, …

Moral Character, Freedom, and Flourishing, with Lawrence Reed

November 24th, 2021


Just as we can build muscle, so we can build moral character—and we must if we want to flourish. Jon discusses morality and flourishing with Lawrence Reed, president emeritus of the Foundation for Economic Education.


Live like an Artist

November 17th, 2021


The artist’s job is to determine what is worthy of contemplation, and then to convey it via appropriate means. How can we adopt and apply the skill of prospecting for value, even if we’re not artists?


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Business, History, and Morality, with Gary Hoover

November 10th, 2021


Jon speaks with entrepreneur and business history chronicler Gary Hoover about the history and morality of business, and what makes people and their businesses thrive.


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Stories in Paint, with Luc Travers

November 3rd, 2021


Jon speaks with art expert Luc Travers about how to “read” paintings and extract meaningful experiences from them.


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Literature and Flourishing

October 27th, 2021


Jon speaks with Dr. Andrew Bernstein about literature and how great stories enhance our lives.


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Relationship Maintenance

October 22nd, 2021


Jon and his wife Rosalee demonstrate John Gottman’s “state of our union” exercise and explain how it can help to improve romantic relationships.


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John Chisholm on Aiming at the Right “Diversity” in Higher Ed

October 6th, 2021


Jon speaks with John Chisholm—entrepreneur, investor, and author—about the problems with the higher ed push for “diversity” and how to correct it.


Freedom, Flourishing, and Atlas Shrugged, with Antonio Saravia

September 8th, 2021


Jon speaks with Dr. Antonio Saravia—economics professor and director of the Center for the Study of Economics and Liberty at Mercer University—about socialism and stagnation, freedom and flourishing, and teaching …

Benjamin Franklin’s Principles for Freedom and Flourishing

September 1st, 2021


Benjamin Franklin’s life story is a testament to the fact that free men may rise as high as their ambition will take them. His inventions include not …

Fostering Independence in Early Childhood

August 6th, 2021


How can we help young children develop? Can we do anything to accelerate language acquisition? Is a structured curriculum best, or should children be …

Frédéric Chopin in Tolkien, Green Book, and Prometheus

July 14th, 2021


I speak with Juilliard-trained musician F. F. Mormanni about the 19th-century Romantic composer Frédéric Chopin; his music in Prometheus, Tolkien, …

Spiritual Values and Success

July 7th, 2021


I recently spoke with organizational psychologist and bestselling author Adam Grant, and our conversation highlighted the importance of spiritual …

Rajshree Agarwal on Purpose and Profit

June 30th, 2021


Rajshree Agarwal and I discuss how she became interested in helping people home in on a central purpose, the relation of purpose to independence, and how both of these enable people to create marketable values.


Mozart’s Music for the Mind

June 9th, 2021


I speak with F. F. Mormanni, a Juilliard trained musician, about what Mozart offers modern listeners and how to reap that value.


TOS-Con details and registration:


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Building Relationships on Shared Values: A Tale from TOS-Con

June 2nd, 2021


I speak with Caitlyn Machiraju, an independent and ambitious young woman who not only landed a job, but also met her husband at our annual conference, TOS-Con: Philosophy for Freedom and Flourishing.


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Aristotle on Means, Ends, and the Good Life

May 20th, 2021


It is clarifying to periodically reflect on the various means-ends relationships in our lives, to re-evaluate whether we’re choosing the right means for our chosen ends, and to think about whether these add up to a …

Building a Career without Credentials, with Cameron Sorsby

May 7th, 2021


You don’t need a college degree or a stamp of approval to build a career you love. Praxis CEO Cameron Sorsby joins Jon to discuss the mindset and …

WandaVision and the Serenity Prayer

April 28th, 2021


Marvel’s WandaVision shows that to live a good life, we must accept the facts, even when painful, including the fact that individuals must be free to …

CPR for an Overwhelmed Mind

April 21st, 2021


Robert Begley joins Jon to discuss techniques for keeping your head above water and focusing on your most important work.


Get your free copy of Loving Life by Craig Biddle here:

2,000-Year-Old Ideas for Flourishing Today: Aristotle’s Ethics

April 14th, 2021


With his Nicomachean Ethics, Aristotle aimed to create a guide for flourishing, and he brought a tremendous depth and breadth of knowledge to the task.


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Helping the Best Ideas Rise to the Top: an Interview with Elliott Hill

April 7th, 2021


Elliott Hill joins Jon for a discussion of his new website,, which brings together arguments for and against various philosophic, …

Creating Opportunities: an Interview with Hannah Frankman

March 31st, 2021


Hannah Frankman talks about her early introduction to alternative education and how it helped her develop a mindset and skills for creating value and getting paid for her work. Check out her upcoming course, “The Art of …

A Simple Technique for Thinking More Clearly

March 24th, 2021


Clearly formulating our thoughts is a challenge we all face, and it affects all aspects of our lives. Here’s a standing order for thinking more …

Incrementalism in Self-Development and Intellectual Activism

February 11th, 2021


It is a plain fact that to get from point A to point B, we must progress one step at a time. But what else can we pull from the principle of …

Free Speech and Conceptual Clarity

January 28th, 2021


What is free speech? What is censorship? How does understanding these concepts impact one’s evaluations of social media companies and their policies?

Resolutions and Moral Ambition

January 13th, 2021


Ayn Rand said that man is a “being of self-made soul.” In the new year, what will you do to build your moral character?


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Lessons on Liberty from Ayn Rand and Henry Hazlitt, with Raymond Niles

December 20th, 2020


Policy proposals of all sorts depend on both moral and economic arguments, yet some claim that these disciplines should not—or cannot—be integrated. …

Exploring the History and Philosophy of Liberty, with Eric Daniels

December 16th, 2020


Why is knowing history vital to living a flourishing life today? What is the proper approach to studying it, and what are the most important events and ideas to understand? Learn more in this wide-ranging discussion …

Christmas and the Virtues of Greed and Giving

December 15th, 2020


Christmas is a celebration of the rational, selfish desire to make your own life great, which includes spreading joy among those you value.


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Whom to Thank on Thanksgiving—and Why

November 25th, 2020


From everyone at Objective Standard Institute to everyone who works to create the values on which human life and happiness depend: Thank you.


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The Presumption of Liberty vs. the Presumption of Altruism

November 4th, 2020


Some proponents of freedom base their political positions in what they call “the presumption of liberty.” But opponents of freedom easily undercut …

On Effectively Defending and Advancing Liberty

October 27th, 2020


Do you want to become a better thinker, a more persuasive writer, and an effective advocate of liberty? Here are some basic principles and resources for defending liberty in a clear and compelling way.


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How Ayn Rand Got So Much Right

October 19th, 2020


Recently, a friend asked me, “If philosophers have been trying to resolve fundamental questions for centuries and have come up short, why do you …

Isaac Morehouse on College Alternatives and Career Development

October 8th, 2020


Praxis and Crash founder Isaac Morehouse discusses the gulf between the needs of employers and the abilities of entry-level applicants—and how to …

How to Make Better Decisions

September 16th, 2020


Making good decisions can be tough, and for some of us, making certain decisions can feel like torture. Here are some ideas for more easily distinguishing what options will best serve your life.


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The Secular Source and Selfish Nature of Objective Morality

September 9th, 2020


What does it mean to be “a good person”? Is morality an arbitrary social convention, a decree from on high, or a recognition of and respect for man’s nature? 


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Bookending Your Day: A Powerful Routine for Priming Your Mind

September 9th, 2020


Here’s a simple yet effective routine for focusing your mind on the good and getting more out of life. Subscribe in Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or wherever you’re listening right now. Facebook:

Working from Home: Designing an Environment for Increased Productivity

August 19th, 2020


I’ve been working from home for years, but it wasn’t until late last year that I realized that my environment was working against me. Rearranging my workspace not only made me more productive, it enhanced my personal …

The 1619 Project Versus Freedom and Flourishing, with Phil Magness

August 13th, 2020


Northern capitalists of the 19th century—in addition to creating life-serving products and technologies—joined and financed America’s abolitionist …

Failure: A Secret Strategy for Success

July 29th, 2020


If failure can be avoided at all, it is only by setting your most ambitious goals on some mental shelf and allowing them to gather dust. At some …

Being Grateful and Avoiding Gratitude Traps, with Dr. Ellen Kenner

July 22nd, 2020


Gratitude, properly understood and practiced, has the power to greatly enhance our lives. But there’s a surprising amount of confusion about what gratitude is and what it’s not. Arm yourself against common …

The Roots and Future of Human Progress, with Jason Crawford

July 15th, 2020


Mankind has come a long way since the caves of our prehistoric ancestors. What has made “the ascent of man” (in the words of Jacob Bronowski) possible? How do we keep it going?


For some answers, check out our …

How to Improve Your Internal Dialogue

July 8th, 2020


Many people pester themselves with negative self-talk, and the solution, we hear from many self-help gurus, is positive thinking. But what exactly do …

The Myth of the Naturally Gifted

July 1st, 2020


We often hear that this or that person is “naturally gifted” in a specific realm or that each of us is put on Earth for a specific purpose. On this theory, the height of wisdom is to figure out what your “natural …

“‘What For?’: A Question to Live By”

June 24th, 2020


If you want to maximize your success and happiness, you must engage purposefully in all of the key areas of life (career, romance, friendships, …

Time Is the Ultimate Currency—and What this Means for Your Life

June 17th, 2020


Time is the ultimate currency, and once you spend it, you can’t get it back. In this episode of “Philosophy for Flourishing,” Craig and Jon discuss …

Individualism in a Time of Collectivist Chaos

June 11th, 2020


Craig and Jon discuss individualism and collectivism in the context of the recent riots. Email Jon at with topics and …

Introducing Philosophy for Life, Liberty, and Happiness

June 4th, 2020


Welcome to episode 1 of OSI’s weekly podcast, Philosophy for Flourishing, which explores principles and practices for achieving and maintaining physical and spiritual health, and generally living the happiest, most …

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