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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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Physiocracy

by George H. Smith on Aug 15, 2008

The physiocrats were French laissez-faire economists in the late 18th century who based their policies and writings on natural reason and science.

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Conscience

by George H. Smith on Aug 15, 2008

In this entry, George H. Smith addresses the idea of conscience in western thought and the importance of liberty of conscience to be maintained.

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Cantillon, Richard (c.1680-1734)

by George H. Smith on Aug 15, 2008

A notable early economist, Richard Cantillon is influential for his theories on the self-regulating market, entrepreneurship, and prices.

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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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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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Hutcheson, Francis

by George H. Smith on Aug 15, 2008

Francis Hutcheson’s philosophy addressed moral obligations as they related to personal liberties, virtue, and rights.

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Mandeville, Bernard (1670-1733)

by George H. Smith on Aug 15, 2008

Bernard Mandeville’s controversial essays and allegories raised questions about justice and socially or morally virtuous actions.

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Oppenheimer, Franz (1864-1943)

by George H. Smith on Aug 15, 2008

Franz Oppenheimer, a German sociologist, wrote a comprehensive explanation of the history of the state as a history of conquest.

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Senior, Nassau William (1790-1864)

by George H. Smith on Aug 15, 2008

Nassau William Senior was an important British economist who contributed to theories of utility, political economy, and value.

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Shaftesbury, Third Earl of (1671-1713)

by George H. Smith on Aug 15, 2008

The Third Earl of Shaftesbury, Cooper was a statesman and philosopher with an interest in individualism and the natural harmony of interests.

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Spencer, Herbert (1820-1903)

by George H. Smith on Aug 15, 2008

Spencer was a major influence on 19th century liberalism. His work on evolutionary theory and social order made him one of the first sociologists.

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Hodgskin, Thomas (1787-1869)

by George H. Smith on Aug 15, 2008

Thomas Hodgskin was a British political and economic theorist affiliated most with individualist anarchism, though his writings were vivid and original.

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Equality

by George H. Smith on Aug 15, 2008

A libertarian focus on equality mostly focuses on the notion of equal rights and justice systems must operate in a way that maintains these rights.

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Individualism, Methodological

by George H. Smith on Aug 15, 2008

Methodological individualism is the methodological framework wherein individuals are seen as the agents of actions and values that form social phenomena.

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Progress

by George H. Smith on Aug 15, 2008

Libertarians celebrate increasing individual liberties as the main fuel for human progress - material, moral, and intellectual.

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Social Darwinism

by George H. Smith on Aug 15, 2008

Social Darwinism applied the idea of “survival of the fittest” to society to poor ends. However, its intellectual founders did not share those views.

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Freedom of Thought

by George H. Smith on Aug 15, 2008

Freedom of thought includes the notion that religion and personal value systems should be unregulated, and that expressing all values must be permitted.

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Existentialism

by George H. Smith on Aug 15, 2008

Existentialist philosophy focuses on the individual. Its moral implications, while sometimes criticized, can also have uses for libertarian thought.