Free Thoughts

A weekly show about politics and liberty, featuring conversations with top scholars, philosophers, historians, economists, and public policy experts. Hosted by Aaron Ross Powell and Trevor Burrus. See for privacy and opt-out information.

Eine durchschnittliche Folge dieses Podcasts dauert 51m. Bisher sind 424 Folge(n) erschienen. Dieser Podcast erscheint wöchentlich.

Gesamtlänge aller Episoden: 15 days 7 hours 15 minutes


Is Bitcoin the Future of Money?

Everyone seems to be talking about Bitcoin these days. But just what is Bitcoin—and what are cryptocurrencies in general? How do they work? Are they money? Will we all be sending and receiving payments in Bitcoin in the near future?

Trevor and Aaron sat down with Timothy B. Lee to try to answer these questions.

Lee is a senior editor at Vox where he covers technology. Previously he was a technology reporter at the Washington Post.

 2014-04-07  52m

Millennials and Immigration (at the 2014 International Students for Liberty Conference)

Immigration is one of the biggest policy issues of our time, and millennials are well positioned to play a leading role in its reform.

Alex Nowrasteh returns to the show to answer student questions about the philosophy of free immigration at the 2014 International Students for Liberty Conference. This episode was taped in front of a live audience on February 15, 2014.

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 2014-03-31  33m

The Virtue of Justice

Today we tend to think of justice in social terms, but in the time of Socrates, Aristotle, and Plato, the virtue of justice was thought to be an individual characteristic.

Mark LeBar elaborates on what that meant for their society and what it might mean for us today while providing a solid introduction to virtue ethics. LeBar is professor of philosophy at Ohio University whose areas of specialization include moral, social, political and ancient philosophy...


 2014-03-24  58m

The Death Penalty

Does the death penalty make us safer? Should the state be given the ultimate power to decide matters of life and death? Given the data on innocents that have been sentenced to die, how skeptical of the death penalty should we be?

Ben Jones joins Aaron Powell and Trevor Burrus to help answer these questions. Jones is a campaign strategist for Equal Justice USA (EJUSA) and works in support of Conservatives Concerned about the Death Penalty, a project of EJUSA. Jones is also pursuing a Ph...


 2014-03-18  47m

How to Fix Health Care

Can’t we just come up with a system that gives people as much health care as each of them needs? Is it the government’s responsibility to do that? Can the government do that? What about the market—what would a free market in health care look like? Would it look anything like the system we have now?

Michael Cannon joins Aaron and Trevor to help answer these questions. Cannon is the Cato Institute’s director of health policy studies...


 2014-03-10  1h2m

Democracy and Political Ignorance

Ilya Somin joins Aaron and Trevor for a discussion on political ignorance, which is the idea that the majority of the electorate doesn’t have enough information to make fully-informed political decisions, with the understanding that for most people this ignorance is perfectly rational.

The idea of democracy is that the citizens should decide how they’re governed and what policies their government adopts, and they way they do this is via the ballot box...


 2014-03-03  1h1m

The Conscience of the Constitution

Timothy Sandefur joins Trevor Burrus and Jason Kuznicki for a conversation about America’s founding documents: the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, and the Declaration of Independence...


 2014-02-24  58m

The Rise of the Independents

Matt Welch and Nick Gillespie have noted an emerging group of people who, having been accustomed to a panoply of choice in every other aspect of their lives, are abandoning America’s two-party system in droves...


 2014-02-17  1h0m

The Synthesis of Rights and Consequences

Tom Palmer joins Aaron and Trevor for a discussion on the two most common philosophical justifications for libertarianism.

Typically we think of justifications for libertarianism as falling into one of two kinds of categories: consequentialism and rights-based. Are these two justifications necessarily at odds with each other?

Tom G...


 2014-02-10  1h1m

The Ethics of Dynamite

This week we’re discussing a relatively unknown essay by Auberon Herbert called “The Ethics of Dynamite,” wherein Herbert compares the coercive political force of the state (the majority) to the coercive, terroristic use of force by the dynamiter (the minority), a 19-century reference to violent anarchist sects. Herbert points out that the means of the state and those of the dynamiter really do not differ all that much, and offers his solutions for “unmaking” the coercive nature of each...


 2014-02-03  49m