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Contractarianism/Social Contract

by Jan Narveson and David Trenchard on Aug 15, 2008

One common model of state formation, the social contract consists of the voluntary exchange of protection and rights between governments and citizens.

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Coke, Edward (1552-1634)

by Stephen M. Sheppard on Aug 15, 2008

Edward Coke was a prominent lawyer and author who promoted constitutionalism and rights-based justification of law and the powers of government.

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Praxeology

by George H. Smith on Aug 15, 2008

Praxeology, as popularized by Ludwig von Mises, is an interdisciplinary approach to social questions that abstracts and thus universally explains human action.

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Ferguson, Adam (1723-1816)

by Ronald Hamowy on Aug 15, 2008

Adam Ferguson’s writings, notably his Essay on the History of Civil Society, provided an important analysis of how social institutions form.

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Freedom

by Terry Price on Aug 15, 2008

While valued by many schools of thought, freedom can be understood in a variety of ways, such as the difference between positive and negative freedom.

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Glorious Revolution

by Ronald Hamowy on Aug 15, 2008

The Glorious Revolution brought Mary II and William III of Orange to the English throne and soothed the religious and political conflict of the English Civil Wars.

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Acton, Lord (1834-1902)

by Gregory Gronbacher on Aug 15, 2008

Lord Acton was a respected British historian and an advocate for limited government, religious freedom, and the Christian perspective of positive liberty.

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Aquinas, Thomas (c. 1225-1274)

by George H. Smith on Aug 15, 2008

Thomas Aquinas was a philosopher who greatly influenced Catholic thought and promoted law not as a way to regulate morality, but to allow human choice.

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Bentham, Jeremy (1748-1832)

by T. Patrick Burke on Aug 15, 2008

Bentham is known by most as the father of utilitarianism. He wrote in favor of free-markets, a pragmatic view of rights, and rational policy-making.

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Brown, John (1800-1859)

by Roderick T. Long on Aug 15, 2008

John Brown was a dedicated leader of the American abolitionist movement, often known for his raid on Harper’s Ferry, Virginia, in 1859.

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Buchanan, James M. (1919-2013)

by Peter T. Leeson on Aug 15, 2008

One of the leading economists of the last century, James M. Buchanan was one of the founders of the public choice theory of economics.

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Buckle, Henry Thomas (1821-1862)

by George H. Smith on Aug 15, 2008

Buckle was a great British historian of the 19th century who dedicated his life to completing a comprehensive history of English culture.

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Burlamaqui, Jean-Jacques (1649-1748)

by Stephen Davies on Aug 15, 2008

Burlamaqui contributed greatly to philosophical thought with his widely read volumes commenting on and popularizing the work of other philosophers.

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Chodorov, Frank (1887-1966)

by Aaron Steelman on Aug 15, 2008

A writer and thinker during the 20th century, Frank Chodorov added significantly to libertarian thought and the theory of individualism.

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Cicero (106-43 BC)

by Tom G. Palmer on Aug 15, 2008

Cicero, a great early writer and orator, articulated a universal legal order that was to become foundational for the natural law tradition.

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Clark, Ed (1930-)

by David Boaz on Aug 15, 2008

The 1980 Libertarian party presidential candidate, Ed Clark is a public figure for the libertarian movement who played an important role popularizing it.

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Comte, Charles (1782-1887)

by David Hart on Aug 15, 2008

Charles Comte, politician and prominent writer, was a principle figure in promoting classical liberalism in France in the early 19th century.

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Condorcet, Marquis de (1748-1794)

by David Hart on Aug 15, 2008

An advocate for enlightenment and liberal reforms, Marquis de Condorcet had a brief but eventful influence as part the French Revolutionary government.