Advanced Topics in Liberty

The Foundations of Liberty and Society: Spontaneous Order

Conference for Students - Nov 8-10, 2013

Discussion leader: Michael Thomas

Session I - Discussion: The “Man of System” and the “Crowd of Mankind.”

Ferguson, Adam. Essay on the History of Civil Society (5th Edition). London: T. Cadell, 1782. Part III, “Of the History of Policy and Arts”: Section II, “The History of Political Establishments” (pages 203–225).

Smith, Adam. The Theory of Moral Sentiments. Edited by D. D. Raphael and A. L. Macfie. Indianapolis: Liberty Fund, Inc., 1982. Part VI, “Of the Character of Virtue Consisting of Three Sections”: Section I and Section II, Chapters I and II (pages 212–234).

Session II - Discussion: Hayek and the Study of “Emergent Order.”

Hayek, F. A. Law, Legislation and Liberty, Volume 1: Rules and Order [Phoenix Edition]. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1973, 1978. Chapter 2, “Cosmos and Taxis” (pages 35–54) and notes (pages 155–160).

Hayek, Friedrich A. Individualism and Economic Order. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1948, 1963, 1969, 1996. Chapter IV, “The Use of Knowledge in Society” (pages 77–91).

Session III - Discussion: Spontaneous Order in Nature.

Forsyth, Adrian and Ken Miyata. Tropical Nature. New York: Touchstone (Simon and Schuster), 1995. Chapter 5, “Matapalo” (pages 53–62), Chapter 6, “Listen to the Flowers” (pages 65–75), Chapter 7, “Eat Me” (pages 77–87), Chapter 14, “Singing in the Rain” (pages 169–183), and Chapter 16, “The Eternal Tropics” (pages 197–205).

Session IV - Discussion: Law from “Lawlessness”: Emergent Order in the American West.

Reid, John Phillip. Law for the Elephant: Property and Social Behavior on the Overland Trail. San Marino, California: Huntington Library, 1997. Chapter 6, “Knowing the Elephant: Distinguishing Property Rights” (pages 127–156).

Anderson, Terry L. and Peter J. Hill. The Not So Wild, Wild West. Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2004. Chapter 2, “The Institutions that Tamed the West” (pages 9–33) and notes (pages 213–215).

Session V - Discussion: Spontaneous Order and Economic Development.

North, Douglass C. “Institutions, Ideology, and Economic Performance.” Cato Journal 11, No. 3 (Winter 1992): 477–488.

Easterly, William. The White Man’s Burden: Why the West’s Efforts to Aid the Rest Have Done So Much Ill and So Little Good. London: Penguin Books, 2007. Chapter 3, “You Can’t Plan a Market” (pages 60–111).

Session VI - Discussion: Spontaneous Order Studies and the Future.

Ridley, Matt. The Rational Optimist: How Prosperity Evolves. New York: HarperCollins, 2010. Chapter 1, “A Better Today: The Unprecedented Present” (pages 11–46), Chapter 11, “The Catallaxy: Rational Optimism about 2100” (pages 349–359), and notes (pages 364–370 and 419–420).