Smith discusses Spinoza’s controversial ideas about God, religion, and his criticism of the Design Argument.
Baruch Spinoza was born in Amsterdam and worked most of his life as a lens grinder. His family was of Portuguese Jewish decent. Spinoza’s most important work, Ethics, was published posthumously in 1677.
Smith explains why Spinoza’s Theologico-Political Treatise became one of the most scandalous books ever published.
Smith continues his discussion of Spinoza by explaining how he defended freedom of religion and speech.
Smith explains the fundamentals of Spinoza’s theory of rights and government.
Smith criticizes some features of Spinoza’s political theory, especially his theory of rights.
One example of a prosperous and relatively free society, the Dutch Republic was a major world power between the 16th and 18th centuries.
Natural law theorists explain that all man-made law should derive from some universal law of nature, discovered either through divine inspiration or human reason.
Freedom of speech is a pillar of a free society. In this entry, Alan Charles Kors discusses how it has been attacked even in modern democracies.
Throughout history, church and state have become increasingly separate as institutions. Libertarians tend to favor this shift, as it discourages state authority.
The idea that government should be subject to the law and possess only those powers granted by law is fundamental to libertarianism.
In this excerpt from Libertarianism: A Primer, Boaz tells the history of the movement for liberty, from Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu through the 20th century.