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Pierre F. Goodrich

Liberty Fund — enterprise in support of liberty

The following biography is taken from

Pierre F. Goodrich, an Indianapolis businessman and lawyer, founded Liberty Fund in 1960. Upon his death in 1973, Mr. Goodrich left most of his estate to the foundation for the purpose of exploring the many dimensions of liberty. This interest is reflected in the name he chose for the foundation. The Liberty Fund Board of Directors and staff are guided by his philosophy and instructions in developing specific programs.

Mr. Goodrich, a man of extensive intellectual interests, reflected deeply upon the human condition. He read widely in the Great Books tradition. Authors he frequently recommended include Aeschylus, Thucydides, Cicero, St. Augustine, John Locke, Adam Smith, William Blackstone, James Madison, Alexander Hamilton, Goethe, Lord Acton, F.A. Hayek, and Richard M. Weaver.

Mr. Goodrich observed that human beings are far from perfect and have only a partial understanding of their own nature. Institutions, in turn, are fraught with imperfections. He was particularly concerned that intellectual hubris leads to pretensions of certainty about the nature of the world and to preposterous and dangerous "solutions." This abuse of reason leads to restrictive institutional arrangements that concentrate political and economic power. Such concentrations invariably erode liberty and moral values.

The responsible course of action in an imperfect world, Mr. Goodrich believed, consists of making those choices that favor liberty from among the imperfect options available. A commitment to liberty in all its dimensions (intellectual, religious, economic, and political among them) offers the best chance to fragment and decentralize power and to release individual, creative initiative. A free society may maintain and enhance individual liberty and excellence, a genuine concern for others, a framework for social order, and economic well-being. Mr. Goodrich applauded the development of private competitive enterprise, the rule of law, and the separation of powers for their contribution to and protection of liberty.

Mr. Goodrich believed that education in a free society requires a dialogue centered around the great ideas of civilization. He saw learning as an ongoing process of discovery, not limited to traditional institutional settings or specific ages. Education is, in his view, a lifelong responsibility of each individual. Liberty Fund continues in the conviction that the best way to promote the ideal of a society of free and responsible individuals is through full and open discussion among people of varying ages, backgrounds, and occupations. As a complement to that process, Liberty Fund publishes books that are essential elements in the discussion of liberty and responsibility. It also employs visiting senior scholars to aid its program development.

Liberty Fund designs its programs to promote this exploration of ideas and intellectual discourse. By provoking thought about fundamental themes in many disciplines and areas of investigation, the programs of Liberty Fund seek to contribute to the understanding and appreciation of individual liberty and human responsibility.

In accordance with the ideals of Mr. Goodrich, Liberty Fund is intellectually and uncompromisingly committed to liberty. — main website — The Online Library of Liberty

An astonishing and wonderful instance of a businessman who thought with a horizon of a thousand years, and who then did something about it. -leif
Events in the flight of the arrow of Freeorder: vArcher
entered before July 9, 2006; edited/updated November 24, 2022

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