This year, students are asked to consider the following passage from Adam Smith's "Theory of Moral Sentiments" and comment on the intellectual origins of the quotation and its significance for cultivating the virtues necessary to sustain a free society.

"The man of system, on the contrary, is apt to be very wise in his own conceit; and is often so enamoured with the supposed beauty of his own ideal plan of government, that he cannot suffer the smallest deviation from any part of it... He seems to imagine that he can arrange the different members of a great society with as much ease as the hand arranges the different pieces upon a chess-board. He does not consider the great chess-board of human society, every single piece has a principle of motion of its own, altogether different from that which the legislature might choose to impress upon it."

The Douglas B. Rogers Essay Competition is hosted by the Center for Political and Economic Thought at Saint Vincent College. Essay submissions will be due by January 10, 2020. Winners will be notified in February, 2020.

* For more details on this year's Essay Competition, please visit The Center for Political and Economic Thought and click on the Douglas Rogers Essay Competition tab.