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Liberty Fund

Liberty Fund

Website: http://www.libertyfund.org/

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Liberty Fund

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The Elements of Moral Philosophy Cover

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The Elements of Moral Philosophy

David Fordyce

Though little known today, David Fordyce was an important figure in the Scottish Enlightenment and closely associated with liberal Dissenters in England. His Elements of Moral Philosophy was a notable contribution to the curriculum in moral philosophy and a widely circulated text in moral philosophy in the second half of the eighteenth century. It was first published as part of a comprehensive textbook system in 1748 and as a separate book in 1754. It is the latter that is now being reissued. The significance of The Elements is evidenced by the fact that it was included practically verbatim in the first edition of the Encyclopaedia Britannica (1771). A Brief Account, Fordyce’s opening lectures to his Marischal class of 1743/44, has never before been published.David Fordyce (1711–1751) taught at Marischal College, Aberdeen.Thomas D. Kennedy is Associate Professor of Philosophy at Valparaiso University.Knud Haakonssen is Professor of Intellectual History and Director of the Centre for Intellectual History at the University of Sussex, England.

Empire and Nation Cover

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Empire and Nation

Forrest McDonald

Two series of letters that have been described as "the wellsprings of nearly all ensuing debate on the limits of governmental power in the United States" are collected in this volume. The writings include Letters from a Farmer in Pennsylvania—the "farmer" being the gifted and courageous statesman John Dickinson and Letters from the Federal Farmer—he being the redoubtable Richard Henry Lee of Virginia. Together, Dickinson and Lee addressed the whole remarkable range of issues provoked by the crisis of British policies in North America, a crisis from which a new nation emerged from an overreaching empire. Dickinson wrote his Letters in opposition to the Townshend Acts by which the British Parliament in 1767 proposed to reorganize colonial customs. The publication of the Letters was, as Philip Davidson believes, "the most brilliant literary event of the entire Revolution." Forrest McDonald adds, "Their impact and their circulation were unapproached by any publication of the revolutionary period except Thomas Paine's Common Sense." Lee wrote in 1787 as an Anti-Federalist, and his Letters gained, as Charles Warren has noted, "much more widespread circulation and influence" than even the heralded Federalist Papers. Both sets of Letters deal, McDonald points out, "with the same question: the never-ending problem of the distribution of power in a broad and complex federal system." The Liberty Fund second edition includes a new preface by the editor in which he responds to research since the original edition of 1962.

Forrest McDonald is Professor of History at the University of Alabama and author also of E Pluribus Unum, among other works.

An Essay on the Life of the Honourable Major-General Israel Putnam Cover

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An Essay on the Life of the Honourable Major-General Israel Putnam

David Humphreys

David Humphreys was aide-de-camp to Washington during the American Revolution. His Life of Israel Putnam, originally published in 1788, has rightly been described as “the first biography of an American written by an American.” It is, as William C. Dowling observes, “a classic of revolutionary writing, very readable and immensely interesting in what it says about the temper of the new republic in the period immediately after the American Revolution.” The subject—General Israel Putnam—is remembered to history and legend as exclaiming: “Don’t fire ’til you see the whites of their eyes!” to American soldiers at the Battle of Bunker Hill. As Professor Dowling notes, “All the episodes are retold—Bunker Hill, the Battle of White Plains, the crossing of the Delaware, the Battle of Princeton—but from the perspective of one who was there throughout, and who always permits us to see Putnam as the sort of character by whom history is, in the last analysis, made.” Humphreys wrote the biography when formation of the Society of the Cincinnati, composed of men who were officers in the Revolution, “focused debate in the new republic about the competing claims of individual liberty and the good of the community.”

William C. Dowling is a Professor of English at Rutgers University

An Essay on the Nature and Conduct of the Passions and Affections, with Illustrations on the Moral Sense Cover

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An Essay on the Nature and Conduct of the Passions and Affections, with Illustrations on the Moral Sense

Francis Hutcheson

In An Essay on the Nature and Conduct of the Passions and Affections, with Illustrations on the Moral Sense, Francis Hutcheson answers the criticism that had been leveled against his first book Inquiry into the Original of Our Ideas of Beauty and Virtue (1725). Together the two works constitute the great innovation in philosophy for which Hutcheson is most well known. The first half of the Essay presents a rich moral psychology built on a theory of the passions and an account of motivation, deepening and augmenting the doctrine of moral sense developed in the Inquiry. The second half of the work, the Illustrations, is a brilliant attack on rationalist moral theories and is the font of many of the arguments taken up by Hume and used to this day. As editor Aaron Garrett notes, “In the Essay Hutcheson provides his crucial argument against Hobbes and Mandeville, that not just egoistic self-preservation, but also benevolence, is an essential feature of human nature.” Professor Garrett has constructed a critical variorum edition of this great work. Because there are no manuscripts of the work, this could be done only by comparing all extant lifetime editions. Three such editions exist: those of 1728, 1730 (chiefly a reprint of the 1728 edition), and 1742. The Liberty Fund edition collates the first edition with Hutcheson’s revision of 1742.Francis Hutcheson was a crucial link between the continental European natural law tradition and the emerging Scottish Enlightenment. Hence, he is a pivotal figure in the Natural Law and Enlightenment Classics series. A contemporary of Lord Kames and George Turnbull, an acquaintance of David Hume, and the teacher of Adam Smith, Hutcheson was arguably the leading figure in making Scotland distinctive within the general European Enlightenment.Aaron Garrett is Associate Professor of Philosophy at Boston University.Knud Haakonssen is Professor of Intellectual History and Director of the Centre for Intellectual History at the University of Sussex, England.

Essay on the Nature of Trade in General Cover

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Essay on the Nature of Trade in General

Richard Cantillon

The Liberty Fund edition is a modernized translation of Richard Cantillon’s Essai sur la nature du commerce en général(1755) with a new introduction by Antoin E. Murphy. In the Essay, Cantillon outlined an extraordinary model-building approach showing how the economy could be built up, through progressive stages, from a command, barter, closed economy to a market economy, which uses money and is open. Though written in the eighteenth century, the Essay has a considerable resonance for a twenty-firstcentury audience.

Antoin E. Murphy is Emeritus Professor of Economics and Fellow of Trinity College Dublin.

Essays, Moral, Political, And Literary Cover

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Essays, Moral, Political, And Literary

David Hume

This edition contains the thirty-nine essays included in Essays, Moral, and Literary, that made up Volume I of the 1777 posthumous Essays and Treatises on Several Subjects. It also includes ten essays that were withdrawn or left unpublished by Hume for various reasons. The two most important were deemed too controversial for the religious climate of his time.

This revised edition reflects changes based on further comparisons with eighteenth-century texts and an extensive reworking of the index.

Eugene F. Miller was Professor of Political Science at the University of Georgia from 1967 until his retirement in 2003.

Essays on Church, State, and Politics Cover

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Essays on Church, State, and Politics

Christian Thomasius

The essays selected here for translation derive largely from Thomasius’s work on Staatskirchenrecht, or the political jurisprudence of church law. These works, originating as disputations, theses, and pamphlets, were direct interventions in the unresolved issue of the political role of religion in Brandenburg-Prussia, a state in which a Calvinist dynasty ruled over a largely Lutheran population and nobility as well as a significant Catholic minority. In mandating limited religious toleration within the German states, the provisions of the Peace of Westphalia (1648) also provided the rulers of Brandenburg-Prussia with a way of keeping the powerful Lutheran church in check by guaranteeing a degree of religious freedom to non-Lutherans and thereby detaching the state from the most powerful territorial church. Thomasius’s writings on church-state relations, many of them critical of the civil claims made by Lutheran theologians, are a direct response to this state of affairs. At the same time, owing to the depth of intellectual resources at his disposal, these works constitute a major contribution to the broader discussion of the relation between the religious and political spheres.

Christian Thomasius (1655–1728) was a German philosopher and legal theorist. He was a cofounder of the University of Halle, where he was also a professor.

Ian Hunter is Australian Professorial Fellow in the Centre for the History of European Discourses, University of Queensland.

Frank Grunert is a member of the Institute for Philosophy at the University of Giessen.

Thomas Ahnert is a Lecturer in History at the University of Edinburgh.

Knud Haakonssen is Professor of Intellectual History at the University of Sussex, England.

Essays on Principles of Morality and Natural Religion Cover

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Essays on Principles of Morality and Natural Religion

Henry Home

The Essays is commonly considered Kames’s most important philosophical work. In the first part, he sets forth the principles and foundations of morality and justice, attacking Hume’s moral skepticism and addressing the controversial issue of the freedom of human will. In the second part, Kames focuses on questions of metaphysics and epistemology to offer a natural theology in which the authority of the external senses is an important basis for belief in the Deity.Like Shaftesbury, Hutcheson, and Butler, Kames rejected the idea that morality is founded on self-interest and argued that human beings naturally possess a “moral sense,” or conscience. At the same time, Kames believed our naturally benevolent inclinations could become law-like only through the principle of justice, which “guards the persons, the property, and the reputation of individuals, and gives authority to promises and covenants.”He also sought to counter the epistemological skepticism of Berkeley and Hume, insisting that our sense perceptions must be trustworthy because they have been designed for us by a benevolent Deity. “In its concern to vindicate the veracity of our common moral intuitions and sense perceptions that are rooted in our very nature,” Mary Catherine Moran writes, “the Essays on the Principles of Morality and Natural Religion helped found the Scottish Common Sense school,” a philosophy that was given its classic formulation by Kames’s friend Thomas Reid.The text of this volume is based on the third edition of 1779, while the appendix presents substantial variant readings in the first and second editions..

Henry Home, Lord Kames (1696–1782), one of the leaders of the Scottish Enlightenment, was a judge in the supreme courts of Scotland and wrote extensively on morals, religion, education, aesthetics, history, political economy, and law, including natural law. His most distinctive contribution came through his works on the nature of law, where he sought to combine a philosophical approach with an empirical history of legal evolution.

Mary Catherine Moran taught in the Department of History at Columbia University.

Knud Haakonssen is Professor of Intellectual History and Director of the Centre for Intellectual History at the University of Sussex, England.

The Excellencie of a Free State Cover

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The Excellencie of a Free State

Or, The Right Constitution of a Commonwealth

Marchamont Nedham

First published in 1656, and compiled from previously written editorials in the parliamentarian newsbook Mercurius Politicus, The Excellencie of a Free-State addressed a dilemma in English politics, namely, what kind of government should the Commonwealth adopt? One possibility was to revert to the ancient constitution and create a Cromwellian monarchy. The alternative was the creation of parliamentary sovereignty, in which there would be a "due and orderly succession of supreme authority in the hands of the people's representatives." Nedham was convinced that only the latter would "best secure the liberties and freedoms of the people from the encroachments and usurpations of tyranny."Marchamont Nedham (1620-1678) was a polemicist, pamphleteer, and editor of Mercurius Politicus.Blair Worden is Research Professor of History, Royal Holloway College, University of London.

The Federalist Papers Cover

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The Federalist Papers

The Gideon Edition

George Carey

The Federalist, by Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, and John Jay, constitutes a text central to the American political tradition. Published in newspapers in 1787 and 1788 to explain and promote ratification of the proposed Constitution for the United States, which up to then were bound by the Articles of Confederation, The Federalist remains today of singular importance to students of liberty around the world.

The new Liberty Fund edition presents the text of the Gideon edition of The Federalist, published in 1818, which includes the preface to the text by Jacob Gideon as well as the responses and corrections prepared by Madison to the McLean edition of 1810. The McLean edition had presented the Federalist texts as corrected by Hamilton and Jay but not reviewed by Madison.

The Liberty Fund Federalist also includes a new introduction, a Reader’s Guide outlining—section by section—the arguments of The Federalist, a glossary, and ten appendixes, including the Declaration of Independence, the Articles of Confederation, the Virginia Resolution Proposing the Annapolis Convention, and other key documents leading up to the transmission of the Constitution to the governors of the several states. Finally, the Constitution of the United States and Amendments is given, with marginal cross-references to the pertinent passages in The Federalist that address, argue for, or comment upon the specific term, phrase, section, or article of the Constitution.

Alexander Hamilton (1755–1804) was secretary and aide-de-camp to Washington in 1777–81, a member of the Continental Congress in 1782–83 and 1787–88, a representative from New York to the Annapolis Convention in 1786 and to the Constitutional Convention in 1787, first U. S. secretary of the treasury in 1789–95, and inspector general of the army, with the rank of major general, from 1798 to 1800. His efforts to defeat Aaron Burr for the presidency in 1800-01 and for the governorship of New York in 1804 led to his fatal duel with Burr.

John Jay (1745–1829) was a member of the Continental Congress in 1774 through 1779 and its president in 1778–79, drafter of New York’s first constitution in 1777, chief justice of the New York supreme court from 1777 to 1778, U. S. minister to Spain in 1779, a member of the commission to negotiate peace with Great Britain in Paris in 1787, U. S. secretary of foreign affairs from 1784 to 1789, Chief Justice of the United States from 1789 to 1795, and governor of New York from 1795 to 1801.

James Madison (1751–1836) was a member of the Virginia legislature in 1776–80 and 1784–86, of the Continental Congress in 1780–83, and of the Constitutional Convention in 1787, where he earned the title “father of the U. S. Constitution.” He was a member of the U. S. House of Representatives from 1789 to 1797, where he was a sponsor of the Bill of Rights and an opponent of Hamilton’s financial measures. He was the author of the Virginia Resolutions of 1798 in opposition to the U. S. alien and sedition laws. He was U. S. secretary of state in 1801–09, President of the U. S. in 1809–17, and rector of the University of Virginia, 1826–36.

George W. Carey is a professor of government at Georgetown University and the editor of several works on American government. He is the author of In Defense of the Constitution, published by Liberty Fund.

James McClellan (1937-2005) was James Bryce Visiting Fellow in American Studies at the Institute of United States Studies, University of London, and the author of Liberty, Order, and Justic

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