Saturday, January 18, 2014

The Epstein Project

Epstein University is a complete education in classical liberal theory by its greatest expositor, Richard Epstein. Its format is a series of audio recordings culled from videos and podcasts freely available online. They focus on the key concepts that are essential to understanding the Epsteinian approach to the social sciences.

Fans of Milton Friedman, Hayek, and the like will find that Epstein fine-tunes familiar ideas to perfection. If this is your first exposure to classical liberal ideas, expect to be challenged by the most rigorous version of arguments that are far from the mainstream.

This project is organized by Epstein fans who found each other through the Richard Epstein fan site. We are not associated with Mr. Epstein, and he would probably be embarrassed to learn that he has a fan site. Our mission is to promote Epstein's work as an authority, a kind of OED for high-end "right wing" political theory that works out the most difficult questions with unmatched precision.

Epstein speaks quickly, so pay close attention and rewind frequently. We encourage you to share your thoughts and questions by commenting on the posts, but no trolling, please. These sections are only an introduction to Richard Epstein and are by no means comprehensive. We hope that they will inspire you to explore the inexhaustible genius of the world's greatest thinker.

Epstein 1: Libertarianism


Epstein sometimes refers to himself as a libertarian, sometimes as a classical liberal, and at least once as a "consequentialist Paretian." What do these terms mean? In this interview, Epstein outlines the basic framework of libertarianism and gives some idea where he fits in.

Epstein 2: The Constitution

Source: CATO

A complete education in Constitutional interpretation in one talk.

Friday, January 17, 2014

Epstein 3: Human Nature


In perhaps the greatest interview on the internet's greatest podcast, Epstein discusses pretty much everything.

Epstein 4: Free Enterprise


Is capitalism properly understood as a world of dog eat dog competition, or as a world of cooperation and shared gain? Epstein argues the latter.

Epstein 5: Simple Rules for a Complex World


Epstein argues the simple yet powerful idea that the more complex a system is, the more it is important to have simple rules that facilitate rapid transactions.

Epstein 6: Political Theory


A nice overview.

Epstein 7: Markets In Everything?


In this great talk Epstein discusses how social bonds and norms mitigate many of the problems associated with markets.

Epstein 8: Takings


This debate between Richard Epstein and Walter Block illustrates where Epstein differs from more hard-line libertarians on the role of government in society. It is also a good exposition of his theory on the Takings Clause.