George H. Smith explains Edmund Burke’s argument against majority rule and a constitution based on the consent of the governed.
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 controversy over whether the U.S. Constitution is pro-slavery, as illustrated in the opposing views of two leading abolitionists: Wendell Phillips and Lysander Spooner.
George H. Smith explains Thomas Paine’s constitutional theory and why Paine believed that Britain had no constitution.
Smith discusses the crucial role played by the inalienable right of self-ownership in the abolitionist crusade to abolish slavery.
How the libertarian ideas of Richard Price motivated Burke to write Reflections on the Revolution in France, and how Paine dealt with the controversy.
George H. Smith continues his discussion of Thomas Paine’s theory of rights and government.
George H. Smith discusses Thomas Paine’s theory of rights.
George H. Smith discusses Thomas Erskine’s ideas on libel laws and freedom of the press, and how he incorporated those ideas during his defense of Thomas Paine.
Smith discusses some elements of credibility and offers advice on how to engage in arguments.
In 1792, Thomas Paine was tried for seditious libel. In this essay, George H. Smith discusses the prosecution’s case.
George H. Smith discusses some background of the debate between Thomas Paine and Edmund Burke, and the furor created by Paine’s Rights of Man.
George H. Smith concludes this series with more observations about James Mackintosh’s defense of natural rights.
George H. Smith explains why Edmund Burke opposed abstract rights and why James Mackintosh defended them.
Smith discusses some common problems encountered by libertarians when they defend their political beliefs in arguments.
George H. Smith explains the defense of rights and other abstract political principles given by James Mackintosh, one of Burke’s most effective critics.
Smith explores the indispensable role of value commitments in our quest for knowledge.
George H. Smith explains why Burke predicted that the French Revolution would end in systematic violence.
Smith discusses the crucial difference between science and philosophy, and how human fallibility has been used to defend skepticism.