Natural Rights, Liberty, and Property in the Thought of Gershom Carmichael and Francis Hutcheson


This conference examined works by two "fathers" of the Scottish Enlightenment, Gershom Carmichael (1672–1729) and Francis Hutcheson (1694–1746). The primary issues addressed remain central to contemporary debates about liberty and responsibility in the academy and the public square: the origin and character of civil and political rights, the limits of civil government, the nature of the rights associated with property, the obligations and privileges that flow from contracts, and the state’s powers in time of war.


Conference Readings

Carmichael, Gershom. Natural Rights on the Threshold of the Scottish Enlightenment: The Writings of Gershom Carmichael. Edited by James Moore and Michael Silverthorne. Indianapolis: Liberty Fund, Inc., 2002.

Hutcheson, Francis. Philosophiae Moralis Instituto Compendriaria with A Short Introduction to Moral Philosophy. Edited by Luigi Turco. Indianapolis: Liberty Fund, Inc., 2007.