Liberty Fund Symposia

Exploring the Foundations of a Free Society

Starting in 2011 Students For Liberty partnered with the Liberty Fund Inc. to host a new project for students with a passion for developing their intellectual understanding of liberty – The Students For Liberty & Liberty Fund Symposia: Exploring the Foundations of a Free Society.

Founded in 1960 by Indianapolis businessman and lawyer Pierre F. Goodrich, The Liberty Fund, Inc. is a private, educational foundation established to encourage the study of the ideal of a society of free and responsible individuals.  Their logo, the Amagi, is the earliest-known written appearance of the word “freedom”.

We successfully hosted 3 co-sponsored symposia in 2011-2012 and are excited to announce that we will be holding 3 more in 2012-2013.  These three-day events are built around a Socratic discussion of the topic between fifteen student participants and an academic discussion leader.  Over the past fifty years scores of aspiring intellectuals have attended Liberty Fund events to discuss and debate the ideas of liberty with their brightest peers.

Application to these events is very competitive.  The ideal candidate is eager to contribute to a lively intellectual discussion on the topic at hand.  Each attendee will be required to complete a set of readings leading up to the symposium (readings provided by SFL).  Participation in the entire symposium is mandatory, so do not apply unless you can attend all sessions.

Housing, meals, and materials will be provided by SFL.  Transportation to and from the conference is the responsibility of the participant.


Liberty, Legitimacy, and Property in Robert Nozick’s “Anarchy, State, and Utopia”
March 14-16, 2014 – San Diego, CA

Description: Published in 1974, Robert Nozick’s Anarchy, State, and Utopia remains the best known and most influential defense of
classical liberalism. This conference will explore many of themes addressed in the book such as individual natural rights, a conception of social and economic order as emergent and spontaneous rather than designed and commanded, and an understanding of economic justice as the product of voluntary, free market interactions.

Anachy, State and Utopia is the libertarian response to Nozick’s Harvard colleague, John Rawls, with whom Nozick debated over the

role of the state in society. Nozick moves from the classic Lockean state of nature to the most minimal state which is morally justifiable. He also takes on Rawls’ distributive justice and offers his own theory of entitlement.

Discussion Leader: Dr. Matt Zwolinski

Applications have been closed.

  • Start Date/Time: Friday, March 14 at 5:00pm Eastern Time
  • End Date/Time: Sunday, March 16 at 1:30pm Eastern Time
  • Location: San Diego, CA
  • Application Deadline: Friday, January 10, 2014

Participants will receive free hard copies of Anarchy, State, and Utopia by Robert Nozick.

Hayek and Keynes on Human Nature and Liberty
March -21-23, 2014 – Arlington, VA

Description: Friedrich A. Hayek and John Maynard Keynes were two of the most influential figures in twentieth-century economics. Their theories were often in direct conflict with one another, however. At the core of their differences was a relatively simple question: does the market self-correct or should the state intervene in the market to correct imbalances? This question touches at the heart of liberty and the ability of individuals to engage in free exchange without state interference. Keynes contended that greater levels of government intervention were necessary to protect against fluctuations in the business cycle. In contrast, Hayek argued that government intervention in the economy would introduce damaging, and potentially long-lasting, distortions.

Discussion Leader: Dr. Bruce Caldwell

Applications have been closed.

  • Start Date/Time: Friday, March 21 at 5:00pm Eastern Time
  • End Date/Time: Sunday, March 23 at 1:30pm Eastern Time
  • Location: Arlington, VA
  • Application Deadline: Friday, January 10, 2014

Participants will receive copies of a coursepack of assembled texts from Friedrich Hayek and John Maynard Keynes.


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