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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.

columns

Lysander Spooner on Natural Law

by George H. Smith on Aug 18, 2017

Smith discusses Spooner’s secular theory of natural law and his belief that no legislation is valid unless it conforms to natural law.

columns

Some Thoughts about Writing Essays

by George H. Smith on Aug 4, 2017

With his 250th essay, Smith interrupts his series on abolitionism to offer some reflections on writing essays.

columns

Are Judges Bound to Enforce Unjust Laws?

by George H. Smith on Jul 28, 2017

Smith details the scholarly debate between Lysander Spooner and Wendell Phillips over the constitutionality of slavery.

Excursions

Freethought and Freedom: Introduction

featuring George H. Smith on Jul 26, 2017

George H. Smith begins his series on the historical relationship between religious skepticism and libertarianism.

encyclopedia

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.

encyclopedia

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.

encyclopedia

Oppenheimer, Franz (1864-1943)

by George H. Smith on Aug 15, 2008

Franz Oppenheimer, a German sociologist, wrote a comprehensive explanation of the history of the state as a history of conquest.

encyclopedia

Mandeville, Bernard (1670-1733)

by George H. Smith on Aug 15, 2008

Bernard Mandeville’s controversial essays and allegories raised questions about justice and socially or morally virtuous actions.

encyclopedia

Shaftesbury, Third Earl of (1671-1713)

by George H. Smith on Aug 15, 2008

The Third Earl of Shaftesbury, Anthony Ashley Cooper was a statesman and philosopher with an interest in individualism and the natural harmony of interests.

encyclopedia

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.

encyclopedia

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.

encyclopedia

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.