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John Gray Mischaracterizes Nietzsche’s Influence on Ayn Rand

by George H. Smith on Jun 12, 2019

Continuing his review of Gray’s Seven Types of Atheism, Smith explains how Gray greatly exaggerates Nietzsche’s influence on Rand, and he criticizes Gray’s misstatements about Rand’s notion of sacrifice.

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John Gray and the Myth of the Ayn Rand Cult

by George H. Smith on May 31, 2019

John Gray’s discussion of Objectivism in Seven Types of Atheism, which is egregiously and inexcusably bad, relies on portraying Ayn Rand as a cult leader. 

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My Interview with Adam Smith

by George H. Smith on Nov 17, 2018

Smith interviews the spirit of Adam Smith, soliciting his opinion of David Hume and other matters.

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Samuel Johnson and His Dictionary

by George H. Smith on Sep 28, 2018

This is the second part of Smith’s discussion of how Samuel Johnson made a living as a free-lance writer in 18th century London.

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Samuel Johnson: Hack Writer Extraordinaire

by George H. Smith on Sep 21, 2018

Part one of a lengthy article on Samuel Johnson, originally written in 2001, is a result of my interest in freelance, or market, intellectuals.

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Criticisms of Natural Rights

by George H. Smith on Jun 26, 2018

Smith discusses the common argument that natural rights will lead inevitably to anarchism. 

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Where Do Rights Come From?

by George H. Smith on Jun 15, 2018

Smith continues his brief discussion of how to justify natural rights.

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A Justification of Natural Rights

by George H. Smith on Jun 11, 2018

Smith interrupts his series on abolitionism to present a barebones defense of natural rights.

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The Liberty Party

by George H. Smith on May 14, 2018

Smith discusses some circumstances that led to the formation of the abolitionist Liberty Party in 1840.

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Slavery as Socialism

by George H. Smith on May 4, 2018

Smith explains how George Fitzhugh defended slavery on the grounds that it provides an ideal system of socialism.

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Defending Slavery by Attacking Capitalists

by George H. Smith on Apr 27, 2018

Smith explains how some Southerners defended chattel slavery by contrasting it favorably with “wage slavery” in the North.