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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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Toward an Interdisciplinary Study of Liberty, Part 2

by George H. Smith on Feb 21, 2014

A far-ranging discussion of the meanings of key terms in libertarianism, kinds of ideologues, and crucial elements needed for an understanding of individual freedom.

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State and Society, Part 1

by George H. Smith on Dec 3, 2013

Smith discusses some preliminary issues involved in the classic libertarian distinction between the spheres of “state” and “society.”

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What are the Human Sciences?

by George H. Smith on Nov 5, 2013

Defending freedom requires an interdisciplinary approach, so in this column George H. Smith turns to the “human sciences”—and also to a definition of science itself.

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Back to Lysander Spooner

by George H. Smith on Oct 20, 2017

Smith explains how Spooner reconciled his theory of nonvoting with his view that the Constitution is antislavery, and how he treated discussions of slavery during the Constitutional Convention.

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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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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.