October 26-28 • Philadelphia, PA

About Cato University | Schedule | Register | Scholarship

The American Founders were careful students of history. Thomas Jefferson, in his influential A Summary View of the Rights of British America, prepared in 1774, noted that “history has informed us that bodies of men as well as individuals are susceptible of the spirit of tyranny.” Patrick Henry, summed up the importance of history thus: “I have but one lamp by which my feet are guided, and that is the lamp of experience. I know of no way of judging the future but by the past.”

Therefore, history is indispensable to understanding and defending liberty under our constitutionally limited, representative government. And at the core of that history is philosophy: the underlying beliefs and values that guided the American Founders in their creating a constitutional order of separated powers, checks and balances, and liberty. Cato University’s College of History and Philosophy braids these two powerful subjects together to explore the history of liberty and justice, of wealth and poverty, of individual rights and the rule of law. Come join us to experience history in the exciting and inspiring way the American founders knew it.

Schedule

Thursday, October 26
3:00 – 6:00PM Registration
6:30 – 7:30PM Reception
7:30 – 9:30PM History as the Science of Liberty

Dinner Speaker: Tom Palmer, Senior Fellow, Cato Institute; George M. Yeager Chair for Advancing Liberty and Executive Vice President for International Programs, Atlas Network


Friday, October 27
8:00AM Breakfast
9:00 – 10:15AM The Experience of Liberty

Speaker: Tom Palmer, Senior Fellow, Cato Institute; George M. Yeager Chair for Advancing Liberty and Executive Vice President for International Programs, Atlas Network
10:15 – 10:45AM Break
10:45 – 12:00PM The American Enlightenment and Revolution

Speaker: Rob McDonald, Associate Professor of History at the United States Military Academy
12:00 – 1:30PM Lunch
1:30 – 2:45PM The Libertarian Synthesis

Speaker: Tom Palmer, Senior Fellow, Cato Institute; George M. Yeager Chair for Advancing Liberty and Executive Vice President for International Programs, Atlas Network
2:45 – 3:15PM Break
3:15 – 4:30PM The Wealth Explosion

Speaker: Steve Davies, Education Director at the Institute of Economic Affairs
4:30PM Free Time
6:30 – 7:00PM Reception
7:00 – 9:00PM War and the Rise of the American State

Dinner Speaker: Christopher A. Preble, Vice President for Defense and Foreign Policy Studies, Cato Institute


Saturday, October 28
8:00AM Breakfast
9:00 – 10:15AM The Spread of Libertarian Thought from the Enlightenment Onwards

Speaker: Steve Davies, Education Director at the Institute of Economic Affairs
10:15 – 10:45AM Break
10:45 – 12:00PM America to the Civil War and Beyond

Speaker: Rob McDonald, Associate Professor of History at the United States Military Academy
12:00 – 1:30PM Lunch
1:30 – 2:45PM The Ideological Challengers to Liberty

Speaker: Steve Davies, Education Director at the Institute of Economic Affairs
2:45 – 3:15PM Break
3:15 – 4:30PM Transformations of American Government from WWI to Today

Speaker: Rob McDonald, Associate Professor of History at the United States Military Academy
4:30PM Free Time
6:30PM – 7:00PM Reception
7:00PM – 9:00PM The Founders’ Legacy

Dinner Speaker: David Boaz, Executive Vice President, Cato Institute.

About Cato University | Schedule | Register | Scholarship

Tom PalmerTom G. Palmer is a senior fellow at the Cato Institute, and director of Cato University, the Institute’s educational arm. Palmer is also the executive vice president for international programs at the Atlas Economic Research Foundation, and is responsible for establishing operating programs in 14 languages and managing programs for a worldwide network of think tanks. Before joining Cato he was an H. B. Earhart Fellow at Hertford College, Oxford University, and a vice president of the Institute for Humane Studies at George Mason University. He frequently lectures in North America, Europe, Eurasia, Africa, Latin America, India, China and throughout Asia, and the Middle East on political science, public choice, civil society, and the moral, legal, and historical foundations of individual rights.

More about Tom Palmer

Christopher A. PrebleChristopher A. Preble is the vice president for defense and foreign policy studies at the Cato Institute. He is the author of three books including The Power Problem: How American Military Dominance Makes Us Less Safe, Less Prosperous and Less Free (Cornell University Press, 2009); and John F. Kennedy and the Missile Gap (Northern Illinois University Press, 2004); and he co-edited, with John Mueller, A Dangerous World? Threat Perception and U.S. National Security (Cato Institute, 2014); and, with Jim Harper and Benjamin Friedman, Terrorizing Ourselves: Why U.S. Counterterrorism Policy Is Failing and How to Fix It (Cato Institute, 2010).

In addition to his work at Cato, Preble teaches the U.S. Foreign Policy elective at the University of California, Washington Center (UCDC). Before joining Cato in February 2003, he taught history at St. Cloud State University and Temple University. Preble was a commissioned officer in the U.S. Navy, and served onboard USS Ticonderoga (CG-47) from 1990 to 1993. Preble holds a Ph.D. in history from Temple University.

More about Christopher A. Preble

Robert McDonaldRobert McDonald is associate professor of history at the United States Military Academy and an adjunct scholar of the Cato Institute. He is a graduate of the University of Virginia, Oxford University, and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he earned his Ph.D. A specialist on Thomas Jefferson and the early American republic, he has published several essays and articles in journals such as The Historian, Southern Cultures, and the Journal of the Early Republic. He is editor of Thomas Jefferson’s Military Academy: Founding West Point (University of Virginia Press, 2004) and Light & Liberty: Thomas Jefferson and the Power of Knowledge (University of Virginia Press, forthcoming). He is completing a book to be titled Confounding Father: Thomas Jefferson and the Politics of Personality. He lives in Cornwall-on-Hudson, New York, with his wife, Christine, and their children Jefferson and Grace.

More about Robert McDonald

Steve DaviesDr. Steve Davies is the Head of Education at the IEA. Previously he was program officer at the Institute for Humane Studies (IHS) at George Mason University in Virginia. He joined IHS from the UK where he was Senior Lecturer in the Department of History and Economic History at Manchester Metropolitan University. He has also been a Visiting Scholar at the Social Philosophy and Policy Center at Bowling Green State University, Ohio. A historian, he graduated from St Andrews University in Scotland in 1976 and gained his PhD from the same institution in 1984. He has authored several books, including Empiricism and History (Palgrave Macmillan, 2003) and was co-editor with Nigel Ashford of The Dictionary of Conservative and Libertarian Thought (Routledge, 1991).

More about Steve Davies

David BoazDavid Boaz is the executive vice president of the Cato Institute and has played a key role in the development of the Cato Institute and the libertarian movement. He is the author of The Libertarian Mind: A Manifesto for Freedom and the editor of The Libertarian Reader.

More about David Boaz