George H. Smith discusses the Hobbesian theory of self-interest and why classical liberals were so intent on refuting it.
An overview of the state of the world around 1400.
Jacob T. Levy says that the collapse of trust in institutional norms is responsible for a new era of Trump-style authoritarian, populist politics.
George H. Smith explains David Hume’s theory of the social evolution of our ideas about justice.
Only individuals have ever acted, and for every action there was someone—or several someones—responsible.
Andrei Illarionov joins us this week to tell us about growing up and studying economics in the Soviet Union, and about the years he spent as an economic policy advisor to Vladimir Putin.
George H. Smith begins his discussion of David Hume’s moral and social philosophy.
The larger society does not think, it does not reason, it does not decide anything.
Julian Sanchez joins us this week for a discussion about online privacy in the era of mass data collection. When we’re online, what kind of data are we creating, and who’s watching us?
George H. Smith explores two concepts of political philosophy and their respective ideas about justice and a good society.
We overview Marxism and classical liberalism so we can get a very full picture of what produces change over time.
We talk about the United States’s unusually high rate of incarceration. How many Americans are in prison or in jail? What did they do to get there?
George H. Smith begins his exploration of self-interest and social order by explaining Lord Shaftesbury’s theory of social psychology.
Everything you were taught about why the world is the way it is was planted in your mind to promote a particular narrative of our world.
This week, we talk about the slowing pace of innovation and growth in the US over the past few decades. Has American society become too complacent?
George H. Smith explores Emile Durkheim’s major objections to Herbert Spencer’s theory of a free society based on voluntary contracts.
What does the development of the bathtub have to do with how we think about history?