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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.

Excursions

Some Reflections on the History of Philosophy

featuring George H. Smith on Jun 20, 2018

George Smith explains the views of Kant and Hegel on the history of philosophy, and explores whether moral judgments should be applied to the realm of ideas.

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Where Do Rights Come From?

by George H. Smith on Jun 15, 2018

Smith continues his brief discussion of how to justify natural rights.

Excursions

Ayn Rand and the History of Philosophy

featuring George H. Smith on May 24, 2018

George Smith discusses whether we should hold a philosopher responsible for how other philosophers use his or her ideas.

columns

A Justification of Natural Rights

by George H. Smith on Jun 11, 2018

Smith interrupts his series on abolitionism to present a barebones defense of natural rights.

Excursions

Immanuel Kant and Nazism

featuring George H. Smith on Jun 6, 2018

Was Kant somehow responsible for the rise of Nazism? Smith explores two points of view on this issue.

Excursions

Ayn Rand on Fascism

featuring George H. Smith on May 23, 2018

George H. Smith explores Rand’s contention that America was sliding down a slippery slope to fascism.

Excursions

John Locke: A Leveller Connection?

featuring George H. Smith on May 16, 2018

Smith examines and criticizes Richard Ashcraft’s arguments that Locke was significantly influenced by the Levellers.

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The Liberty Party

by George H. Smith on May 14, 2018

Smith discusses some circumstances that led to the formation of the abolitionist Liberty Party in 1840.

Excursions

John Locke: In Search of the Radical Locke

featuring George H. Smith on May 9, 2018

George H. Smith explains an important controversy about when the Two Treatises was written and the influence of the Levellers on Locke.

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Slavery as Socialism

by George H. Smith on May 4, 2018

Smith explains how George Fitzhugh defended slavery on the grounds that it provides an ideal system of socialism.

Excursions

John Locke: Money and Private Property

featuring George H. Smith on May 2, 2018

George H. Smith explains the significance, for Locke, of the increased productivity caused by labor, and the relationship between money and property.

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Defending Slavery by Attacking Capitalists

by George H. Smith on Apr 27, 2018

Smith explains how some Southerners defended chattel slavery by contrasting it favorably with “wage slavery” in the North. 

columns

Moncure Conway’s Fall from Grace

by George H. Smith on Apr 13, 2018

How was the abolitionist Moncure Conway widely criticized by other American abolitionists for his peace proposal that would end the Civil War?

Excursions

John Locke: Hermeneutics and Labor

featuring George H. Smith on Apr 11, 2018

George H. Smith explains Locke’s ideas on how we should interpret a philosophic text, and the relationship between labor and private property.