Classical Liberalism

A Lecture Series with Prof. Thomas Patrick Burke

True, original or “classical” liberalism is the philosophy of the free society with free markets, the viewpoint of the Wynnewood Institute. The purpose of these lectures is to explore the meaning of these ideas, their foundations and their implications. With some exceptions, versions of them were widely accepted among the Founding Fathers and constitute the philosophical views underlying both the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. But they have largely been forgotten or misunderstood, including in the academic world whose task it was to preserve their understanding.

The aim of the lectures is first, to restore something of the traditional understanding of liberty and its roots that once distinguished the English-speaking peoples. Second, it is to investigate some difficult questions currently confronting those devoted to liberty.

  • Lecture 1: Freedom and the Free Society Classical Liberalism A Lecture Series with Prof. Thomas Patrick Burke True, original or “classical” liberalism is the philosophy of the free society with free markets.  In these lectures my intention is to ...
  • Lecture 2: Freedom of the Will, I Classical Liberalism A Lecture Series with Prof. Thomas Patrick Burke We saw in the first lecture that every human being is a distinct center of action;  that this center is located in ...
  • Lecture 3: Freedom of the Will, II Classical Liberalism A Lecture Series with Prof. Thomas Patrick Burke Is there such a thing as freedom of the will? “All theory is against it; all experience for it.”  This was the verdict of ...
  • Lecture 4: Coercion and Liberty Classical Liberalism A Lecture Series with Prof. Thomas Patrick Burke We have seen so far in these lectures that every human being is a distinct center of action, and that that center ...
  • Lecture 5: Justice and Law Classical Liberalism A Lecture Series with Prof. Thomas Patrick Burke In the last lecture I argued that the first and most basic of moral demands is to respect the freedom of the ...
  • Lecture 6: Property Classical Liberalism A Lecture Series with Prof. Thomas Patrick Burke In the last lecture I argued that justice is a quality of actions in virtue of which they are compatible with the ...
  • Lecture 7: Natural Law Classical Liberalism A Lecture Series with Prof. Thomas Patrick Burke “If justice does not exist in nature, it does not exist at all. If it is constituted by utility, it is destroyed ...
  • Lecture 8: Government Classical Liberalism A Lecture Series with Prof. Thomas Patrick Burke The Moral Basis of Government We saw in the second lecture that the interior freedom of the will is the foundation of the ...
  • Lecture 9: Social Justice Classical Liberalism A Lecture Series with Prof. Thomas Patrick Burke Ordinary Justice In previous chapters we saw that justice and injustice are concepts of ethical evaluation, and that all ethical evaluations or judgements ...
  • Lecture 10: Coercive and Peaceful Discrimination Classical Liberalism A Lecture Series with Prof. Thomas Patrick Burke The Problem The Civil Rights Act of 1964 created the crime of “discrimination,” a crime which did not previously exist.   Since that date the effects of ...
  • Lecture 11: Liberty and Marriage Classical Liberalism A Lecture Series with Prof. Thomas Patrick Burke This lecture is in two parts. The first part is concerned with the foundations of marriage, the second with current discussions of ...
  • Lecture 12: Liberty and Theology Classical Liberalism A Lecture Series with Prof. Thomas Patrick Burke             Supporters of liberty have sometimes viewed theology as an enemy, not always without reason. And supporters of theology have sometimes returned ...
  • A Philosophy of Freedom CONTENTS Being Alive Freedom of the Will, I Freedom of the Will, II Coercion Justice Property Natural Law Government Social Justice Discrimination Marriage Theology CHAPTER 1.   BEING ALIVE Every human being is a distinct center of action. We know this about ourselves directly.  We know ...