Political Theory

Wealth, Liberty, and Morality


This conference examined both sides of the luxury debate by considering such questions as: do wealth and luxury lead inexorably to the weakness of a society and its eventual corruption and decline? Do greater commercialization and prosperity produce greater industry, refinement, humanity, and even liberty?


Conference Readings

Hume, David. Essays: Moral, Political, and Literary. Edited by Eugene F. Miller. Indianapolis: Liberty Fund, 1985.

Locke, John. Second Treatise of Government. Edited by C. B. Macpherson. Indianapolis: Hackett, 1980.

McCloskey, Deirdre N. “Bourgeois Virtue and the History of P and S.” The Journal of Economic History 58, no. 2 (June 1998): 297-317.

Rousseau, Jean-Jacques. The First and Second Discourses. Translated by Roger D. Masters. New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1964.

Tocqueville, Alexis de. Democracy in America, Volume 2 [English edition]. Edited by Eduardo Nolla. Translated by James T. Schleifer. Indianapolis: Liberty Fund, Inc., 2012.

Wharton, Edith. The House of Mirth [Dover Thrift Edition]. Mineola: Dover Publications, Inc., 2002.