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John Locke and Ayn Rand’s Conceptions of Freedom

March 1, 2022

March 1, 2022

The English political philosopher John Locke is widely regarded as the philosophical godfather of the American Revolution. His ideas of natural rights and limited government—most famously expressed in his Two Treatises of Civil Government—helped shape how people like Thomas Jefferson and John Adams viewed the role of government and individual freedom in the new nation. Some two centuries later, the writer and philosopher Ayn Rand advanced similar arguments about the sanctity of the individual and the importance of constitutionally limited government.

How do Locke and Rand’s ideas overlap? Where do they differ?

That will be the subject of a presentation by Goldwater’s Timothy Sandefur on March 10 at 10 a.m. PT/1 p.m. ET. The presentation—part of a series starting March 3 and sponsored by the Objective Standard Institute—will look at how Locke and Rand’s personal backgrounds affected their views of freedom, how their understanding of human nature differed from those of the political philosophers whom they disagreed with, and how their theories of individual rights, democracy, private property, and other matters differed from each other. The presentations are online and participation costs $297, but scholarships are available for students under 29, and Goldwater Institute supporters can receive a discount by using the discount code “Goldwater25”.

You can sign up here.



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