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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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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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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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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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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The Constitution and Slavery

by George H. Smith on Jun 23, 2017

Smith discusses the schism in the abolitionist movement over the constitutionality of slavery, and he begins his analysis of Lysander Spooner’s arguments in The Unconstitutionality of Slavery.

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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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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.