How I First Heard of IHS: Josh Ammons

Faculty partners, students, and staff alike all have their own interesting stories to share on how they became involved with the Institute for Humane Studies. On our Ideas in Progress podcast, host Dr. Anthony Comegna will be interviewing a series of people to find out about their first encounter with IHS and how it’s impacted their careers. In the first installment, Dr. Comegna spoke to Josh Ammons, Learning and Development Manager at IHS and PhD candidate in economics at George Mason University.

Back in 2013, Ammons was looking at ways to supplement his learning while studying business administration. He took part in an online program with Dr. Angela Dills on the war on drugs. Dr. Dills explained the economics of the war on drugs and the many factors that motivate supply chains and consumer behavior.

It really opened up my eyes to the fact that these concepts that I was learning in school had a major impact on the world around me, but it also broadened my scope of the ways that I could use economics to study the world.

–Josh Ammons
Josh Ammons

By summer, he was attending an IHS Summer Seminar on the morality of capitalism and freedom. He met Steve Horwitz, Brandon Turner, Lynne Kiesling, and other academics whose lectures ended up enriching his worldview. The IHS staff and lecturers encouraged Ammons to stay engaged, take classes, and apply for an internship with the Institute.

Through both his pursuing a PhD and working at IHS, Dr. Comegna wondered how one informs the other.

One of the most important classical liberal ideas that we really focus on at IHS is peace and peaceful solutions. It insists that liberalism is really a project aiming toward peaceful relations with individuals at a societal level and in between nations.

–Josh Ammons

One of the ways that facilitates that is trade, Ammons argued. It troubles him that most often government efforts to bring peace around the world involve military foreign invasion and other interventions. He sees Professor Chris Coyne’s book After War as a fascinating piece that offers some more insight on these concepts.

Ammons explained that the atmosphere at IHS allows him to gain a deeper understanding of the interdisciplinary links in classical liberalism that enriches his own research, which may not always be possible for those who are focused entirely on one area of study.

For the full episode (Episode 34: IHS Stories with Josh Ammons), visit SoundCloud, iTunes, or Stitcher. Each Wednesday, we release new episodes from our Ideas in Progress podcast on divisive topics with contemporary thinkers.

Interested in participating in an IHS program? Find out more about our faculty and graduate programs, as well as our funding opportunities.

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