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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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Abolitionism

by George H. Smith on Aug 15, 2008

Abolitionism was the 19th century anti-slavery movement promoting the equal civil and political rights for African Americans and complete rejection of slavery.

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Religion and Liberty

by George H. Smith on Aug 15, 2008

Freedom of worship is an individual right and natural right that many people and groups have fought for throughout history.

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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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Buckle, Henry Thomas (1821-1862)

by George H. Smith on Aug 15, 2008

Henry Thomas 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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Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen

by George H. Smith on Aug 15, 2008

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.

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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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.