Smith contrasts the modern secular approach to private property with the traditional Christian theory.
Athens, for all its flaws, was a beacon of personal liberty in the ancient world.
Evolutionary psychology is not a “psychology of freedom.”
Commutative justice has some peculiar features not shared by the other virtues in Adam Smith’s moral system.
Does the modern libertarian movement have any significant similarities to the early Christian movement? Smith explores this intriguing possibility.
The politicians on TV change; the bureaucracy endures, unnoticed.
Smith discusses the traditional Christian theory of private property and how it was viewed as the result of original sin.
At high levels of competition in sports, players sometimes commit “professional” fouls to gain an advantage. Might the same concept apply to business?
Novak reviews Charlotte Gordon’s book Romantic Outlaws: The Extraordinary Lives of Mary Wollstonecraft and Mary Shelley.
Government restrictions on who can enter an occupation don’t protect consumers, but rather licensees’ bottom lines.
Was Meslier a communist? Smith explores this tricky issue.
Refraining from discussing “taxpayers” and “my tax dollars” does nothing to resolve deep disputes that leave some public expenditures in serious moral question.
The discovery of philosophy in ancient Greece was spurred on by a “marketplace of ideas” where rational justification trumped doctrinal authority.
Imagining ourselves in the position of an impartial spectator can help us hone our sympathetic emotions and ethical reasoning.
When so much of what you own comes with extensive strings attached, do you really own your property, or are you merely a feudal tenant?
Hesiod thought that doing injustice could bring down the wrath of the gods, even in the chaotic, violent “Age of Iron.”
Adam Smith’s ethical system is centered around the human capacity to put ourselves in another’s place.
Smith critically examines the claim that Meslier was a communist anarchist.
Hesiod distinguished between market competition and war, saying “The two Strifes have separate natures.”
Smith explains Meslier’s three major objections to Christian morality, as taught by Jesus.
Mueller begins a series of posts about Adam Smith’s ethical system as laid out in The Theory of Moral Sentiments.
When laws are based on the esoteric lore of specialized experts rather than custom and common sense, the rule of law becomes a Kafkaesque farce.
We can best understand modern America by looking at the ways fascism and socialism are kin.
The ancient Greek poet Hesiod favored productive work over violent expropriation.
Plato and Aristotle both embraced a vision of the good life which saw commercial activity as necessarily beneath political, academic, and artistic life.