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Upcoming Events

FMI Public Speaker Series

March 23  April 26  


The Property Species: Mine, Yours, and the Human Mind — March 23

Dr. Bart Wilson

Speaker: Bart Wilson, Donald P. Kennedy Endowed Chair in Economics and Law, Chapman University
Location: TBD
Date: Tuesday, March 23, 2020
Time: TBD

About the Program

What is property, and why does our species have it? Bart J. Wilson explores how humans acquire, perceive, and know the custom of property, and why this might be relevant to understanding how property works in the twenty-first century.

Arguing that neither the sciences nor the humanities synthesizes a full account of property, Dr. Wilson offers a cross-disciplinary compromise that is sure to be controversial: Property is a universal and uniquely human custom.

Integrating cognitive linguistics with philosophy of property and a fresh look at property disputes in the common law, Dr. Wilson makes the case that symbolic-thinking humans locate the meaning of property within a thing. That is, all human beings and only human beings have property in things, and at its core, property rests on custom, not rights. Such an alternative to conventional thinking contends that the origins of property lie not in food, mates, territory, or land, but in the very human act of creating, with symbolic thought, something new that did not previously exist.

Join us for this event as Dr. Wilson delivers a public lecture based on his recently published book, The Property Species: Mine, Yours, and the Human Mind (August 2020) in which he explains why people claim things as "Mine!", and what that means for our humanity.

About the Speaker

Bart J. Wilson is the Donald P. Kennedy Endowed Chair in Economics and Law at Chapman University where he is a member of the Economic Science Institute and Director of the Smith Institute for Political Economy and Philosophy.

His research uses experimental economics to study the human propensity to truck, barter, and exchange, and he builds virtual worlds to explore how communities mitigate, or fail to mitigate, conflict that would destroy prosperity. He is currently working on a semantic analysis of the economic principles in Adam Smith's Wealth of Nations. Another of his research programs compares decision making in humans, apes, and monkeys.

Dr. Wilson is the author of the 2020 Oxford University Press book The Property Species: Mine, Yours, and the Human Mind and co-author of the 2019 book Humanomics: Moral Sentiments and the Wealth of Nations for the Twenty-First Century published by Cambridge University Press.

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In Order to Live: A North Korean Girl's Journey to Freedom — April 26

Ms. Yeonmi Park

Speaker: Yeonmi Park, North Korean Defector and Human Rights Activist
Location: TBD
Date: Monday, April 26, 2020
Time: TBD

About the Program

Everything must be taught, even the fundamentals we sometimes take for granted: freedom, compassion, love. For Yeonmi Park, growing up in North Korea, right vs. wrong, justice vs. injustice—these weren't concepts inherently understood or taught. Telling her electrifying story of escape from North Korea, Park explains that the life she left there was "a totally different planet." There's only one definition of love in North Korea—"love for the Dear Leader." Romantic love doesn't exist as a concept or possibility. And for most North Koreans, neither does freedom.

Now a US citizen, Park calls for us to fight for North Koreans—for all oppressed people around the world—who cannot speak for themselves. Freedom is fragile, she says. Who will fight for us when we're not free?

Join the Free Market Institute for this event, as Yeonmi Park as she recounts the incredible story told in her searing memoir, In Order to Live: A North Korean Girl's Journey to Freedom (September 2016). 

About the Speaker

Born in North Korea, human rights activist and TED Speaker, Yeonmi Park grew up in a punishing society devoted to the worship of Kim Jong-Il. But at the age of 13, she and her family made a daring escape to China in search of a life free of tyranny. In her viral talks, viewed online nearly 350 million times, Park urges audiences to recognize—and resist—the oppression that exists in North Korea, and around the world.

Growing up in Hyesan, North Korea, it was normal for Yeonmi Park to see dead bodies as she walked to school, and to be so hungry that she ate wild plants. After watching a pirated copy of Titanic, the veil of tyranny began to fall. Having caught a glimpse of a free world, Park realized that her experience of life wasn't the only one—and that she might one day find a way out.

In 2002, Park's family suffered a crucial blow when her father was arrested and sent to prison camp for engaging in "illegal trading"—selling materials that no one would be punished for in a free society. In 2007, Park's sister escaped with a friend before she and her mother followed her to China. But before they could locate her, Park and her mother were sold separately to Chinese human traffickers. In 2009, Park and her mother crossed the Gobi desert to Mongolia from China in -40 degree weather, finding their freedom in South Korea.

An insightful and candid speaker, Ms. Park is fast becoming a leading voice of oppressed people around the world. At the Oslo Freedom Forum and the One Young World Summit in Dublin, she became an international phenomenon, delivering passionate and deeply personal speeches about the brutality of the North Korean regime. Her address to One Young World on the horrors of detention camps, political executions, and sex trafficking has been viewed over 320 million times. The BBC named Park one of their Top 100 Global Women.

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If you would like to receive notice of upcoming programs and events, please email the Free Market Institute at free.market@ttu.eduor call 806.742.7138.


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