Declaration of Independence, by John Trumbull.

Our main objective is to probe the nature and prospects of liberal democracy and its core principles, practices, and institutions. We promote the investigation of arguments for and against liberal principles and institutions, as well as the study of texts written by exponents and critics of the liberal tradition.

First mission

Promote appreciation and critical understanding of the cardinal principles and institutions of liberal democracy, including, but not limited to constitutionalism and rule of law; the meaning and scope of freedom and free markets, and much else.

The portraits of several important thinkers in political philosophy.

Second mission

Advance intellectual diversity at the University of Wisconsin-Madison by taking ideas seriously that we believe have not always enjoyed sufficient respect on campus. We aspire to be a model of intellectual diversity in action for the University.

Sifting and winnowing plaque outside Bascom Hall.