Explore

Free Thoughts Podcast

A show about libertarianism and the ideas that influence it. Hosted by Aaron Ross Powell and Trevor Burrus.

Subscribe to Free Thoughts: iOS | RSS

Aaron Ross Powell

Aaron Ross Powell is Director and Editor of Libertarianism.org, a project of the Cato Institute. Libertarianism.org presents introductory material as well as new scholarship related to libertarian philosophy, theory, and history. He is also co-host of Libertarianism.org’s popular podcast, Free Thoughts. His writing has appeared in Liberty and The Cato Journal. He earned a JD from the University of Denver.

Free Thoughts

The Crisis of Authority in the New Millennium

featuring Martin Gurri, Aaron Ross Powell, and Trevor Burrus on Aug 11, 2014

Martin Gurri says that a new wave of media in the 21st-century has eroded the legitimacy of political authority around the world.

Free Thoughts

Science Doesn’t Need Public Funding

featuring Terence Kealey, Aaron Ross Powell, and Trevor Burrus on Dec 22, 2014

Terence Kealey joins us for a discussion about publicly funding scientific research. Should science be funded by the government?

Free Thoughts

The Moral Case for Fossil Fuels

featuring Alex Epstein, Aaron Ross Powell, and Trevor Burrus on Dec 15, 2014

Alex Epstein joins us for a discussion on fossil fuel use. How much have fossil fuels benefited humanity? Is there a moral case for their use?

Free Thoughts

The End of Doom

featuring Ronald Bailey, Trevor Burrus, and Aaron Ross Powell on Oct 2, 2015

Ronald Bailey talks about environmental “doomsayers.” Their apocalyptic predictions change, but their solutions remain the same: more government control.

Free Thoughts

The Three Languages of Politics

featuring Arnold Kling, Aaron Ross Powell, and Trevor Burrus on Apr 14, 2014

Arnold Kling thinks there’s more to talking about politics than the angry yelling shows on TV and the radio.

Free Thoughts

Understanding Impeachment (with Gene Healy)

featuring Aaron Ross Powell, John Samples, and Gene Healy on Oct 26, 2018

Gene Healy joins us to discuss the concept of impeachment, from its’ origin to its’ impracticality in our polarized political climate. 

Free Thoughts

Equality of Capabilities, or Equality of Outcomes?

featuring Elizabeth Anderson, Aaron Ross Powell, and Trevor Burrus on May 5, 2014

Elizabeth Anderson joins us this week to talk about egalitarianism. Should we be concerned about an equal distribution of resources in a society?

Free Thoughts

The Philosophical Foundations of the Constitution

featuring Roger Pilon, Aaron Ross Powell, and Trevor Burrus on Jun 17, 2016

Roger Pilon joins us to discuss the United States’s founding documents and the philosophy of the men that drafted them.

Free Thoughts

Socrates on Trial, Part 2: Crito

featuring Brian Wilson, Aaron Ross Powell, and Matthew Feeney on May 20, 2016

Brian Wilson from Combat and Classics joins us for a discussion about the last days of Socrates, as told by Plato in Crito.

Free Thoughts

Talking Across Political Divides (with Arnold Kling)

featuring Aaron Ross Powell, Trevor Burrus, and Arnold Kling on Sep 20, 2019

Arnold Kling is welcomed back to the show to talk about the new edition of his book, The Three Languages of Politics, and how it is even more relevant in the Trump era. 

Free Thoughts

How Adam Smith Can Change Your Life

featuring Russell Roberts, Aaron Ross Powell, and Trevor Burrus on Oct 13, 2014

Russ Roberts joins us on this week’s episode of Free Thoughts to talk about his new book, How Adam Smith Can Change Your Life.

Free Thoughts

The Problem of Political Authority

featuring Michael Huemer, Aaron Ross Powell, and Trevor Burrus on Sep 15, 2014

Michael Huemer joins us this week for a discussion on political authority, political obligation, and political legitimacy.

Free Thoughts

Why Transparency Matters in Local Politics

featuring Kevin Glass, Aaron Ross Powell, and Trevor Burrus on Apr 6, 2015

Kevin Glass joins us to talk about transparency in local politics. How can state and local governments do more harm than the federal government?

Free Thoughts

The End of Socialism

featuring James Otteson, Aaron Ross Powell, and Trevor Burrus on Apr 13, 2015

Is an idealized form of socialism possible, and if not, why not?

Free Thoughts

What Does It Mean to Think Philosophically?

featuring Matthew Feeney, Aaron Ross Powell, and Trevor Burrus on Jul 20, 2015

Matthew Feeney joins us for a general discussion on the value of philosophy. Why is philosophy important? How do you learn to think philosophically?

Free Thoughts

Why Do Intellectuals Oppose Capitalism?

featuring Jason Kuznicki, Aaron Ross Powell, and Trevor Burrus on Aug 14, 2015

Jason Kuznicki joins us to discuss the left-leaning tendencies of public intellectuals. 

Free Thoughts

Taking a Stand

featuring Robert Higgs, Aaron Ross Powell, and Trevor Burrus on Nov 20, 2015

Robert Higgs joins us this week to share his reflections on individual liberty, economics, war and peace, and the role of the state in human affairs.