This is a quote from the book "The Virtue Of Selfishness" by Ayn Rand
...ate the fact that the automatic functions of living organisms are actions whose nature is such that they result in the preservation of an organism’s life.
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Metaphysically, life is
the only phenomenon that is an end in itself: a value gained and kept by a constant process of action. Epistemologically, the concept of “value” is genetically dependent upon and derived fr
om the antecedent concept of “life.” To speak of “value” as apart from “life” is worse than a contradiction in terms. “It is only the concept of ‘Life’ that makes the concept o...