In this entry, George H. Smith addresses the idea of conscience in western thought and the importance of liberty of conscience to be maintained.
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.
Methodological individualism is the methodological framework wherein individuals are seen as the agents of actions and values that form social phenomena.
Mercantilism was the belief that wealth of nations was based on the amount of money held by the nation, through high internal protections and a focus on exports.
Smith discusses the influence of puritanism, the religious revival in the early 19th century, and Spooner’s disagreements with Christian ethics.
Freedom of thought includes the notion that religion and personal value systems should be unregulated, and that expressing all values must be permitted.
A notable early economist, Richard Cantillon is influential for his theories on the self-regulating market, entrepreneurship, and prices.
The physiocrats were French laissez-faire economists in the late 18th century who based their policies and writings on natural reason and science.
George H. Smith explains David Hume’s theory of the social evolution of our ideas about justice.
Thomas Aquinas was a philosopher who greatly influenced Catholic thought and promoted law not as a way to regulate morality, but to allow human choice.
As part of the overthrow of the French monarchy in 1789, this document served as the first attempt at capturing the ideals of a possible French Republic.
Henry Thomas Buckle was a great British historian of the 19th century who dedicated his life to completing a comprehensive history of English culture.
Libertarians celebrate increasing individual liberties as the main fuel for human progress - material, moral, and intellectual.
Smith explains some reasons why the temperance movement switched from advocating voluntary methods to calling for coercive prohibitory laws during the 1830s.
A libertarian focus on equality mostly focuses on the notion of equal rights. Libertarian systems of justice must operate in a way that maintains these rights.
Freedom of worship is an individual right and natural right that many people and groups have fought for throughout history.
Abolitionism was the 19th century anti-slavery movement promoting the equal civil and political rights for African Americans and complete rejection of slavery.
George H. Smith begins his discussion of David Hume’s moral and social philosophy.