Smith discusses what Mandeville meant in saying that private vices produce public benefits, and how Hutcheson criticized that theory.
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 explains why Mandeville’s ideas about vice made him one of the most notorious writers of his time.
Smith discusses the Hobbesian theory of self-interest and why classical liberals were so intent on refuting it.
Smith begins his exploration of self-interest and social order by explaining Shaftesbury’s theory of social psychology.
Smith explores Emile Durkheim’s major objections to Herbert Spencer’s theory of a free society based on voluntary contracts.
Smith explores some features of social holism, as explained and defended by Emile Durkheim.
Smith explores the historical and theoretical roots of methodological individualism and subjectivism.
Smith discusses some controversial features of praxeology, as defended by Ludwig von Mises.
Smith explains methodological individualism and its implications for the existence of institutions and other social phenomena.
Smith explains the defense of rights and other abstract political principles given by James Mackintosh, one of Burke’s most effective critics.
Smith discusses the value of sociology and some misconceptions of methodological individualism.
Smith explains Herbert Spencer’s views of the scientific status of sociology, the nature of social laws, and the practical value of social science.
Smith explores the controversy over whether sociology qualifies as an authentic science.
Smith explains how the methodological monism of modern positivism differs from classical empiricism.
Smith explains methodological subjectivism and how it applies to the study of human action.
Smith discusses Paine’s welfare proposals in Rights of Man and Agrarian Justice.
Smith explores various ways in which ideas influence human action, and why ideas are essential to the success of libertarianism.
Smith pays tribute to Roy Childs.