Liberty and Happiness


This colloquium explored the Founders' intention concerning the nature of the pursuit of happiness as a moral source and the relationship between happiness with life, liberty, and private property as an educational mandate in colleges and universities and corporations. The focus was on original documents and thinking and their renewal in American culture over time.


From Liberty Fund

The Theory of Moral Sentiments

by By Adam Smith
Edited by D. D. Raphael and A. L. Macfie

The Theory of Moral Sentiments, Smith’s first and in his own mind most important work, outlines his view of proper conduct and the institutions and sentiments that make men virtuous. Here he develops his doctrine of the impartial spectator, whose hypothetical disinterested judgment we must use to distinguish right from…

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Additional Readings

Berman, Morris. Twilight of American Culture. New York: WW Norton & Co., 2001.

Bloom, Allan. The Closing of the American Mind. New York: Touchstone, Simon & Schuster, 1988.

Ellis, Joseph. Founding Brothers. New York: Knopf, 2000.

Franklin, Benjamin, “A Dissertation on Liberty and Necessity” In The Papers of Benjamin Franklin, Volume 1, New Haven: Yale University Press, 1959. 57-71.

Hatch, Nathan O.. The Sacred Cause of Liberty. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1977.

Hitchens, Christopher . Thomas Jefferson: Author of America. New York: Harper Collins, 2005.

Jefferson, Thomas . "First Inaugural Address, March 4, 1801." (November 17, 2009).

Jefferson, Thomas. “The Declaration of Independence.” Liberty Fund OLL. (July 2012).

Lasch, Christopher. The Revolt of the Elites and the Betrayal of Democracy. New York: W. W. Norton & Co., 1996.

Lasch, Christopher. True and Only Heaven: Progress and Its Critics. New York: WW Norton & Co., 1991.

Malloch, Theodore and Massey, Scott. Renewing American Culture: The Pursuit of Happiness. Beverly, MA: M & M Scrivener Press, 2006.

McCullough, David. 1776. New York: Simon & Schuster, 2005.

McIntyre, Alasdair . After Virtue: A Study in Moral Theory (Second Edition). Notre Dame: University of Notre Dame Press, 1984.

Novak, Michael. On Two Wings: Humble Faith and Common Sense at the American Founding. New York: Encounter Books, 2002.

Taylor, Charles. Sources of the Self. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1989.

Trees, Andrew. The Founding Fathers and the Politics of Character. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2004.

Washington, George, “Farewell Address, September 16, 1796.” In George Washington: A Collection, edited by W.B. Allen, 512-527. Indianapolis: Liberty Fund, Inc., 1988.

Washington, George. “First Inaugural Address.” Liberty Fund Online Library of Liberty. (February 2008).