'Objectivism' is a term used in moral philosophy
. (See also moral objectivism
.) However, the use of the term is not
) restricted to discussion of Ayn Rand
's particular beliefs. On the contrary, in contexts where Rand's so-called philosophy
is not explicitly under discussion, it would seem confusing to describe objectivism in this way.
Objectivism states that moral commitment is objective. So it means that moral judgments made on a sound basis are binding for other points of view. "What is good/right for me is also good/right for you." As such objectivism is a metaethical statement - one which properly belongs to metaphysics, as it sets out to criticise the concepts and methods of ethics generally.
It does not necessarily imply moral cognitivism (the view that moral judgments are truth-apt) though it is allied with it. Also, it may or may not be held to imply moral realism. It is a component in many (meta)ethical theories (it is the metaphysical component of Rand's view for example). But the thesis (which seems to be Rand's) that we can derive egoistic morals from objectivism is clearly controversial.
Belief in objectivism is as widespread as abhorrence of skepticism and relativism which it denies. However there is some difficulty in supporting it soundly against these threats, i.e. finding the source of objectivity. Some accounts of objectivity include those of Kant, Plato and Hume (who could be presented as a skeptic, but may be best seen as a projectivist).
NB: I think Rand's egoism is false and/or pernicious. Some kind of 'naturalised' Kantian account, whereby reason enforces the recognition of objective moral concepts, or failing that projectivism, seem much more plausible accounts of objectivity, which lead away from egoism.