History’s first great philosopher wasn’t a fan of educational freedom.
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.
Smith discusses the Hobbesian theory of self-interest and why classical liberals were so intent on refuting it.
George H. Smith continues his examination of the intellectual roots of state education by turning to the views of Plato’s most famous student.
George H. Smith begins his series on the critics of state education with a discussion of Joseph Priestley, the Englishman who discovered oxygen.
Smith explains Burke’s argument against majority rule and a constitution based on the consent of the governed.
George H. Smith turns to the philosophy of Voluntaryism, discussing how its proponents fought against state control of education in the nineteenth century.
Smith discusses Butler’s influential theory of psychology and his ideas about self-interest and benevolence.
George H. Smith explores some more Voluntaryist arguments against state education.
George H. Smith explores the Voluntaryist critique of those who support free trade in religion and commerce but advocate state interference in education.
Smith continues his discussion of Butler’s theory of moral psychology, and summarizes his ideas about conscience and rational self-interest.
George H. Smith discusses Jefferson’s ideas about education and his plan for a decentralized system of public schools.
George H. Smith interrupts his series on education with a discussion of social Darwinism.
Smith explains why Mandeville’s ideas about vice made him one of the most notorious writers of his time.
Smith continues his discussion of Herbert Spencer and William Graham Sumner, explaining how they explicitly repudiated the ideas associated with social Darwinism.
Smith discusses Mandeville’s defense of legal prostitution and other vices.
George H. Smith concludes this series with a close look at Herbert Spencer’s views on charity and the poor.
Smith explores Thomas Jefferson’s belief in the value of history, and his plan for public universities.
Smith begins his series on the historical relationship between religious skepticism and libertarianism.