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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.

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John Locke: Hermeneutics and Labor

by George H. Smith on Oct 23, 2015

Smith explains Locke’s ideas about how we should interpret a philosophic text, and the relationship between labor and private property.

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John Locke: Money and Private Property

by George H. Smith on Nov 20, 2015

Smith explains the significance, for Locke, of the increased productivity caused by labor, and the relationship between money and property.

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John Locke: In Search of the Radical Locke

by George H. Smith on Dec 4, 2015

Smith explains an important controversy about when the Two Treatises was written, and the possible influence of the Levellers on Locke.

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John Locke: A Leveller Connection?

by George H. Smith on Dec 18, 2015

Smith examines and criticizes Richard Ashcraft’s arguments that Locke was significantly influenced by the Levellers.

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Immanuel Kant and Nazism

by George H. Smith on Feb 5, 2016

Was Kant somehow responsible for the rise of Nazism? Smith explores two points of view on this issue.

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Ayn Rand and the History of Philosophy

by George H. Smith on Feb 12, 2016

Smith discusses whether we should hold a philosopher responsible for how other philosophers use his or her ideas.

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Some Reflections on the History of Philosophy

by George H. Smith on Feb 19, 2016

Smith explains the views of Kant and Hegel on the history of philosophy, and explores whether moral judgments should be applied to the realm of ideas.

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On the Influence of Ideas

by George H. Smith on Feb 26, 2016

Smith discusses the issue of whether we should hold a philosopher responsible for the beliefs of those followers who agree with him.

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Ayn Rand on Aristotle

by George H. Smith on Mar 4, 2016

Smith examines some of Rand’s claims about the beneficial influence of Aristotle’s ideas on the course of Western civilization.

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Some Personal Reflections on Ayn Rand

by George H. Smith on Apr 1, 2016

Smith discusses some good and bad influences that Ayn Rand’s ideas had on his own intellectual development.

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Immanuel Kant and the Natural Law Tradition

by George H. Smith on Apr 15, 2016

Smith discusses Kant’s attempt to justify objective moral principles and his views on when the use of coercion is morally proper.

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Immanuel Kant, the Social Contract, and the State

by George H. Smith on Apr 29, 2016

Smith explains how Robert Paul Wolff and Immanuel Kant used the same principle of moral autonomy to reach opposite conclusions about the legitimacy of the state.

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Immanuel Kant on Property Rights

by George H. Smith on May 6, 2016

Smith discusses how Kant used his theory of property rights to justify government, and how he distinguished physical possession from rightful ownership.