Liberty Fund

Liberty Fund was founded in 1960 by Pierre F. Goodrich, an Indianapolis lawyer and businessman, to the end that some hopeful contribution may be made to the preservation, restoration, and development of individual liberty through investigation, research, and educational activity.

Introducing the Online Library of Liberty’s Author Anniversary Series! Each month, to coincide with his/her birthday, we’ll publish a short biography of an author featured in the OLL. Each piece will include some suggestions for further reading, as well as links to related content in the OLL. September’s Birthday: Ludwig Heinrich Edler von Mises (September 29, 1881)


Great books are the repository of knowledge and experience. Liberty Fund seeks to preserve the wisdom and learning of the ages and to strengthen our understanding and appreciation of individual liberty and responsibility.

For over four decades, Liberty Fund has made available some of the finest books in history, politics, philosophy, law, education, and economics—books of enduring value that have helped to shape ideas and events in man’s quest for liberty, order, and justice.

Featured Book A Methodical System of Universal Law

By Johann Gottlieb Heineccius
Edited and with an Introduction by Thomas Ahnert and
Peter Schröder

George Turnbull’s eighteenth-century translation of A Methodical System of Universal Law was his major effort to convey continental natural law to Britain, thus making Heineccius’s natural jurisprudence more accessible to English-speaking audiences. Turnbull includes extensive comments on Heineccius’s text and also presents his own philosophical work, A Discourse upon the Nature and Origin of Moral and Civil Laws.


A Methodical System of Universal Law


These resources are designed to further Liberty Fund’s educational activities. They include classic works in the tradition of limited government, as well as lively current discussions of how classical-liberal principles apply in today’s world.

Law & Liberty September 18, 2020

“Contextualizing” Jefferson

The words that inspired the abolitionist movement and the words that constitutionalized abolition both came from the extraordinary mind at Monticello.

Law & Liberty September 18, 2020

Stigma and Sympathy

If addiction is a disease, and nothing else, then the addict is a slave of his biochemistry.

Law & Liberty September 18, 2020

Symbols of Cosmic Order

Political order stems human anxiety caused by a primary intuition that existence is out of nothing.

AdamSmithWorks September 15, 2020

Scottish Christianity Before the 18th Century

Paul Mueller for AdamSmithWorks September 16, 2020

EconLog September 17, 2020

NASA Is Paying for Moon Rocks

NASA is creating financial incentives for private companies to market lunar resources. This could be a first step to developing lunar mining capabilities. The biggest benefit of the program, though, is precedent. It puts the U.S. government’s imprimatur on space commerce. Given the ambiguities in public international space law, this precedent has the potential to steer space policy and commerce in a pro-market direction.

This is a key paragraph in Alexander William Salter and David R. Henderson, “NASA is Paying for Moon Rocks. The Implications for Space Commerce are Huge,” AIER, September 16, 2020.

Read the whole thing. It’s short.

AdamSmithWorks August 9, 2018

The Theory of Moral Sentiments: Conclusion of the Sixth Part

EconTalk September 14, 2020

Robert Chitester on Milton Friedman and Free to Choose

friedman-300x197.jpg Once upon a time, a man had an idea for a documentary on free-market ideas. Then that man was introduced to Milton Friedman. The result of their collaboration was a wildly successful book and PBS series, Free to Choose, capturing Friedman’s view of the world, how markets work, and the role of individual liberty in […]

EconLog September 17, 2020

It’s Complicated: Grasping the Syllogism

A few weeks ago, I presented the following syllogism:

Issue X is complicated.

Perspective Y’s position on X is not complicated.

Therefore, Perspective Y is wrong about X.


Almost all of the comments were critical.  Some notable examples:


As someone who used to live in San Francisco and was involved in YIMBY activism, this argument was used frustratingly often by NIMBYs: “The housing crisis is complicated and you can’t simplify it to econ 101, therefore just building more won’t help”. The NIMBYs, after criticizing YIMBYism for being econ 101, then never made an econ 102 argument.

The problem with this argument is that you can make yourself sound wise about anything by claiming that it’s complicated and simple solutions won’t work.


How about:

Trade is complicated.

OLL | Liberty Fund Books November 21, 2011

The Goodriches: An American Family (Dane Starbuck)

A biography of one of Indiana’s most prominent twentieth-century families. It begins with the birth of James P. Goodrich in 1864 and continues through the death of his son Pierre F. Goodrich in 1973. James Goodrich served as governor of Indiana from 1917 to 1921 and as adviser to Presidents Warren G. Harding, Calvin Coolidge, and Herbert Hoover. In later years, Pierre Goodrich, successful businessman and entrepreneur, would set aside a portion of his estate to found Liberty Fund because he believed that the principles of liberty on which our nation was founded need to be constantly kept before the public. This work is a revealing window into the founding ideals of both Indiana and our country, and how our founders meant these ideals to be lived.

OLL | Liberty Matters August 3, 2020

Ruth Scurr, "J.S. Mill & Life Writing" (August 2020)

Liberty MattersWelcome to our August 2020 edition of Liberty Matters. In this essay and discussion forum Ruth Scurr, a fellow and director of Studies in Human, Social and Political Sciences at Gonville & Caius College, Cambridge discusses JS Mill and the concept of what she calls “life writing,” According to Scurr life writing is an area of scholarship that involves biography, autobiography and memoir. Her essay focuses on Mill’s Autobiography and the approach that Mill took to crafting what he believed would become the main narrative of his life. Her essay, and the three splendid response essays from our other contributors, raise interesting questions about the outside forces that influence how we view historical figures as well as the caveats we should use while reading “life writing”. As liberalism is increasingly under attack in the modern world, discussing Mill, arguably the 19th century’s most famous English liberal, is particularly relevant.

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