Smith discusses various objections to the claim that all actions are necessarily self-interested.
George H. Smith
George H. Smith was formerly Senior Research Fellow for the Institute for Humane Studies, a lecturer on American History for Cato Summer Seminars, and Executive Editor of Knowledge Products. Smith's fourth and most recent book, The System of Liberty, was published by Cambridge University Press in 2013.
Smith discusses Butler’s influential theory of psychology and his ideas about self-interest and benevolence.
Smith continues his discussion of Butler’s theory of moral psychology, and summarizes his ideas about conscience and rational self-interest.
Smith explains why Mandeville’s ideas about vice made him one of the most notorious writers of his time.
Smith discusses Mandeville’s defense of legal prostitution and other vices.
Smith discusses what Mandeville meant in saying that private vices produce public benefits, and how Hutcheson criticized that theory.
Smith begins his series on the historical relationship between religious skepticism and libertarianism.
Smith discusses the common argument that atheists cannot be moral and so should not be legally tolerated.
Augustine argued that religious persecution was justified when done in the interest of the salvation of those persecuted.
Smith explains the similarities between medieval heresy and our modern notion of treason against the state.
Smith explains how some leading Christian theologians justified the death penalty for heretics and blasphemers.
Smith explores Shaftesbury’s defense of ridicule and satire in matters of religion.
Smith explains some tactics that early freethinkers used in the attempt to avoid punishment for blasphemy and other religious crimes.
Smith explains the origins of deism and its basic ideas.
Smith explains the basic tenets of deism and why it posed a political threat.
Smith explains why Edward Gibbon rejected miraculous accounts in his masterpiece, The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire.
Smith explains the controversial arguments of the deist John Toland, as defended in Christianity not Mysterious.
Smith explains the political implications of the deistic repudiation of special revelation and miracles.