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Utilitarianism

by John Hasnas on Aug 15, 2008

Utilitarianism equates morality to acts that maximize overall human happiness. Different theories find it both compatible and incompatible with libertarianism.

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Tracy, Destutt de (1754-1836)

by David Hart on Aug 15, 2008

Antoine-Louis-Claude Destutt de Tracy was a social and political theorist known for coining the term “ideology,” though he used it to explain liberal philosophy.

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Tocqueville, Alexis de (1805-1859)

by Jason Kuznicki on Aug 15, 2008

Alexis de Tocqueville was a scholar and statesman known for his analysis of the French Revolution’s failures and the problems of government intervention.

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Term Limits

by Eric O'Keefe on Aug 15, 2008

Term limits were an important part of early American state governments. While a standard for executives, term limits are still debated for members of Congress.

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Szasz, Thomas (1920-2012)

by Rod L. Evans on Aug 15, 2008

Thomas Szasz was an influential writer who opposed involuntary or coercive hospitalization for those deemed “mentally ill,” a label he challenged.

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Sumner, William Graham (1840-1910)

by Robert Bannister on Aug 15, 2008

William Graham Sumner was an economist and sociologist. He is known for his staunch opposition to American imperialism and dedication to individualism.

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Stirner, Max (1806-1856)

by Will Wilkinson on Aug 15, 2008

Max Stirner was a German writer who presented a case for egoism and freedom that influenced many individualist anarchists after him.

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Stigler, George J. (1911-1991)

by Aaron Steelman on Aug 15, 2008

George J. Stigler was a Nobel Prize winning economist who wrote on a number of topics, including prices, regulation, and information theory.

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Sowell, Thomas (1930-)

by Jo Kwong on Aug 15, 2008

Thomas Sowell is an economist and social theorist who has written and taught on the topics of human achievement, free markets, race, and culture.

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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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Self-Interest

by Lester Hunt on Aug 15, 2008

Most libertarians view self-interest as crucial to individual behavior. In this entry, Lester Hunt outlines differing philosophies of self-interest.

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Röpke, Wilhelm (1899-1966)

by Aaron Steelman on Aug 15, 2008

Wilhelm Röpke was a German economist who wrote in favor of a decentralized economy and held a strong anti-Keynesian and conservative position.

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Right to Bear Arms

by Nelson Lund on Aug 15, 2008

The right to bear arms, though vaguely written and often debated, is a Constitutional guarantee that protects the right for self-protection.

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Responsibility

by Rod L. Evans on Aug 15, 2008

Personal freedom and personal responsibility go hand-in-hand. An over-reliance on the government due to the welfare state corrodes both.

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Price, Richard (1723-1791)

by Wendy McElroy on Aug 15, 2008

Richard Price was a British philosopher who supported American Independence and the French Revolution and whose work focused on reason in ethics.

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Pound, Roscoe (1870-1964)

by Stephen B. Presser on Aug 15, 2008

Roscoe Pound was an influential legal scholar whose “sociological jurisprudence” approach tried to adjust the law to better match social realities. 

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Political Parties

by Patrick Basham on Aug 15, 2008

Political parties can help to inform voters and overcome collective action problems, but also institutionalize government vote-seeking and rent-seeking.

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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.