Smith criticizes Hume’s claim that reason cannot motivate actions, and explains how moral sense philosophers dealt with the problem of differing moral standards.
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 axiology (the study of value) and David Hume’s celebrated argument about “is” and “ought.”
Smith discusses the source of moral obligations and the general approach of Aristotelian ethics.
Smith explains how questions like “Why should I be rational?” and “Why should I be moral?” involve a bait and switch tactic.
Smith explains the value of Neo-Thomistic books for libertarians and Randians, and what is meant by the virtue of reasonableness.
Smith explores the nature of belief, knowledge, ethics, the difference between moral and prudential decisions, and some ideas about virtue.
Should we apply moral judgments, such as “immoral,” to beliefs per se? Smith begins his discussion of this difficult problem.
Smith explains Kant’s notion of the “unsocial sociability” of human nature, and how these antagonistic tendencies generate human progress.
Smith explains some fundamental features of Immanuel Kant’s moral and political theory.
Smith discusses some good and bad influences that Ayn Rand’s ideas had on his own intellectual development.
Smith examines some of Rand’s claims about the beneficial influence of Aristotle’s ideas on the course of Western civilization.
Smith discusses the issue of whether we should hold a philosopher responsible for the beliefs of those followers who agree with him.
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.
Smith discusses whether we should hold a philosopher responsible for how other philosophers use his or her ideas.
Smith explains the significance, for Locke, of the increased productivity caused by labor, and the relationship between money and property.
Smith marks three years of his essays with some thoughts about the importance of libertarian theory and history.
Smith continues his discussion of Thomas Paine’s theory of rights and government.
Smith discusses Thomas Paine’s theory of rights.