Smith explores Shaftesbury’s defense of ridicule and satire in matters of religion.
Smith explains how some leading Christian theologians justified the death penalty for heretics and blasphemers.
Smith explains the similarities between medieval heresy and our modern notion of treason against the state.
Augustine argued that religious persecution was justified when done in the interest of the salvation of those persecuted.
Smith discusses the common argument that atheists cannot be moral and so should not be legally tolerated.
Smith begins his series on the historical relationship between religious skepticism and libertarianism.
Smith discusses what Mandeville meant in saying that private vices produce public benefits, and how Hutcheson criticized that theory.
Smith discusses Mandeville’s defense of legal prostitution and other vices.
Smith explains why Mandeville’s ideas about vice made him one of the most notorious writers of his time.
Smith continues his discussion of Butler’s theory of moral psychology, and summarizes his ideas about conscience and rational self-interest.
Smith discusses Butler’s influential theory of psychology and his ideas about self-interest and benevolence.
Smith discusses various objections to the claim that all actions are necessarily self-interested.
Smith explains Burke’s argument against majority rule and a constitution based on the consent of the governed.
Smith discusses the Hobbesian theory of self-interest and why classical liberals were so intent on refuting it.
Smith marks three years of his essays with some thoughts about the importance of libertarian theory and history.
Smith explains Hume’s theory of the social evolution of our ideas about justice.
Smith begins his discussion of David Hume’s moral and social philosophy.
Smith explores two concepts of political philosophy and their respective ideas about justice and a good society.