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Co-sponsored by Liberty Fund, Inc., this program is an intellectually demanding and stimulating weekend colloquium that explores the foundations of liberty in a mixture of graduate-level text-based, guided Socratic discussion and lecture sessions. This colloquium is for Acton alumni who are currently enrolled or have recently completed graduate level work.

This colloquium on Liberty and the Intellectual Roots of Modern Market Economics will explore the contributions made to economics by the Late Scholastics, a group of European intellectuals who wrote in the 16-17th centuries. Students of Late Scholastic thought, such as Joseph Schumpeter and Murray Rothbard, tried to demonstrate that the contributions of Scholastic authors played a crucial role in the development of economic thinking. Through an examination of the Late Scholastics, it is possible to see their intellectual influence on Hugo Grotius, Samuel Pufendorf, John Locke, and Scottish Enlightenment thinkers like Francis Hutcheson and Adam Smith. Thus, the origins of modern economic thinking, and (according to Rothbard) Austrian economics, should be understood as the fruits of Late Scholastic reflection.

This colloquium will consist of 6 guided Socratic discussion sessions.

  • The discussion sessions are text-based and so selected participants are required to prepare appropriately and participate fully in all sessions.
  • Readings will be provided to all accepted participants.
  • This colloquium is for Acton alumni who are currently enrolled or have recently completed graduate level work.

Event Details

Start Date

End Date


Amway Grand Plaza Hotel
187 Monroe Ave. NW
Grand Rapids, MI 49503
United States


This colloquium begins at 6:00pm on November 15, 2018 and concludes late on November 17, 2018, for a Sunday departure. A full schedule will be provided to accepted participants.

More Information

Accepted participants will receive a conference package that includes single-occupancy lodging, meals, and limited travel assistance. There are no fees to attend; participants must apply to attend.

Download Sample Schedule or Frequently Asked Questions.

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