Freedom of worship is an individual right and natural right that many people and groups have fought for throughout history.
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.
Libertarians celebrate increasing individual liberties as the main fuel for human progress - material, moral, and intellectual.
As part of the overthrow of the French monarchy in 1789, this document served as the first attempt at capturing the ideals of a possible French Republic.
The physiocrats were French laissez-faire economists in the late 18th century who based their policies and writings on natural reason and science.
A notable early economist, Richard Cantillon is influential for his theories on the self-regulating market, entrepreneurship, and prices.
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.
Methodological individualism is the methodological framework wherein individuals are seen as the agents of actions and values that form social phenomena.
In this entry, George H. Smith addresses the idea of conscience in western thought and the importance of liberty of conscience to be maintained.
Praxeology, as popularized by Ludwig von Mises, is an interdisciplinary approach to social questions that abstracts and thus universally explains human action.
Existentialist philosophy focuses on the individual. Its moral implications, while sometimes criticized, can also have uses for libertarian thought.
Social Darwinism applied the idea of “survival of the fittest” to society to poor ends. However, its intellectual founders did not share those views.
The Philosophic Radicals, including Jeremy Bentham, were British reformers generally supporting Benthian utilitarianism and democratic change.
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.
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.
Henry Thomas Buckle was a great British historian of the 19th century who dedicated his life to completing a comprehensive history of English culture.
Thomas Hodgskin was a British political and economic theorist affiliated most with individualist anarchism, though his writings were vivid and original.
Francis Hutcheson’s philosophy addressed moral obligations as they related to personal liberties, virtue, and rights.
Bernard Mandeville’s controversial essays and allegories raised questions about justice and socially or morally virtuous actions.