You said the magic words "solid philosophical beliefs" which prompted me to chime in.
One book is entitled Philosophy, Who Needs it? and another is For The New Intellectual
They are both by Ayn Rand who is often misquoted and misrepresented in order to discourage people from reading her.
See her magnum opus in movie form coming up next Friday October 12th as Atlas Shrugged part two
www.atlasshruggedmovie.com click on theater to find one near you.
She had to delve into philosophy in order to discover the values she needed for her heroes to be loyal to. She found the prevailing wisdom to be wanting. She did not want to create heroes who sacrifice themselves.
She devised a rational, integrated, comprehensive philosophy for living on Earth entitled Objectivism. She spells it out in The Objectivist Newsletter: 1962-1965 and in The Virtue Of Selfishness and Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal
Existence Exists and Consciousness is Conscious are the axiomatic concepts expressed as propositions. The Law of Identity and the fact that Man's essential distinguishing characteristic is his volitional conceptual level of consciousness lead to the concept of Man's Rights discussed in essays in the VOS and CUI books.
No Man's need constitutes an obligation on the part of another man to fulfill that need.
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