Selected Readings on Sociology

Ludwig von Mises on “Sociology and History” (1933)

Source: Ludwig von Mises, Epistemological Problems of Economics, Indianapolis, Liberty Fund, 2013. Online Library of Liberty. 12/19/2013. Chapter 2 “Sociology and History.

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Author: Ludwig von Mises (1881-1973)

Millar and the Distinction of Ranks

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John Millar Subject Area: Sociology School of Thought: Scottish Enlightenment

Source: Introduction to Millar's The Origin of the Distinction of Ranks; or, An Inquiry into the Circumstances which give rise to…

Oppenheimer, The Genesis of the State (1922)

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Works by Oppenheimer Subject Area: Sociology

Source: A Chapter in Franz Openheimer's The State: Its History and Development viewed Sociologically, authorized translation by John M. Gitterman (New York: B.W.…

Spencer by Albert Jay Nock

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Works by Herbert Spencer

Source: The Man versus the State, with Six Essays on Government, Society and Freedom, ed. Eric Mack, introduction by Albert Jay Nock (Indianapolis: LibertyClassics, 1981).

Sumner, The Forgotten Man (1883)

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William Graham Sumner Subject Area: Sociology

Source: In Sumner's The Forgotten Man and Other Essays, ed. Albert Galloway Keller (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1918).

Sumner: his Writings

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Works by William Graham Sumner Subject Area: Sociology

Source: Editor's Introduction to War and Other Essays, ed. Albert Galloway Keller (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1919).


In 1872, when…

Turgot and Enlightened Progress

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Nisbet on Progress On Condorcet Biliographical Essay on Turgot

Source: This essay first appeared in the journal Literature of Liberty: A Review of Contemporary Liberal Thought, vol. II, no. 1 January/March 1979,…

Herbert Spencer (1820-1903)


The following are a selection of chapters and extracts taken from books in the OLL collection. They have been chosen because of their special importance for understanding the principles of individual liberty, limited government, and the free market. Some of the extracts are from the books themselves and serve as a representative sample of that author’s ideas. Others are introductions written by the editors of the volume which contain important biographical information about the author and a discussion of their ideas. Links are provided to the book from which the extract was taken so the reader can pursue the subject in more depth if they are interested.

Other collections of material from the OLL which are useful places to begin exploring these ideas are the following:

Further Reading

Selected Chapters and Introductions from the Collection