Sunday, April 7, 2013

Richard Epstein Speech - Skepticism and Freedom

Just finished reading this transcription of a fantastic speech Richard Epstein gave in 2002:

I came across it because someone had been posting an intriguing excerpt on other blogs (an excerpt that was taken out of context, mis-attributed, and misunderstood), and I wanted to read the full thing.

The speech is not to be confused with his book Skepticism and Freedom.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Best of Richard Epstein

Richard Epstein is, in my view, the greatest thinker and speaker of this (and possibly any) generation, and we are extraordinarily lucky to be able to record his talks for repeated listening. Picking a favorite Epstein talk isn't easy, as every time the man opens his mouth originality and genius spill out. But when I think back on the dozens (hundreds?) of Epstein talks I've listened to since discovering him, two stand out as particularly special, and a third comes to mind as a great summary of his policy views. So I thought I'd put them together here for anyone who wants to hear the best of the best by the best of the best.

Richard Epstein on the Morality of Capitalism

In the following video, Richard Epstein argues for the morality of capitalism. He talks about the virtues of free enterprise all the time, but this one is especially poignant for the way he addresses the human condition:

Richard Epstein - The Moral and Economic Foundations of Capitalism - Spring 2008 Pope Lecture from Clemson Institute on Vimeo.

Richard Epstein on Happiness

The following audio interview is about happiness. This one is truly a King Lear of extemporaneous talks. The conversation goes from economics and happiness research to become the most fascinating talk about evolutionary psychology I've ever heard. Like all Epstein talks, it's difficult and merits repeat listening.

LINK: Richard Epstein on Happiness

A Summary of Richard Epstein's Policy Views

These interviews on the Free Market Series are less earth-shattering if you are a regular follower of Epstein, but they are a fantastic introduction to his basic policy positions on a number of subjects.

Part 1:

And here is part 2:

The Smartest Person in the World

The world is full of intellectuals, but I believe Epstein is categorically special among intellectuals in the same way Shakespeare is categorically special among playwrights. Part of my mission with this blog is to lobby for his position at the top of the heap, because I believe the whole world benefits if people take him more seriously.