Conference Topics

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Introduction

Liberty Fund conference themes align with the areas of inquiry described by our organization’s founder regarding the intended educational mission of Liberty Fund and its hopeful contribution to individual liberty and responsibility. The specific topic and reading selections for individual conferences are most frequently proposed by academic or professional thought leaders, though some are developed by Liberty Fund staff, executives, and board members. Below you can view titles of Liberty Fund conferences held in the past several years, as well as view the bibliography of readings that were examined at the conference.

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CONFERENCE TOPICS

Economics

Classic works in the discipline are joined by explorations of how economic reasoning applies to political science and other social sciences, as well as the relevance of economics as moral philosophy. A consistent theme is the view that economics is the study of human choice and its consequences, both intended and unintended.

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Education

Debates about education go far beyond the classroom and consider the way an understanding of education affects the human condition, while placing an emphasis on the advancement of society.

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Fine Arts

Political, economic, and philosophical ideas are often expressed through fine art. Conferences in this topic explore the ideals of liberty in opera, classical music, works of art, film, and theater.

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History

Conversations about history encompass a wide range of historical themes and events– from David Hume’s eighteenth-century account of English history to Edmund Burke’s analysis of the American and French Revolutions as he watched them unfold.

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Law

From the earliest written legal codes to the beginnings of modern constitutionalism, the history of law is the story of our working out how personal liberties interact with responsibilities to others.

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Literature

Serious discussions of liberty are not limited to academic works. Poets, playwrights, and novelists have had much to contribute as well.

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Natural Science/Environment

The right to inquire freely about questions of science is an important part of a free society. The discoveries that arise from this kind of open inquiry often help to build the free society even as they arise from it.

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Political Theory

Political theory encompasses debates over such issues as self-government, the rule of law, and constitutional guarantees of freedom of religion and of the press. From foundational writings to twentieth century perspectives, our conferences discuss thinkers and texts that have helped shape the ideas of liberty.

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Theology/Philosophy

Liberty is an idea and an idealized state of being that can be traced through many of the religious traditions of the world. Across time periods, theological differences, and cultural contexts, many different religious thinkers have arrived at an understanding of the importance of liberty–coupled with some form of moral responsibility–in the organization and conduct of human affairs.

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