Upcoming talk at the University of Chile, Santiago

santiago-11On September 4, I’ll be speaking at the Department of Philosophy, Universidad de Chile. My topic will be: “Philosophy, Education, & Entrepreneurship.” Much thanks to Dr. Pablo Vergara and Professor Carlos Ruiz for the invitation.

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Mises as socialist hero

Ludwig von Mises was, of course, one of the great advocates of a liberal society, including its free-market economy. But here is Oskar Lange, a champion of socialist central planning, suggesting that socialists erect a monument in Mises’s honor:

“Socialists have certainly good reason to be grateful to Professor Mises, the great advocatus diaboli [devil’s advocate] of their cause.Ludwig_von_Mises For it was his powerful challenge that forced socialists to recognize the importance of an inadequate system of economic accounting to guide the allocation of resources in a socialist economy. Even more, it was chiefly due to Professor Mises’ challenge that many socialists became aware of the very existence of such a problem … . Both as an expression of recognition for the great service rendered by him and as a memento of the prime importance of sound economic accounting, a statue of Professor Mises ought to occupy and honourable place in the great hall of the Ministry of Socialisation or of the Central Planning Board of the socialist state.”

Source: Lawrence White’s excellent The Clash of Economic Ideas (Cambridge University Press, 2012), p. 47.

Related: More posts on Mises.

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Is Life Unfair? My Challenge to the Best Tennis Player in the World [new The Good Life column]

The opening of my latest column at EveryJoe:

“Let me brag a bit. In high school I was a pretty good at tennis. Now, many years later, I am an occasional weekend player who has somehow acquired the stamina (and the knees) of a middle-aged man.

“But I still have this recurring fantasy that I will play against the best tennis player in the world. The fantasy goes something like this …” Read more here.


[My other columns on The Good Life.]

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My travel/speaking schedule, September-December 2014

The new academic year is beginning, and here is my line-up for the first semester:

September 4: Santiago de Chile, Department of Philosophy, Universidad de Chile. Topic: “Philosophy, Education, and Entrepreneurship.” speaker-action-145

September 18-21: Tucson, Arizona, Liberty Fund Seminar. Topic: “Is the Decline of Liberty Inevitable?”

October 10-11: University of Illinois, Springfield. Topic: “Thirteen Arguments for Liberalism: Are Friedman’s, Hayek’s, and Rand’s Arguments Compatible?”

November 1-12: Buenos Aires, Argentina. Five lectures in connection with the release of Explicando el Pósmodernismo, la crisis del socialismo, which is the Spanish translation of my Explaining Postmodernism: Skepticism and Socialism from Rousseau to Foucault.

December 6: Lisbon, Portugal, Institute for Political Studies, Catholic University of Portugal. Seminar topic: “Two Narratives of Modernity: Enlightenment and Postmodern.”

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Liberty and medical experimentation

Should dying patients have the right to try drugs not yet approved by the government?

pill-bottlesIn my Business Ethics course, we cover the classic Laetrile case (my one-hour video lecture with accompanying readings on the case), in which the arguments for government paternalism and market liberalism go head to head. Every few years brings another round of debates — for example, over treatments for AIDS, the use of medical marijuana, and so on — making this a perennial issue.

Here is some recent journalism on right-to-try bills in Arizona, Colorado, Louisiana, and Missouri to enable patients to make their own choices.

Daniel Henninger on “Drug Lag” (at The Concise Encyclopedia of Economics).
Daniel Klein and Alexander Tabarrok’s FDAReview.org (at The Independent Institute).

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Endless summer? On leave for academic year 2014-15

The new academic year has begun — but I am on leave from teaching this year in order to complete my next book. Good progress so far, but summer is summer and now it’s time to get systematic.

So let me mark the transition with a Vacation’s-Over picture.


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The Richest Man in the World’s Healthcare [new “The Good Life” column]

The opening of my latest column at EveryJoe: “You might not think of yourself as wealthy. Let me prove that you are.

“In 1836, the richest man in the world was Nathan Rothschild. He was 58 years old and, according to a medical check-up at the beginning of the year, in good condition for a man of his age. …” Read more here.


Last week’s column: When Can Professors Have Sex With Their Students?

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Kant’s wayward relative Emil

Via Roger Donway, this from a brief obituary in The New York Times, August 2, 1927, page 21:

kant-silhouette-75x134“Emil C. Kant, last German relative of Emmanuel Kant, famous philosopher, was buried in Corozal Cemetery, Canal Zone, yesterday … . While a student at the University of Dorpat, Emil was conscripted by the German Army, thereby failing to obtain the degree Doctor of Medicine. He rebelled against army discipline, assaulted a superior officer and deserted the army, fleeing to Africa. Later, he went to the United States and came to Central America in connection with the construction of the railroad from Port Limon, Costa Rica, to San Jose, capital of that country.”

Imagine that: a Kant who failed to do his duty, disobeyed, and followed his inclinations.

A snippet from the Times says “Philosopher’s Relative Sought All Over the World for 40 Years.”

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