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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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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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Philosophic Radicals

by George H. Smith on Aug 15, 2008

The Philosophic Radicals, including Jeremy Bentham, were British reformers generally supporting Benthian utilitarianism and democratic change.

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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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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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Shaftesbury, Third Earl of (1671-1713)

by George H. Smith on Aug 15, 2008

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

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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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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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Spencer, Herbert (1820-1903)

by George H. Smith on Aug 15, 2008

Herbert 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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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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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.

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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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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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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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Mercantilism

by George H. Smith on Aug 15, 2008

Mercantilism was the belief that wealth of nations was based on the amount of money held by the nation, through high internal protections and a focus on exports.

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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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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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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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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.