Libertarian Papers

Articles from Vol. 4, March

A Critical Commentary on Kukathas's "Two Constructions of Libertarianism"
Introduction KUKATHAS (2009) believes he has discovered a serious and unavoidable dilemma for libertarians. He claims we must choose between (1) strictly self-defensive communities in a "Federation of Liberty," possibly with no actual libertarian...
All Probabilistic Methods Assume a Subjective Definition for Probability
I. Introduction One of the most interesting, if overlooked, observations made by the great mathematician I.J. Good is that we lose nothing from a purely mathematical point of view if we choose to interpret all probabilities subjectively. "[E]very...
Christian Anarchism: Communitarian or Capitalist?
1. Introduction Alexandre Christoyannopoulous's Christian Anarchism: A Political Commentary on the Gospels synthesizes various perspectives on Christianity that contain radical implications for political philosophy and the practice of real-world...
Francis Wemyss-Charteris-Douglas: Champion of Late-Victorian Individualism
Early TO MID-Victorian Britain was characterized by widespread belief in the superiority of laissez-faire. By the 1870s however, the tide was beginning to turn against individualism in Britain, as the state began to advance back into those areas of...
Is There a 'Libertarian' Justification of the Welfare State? A Critique of James P. Sterba
Introduction James p. Sterba, a philosopher of some repute (he has been president of the Central Division of the American Philosophical Association and of several other important philosophical organizations), published a text on moral philosophy...
Kymlicka on Libertarianism: A Response
Introduction In his well-known introduction to contemporary political philosophy, (1) Will Kymlicka includes a substantial chapter on libertarianism, plus a preface and introduction that are also relevant to the topic. These sections are likely...
Libertarianism, Feminism, and Nonviolent Action: A Synthesis
I. Introduction Murray ROTHBARD'S contribution to libertarian ethics was to outline a theory prohibiting aggressive violence (1978, p. 27-30). The influence of Rothbard's ethics, (1) combined with a decades-long political alliance with conservatives...
Man and Matter: How the Former Gains Ownership of the Latter
1. Acquisition of Property What is the conceptual basis of property rights in land, and how can such rights be justified ethically? This question is of immense philosophical importance, since property in land is a fundamental part of any society,...
Mises' Calculation Argument: A Clarification
Introduction In this article I will discuss Mises' famous argument concerning economic calculation under socialism. I will point out that there are in fact two components of this argument. The first part deals with the fact that in capitalist economies,...
Norms and the NAP
In Japan, umbrellas are communal. (1) If it is raining when a man leaves a restaurant, it is socially acceptable for him to take any umbrella that happens to be in the umbrella stand by the exit. In America, if someone takes an umbrella that he did...
Recompense for Fear: Is Forced Russian Roulette Just?
Dr. Walter Block in various papers (1) advocates, with Rothbard (2), that criminals owe their victims: 1) restitution, to make them whole (e.g., medical bills, compensation for lost work, past and future, replacement of stolen property), and...
The Image of the Entrepreneur and the Language of the Market: Robert A. Taft, Market Rhetoric, and Political Argument, 1933-1944
After being elected to the U.S. Senate in 1938, Robert Alphonso Taft quickly became one of the upper house's most trenchant critics of the Roosevelt administration's economic policies. Taft, Ohio's "favorite son" candidate at the 1936 Republican Party...
The Internal Contradictions of Recognition Theory
No one follows me for any friendship that may exist between him and me ... all they say to me and do for me is but makeup. Their liberty being on all sides restricted by the great power I have over them, I see nothing about me but what is covered over...
The Privatization of Space Exploration: Business, Technology, Law, and Policy
Lewis D. Solomon: The Privatization of Space Exploration: Business, Technology, Law, and Policy. New Brunswick, NJ: Transaction Publishers, 2008, ISBN: 978-1-4128-0759-3, 128 pages. LEWIS D. SOLOMON'S BOOK The Privatization of Space Exploration,...
The Role of Work: A Eudaimonistic Perspective
For more than two centuries in industrialized societies an inherent problem has persisted regarding the role of education and work. This is due in part to the entrenched cultural dogma of the Cartesian/Newtonian paradigm which views the world as a...
The State Is an Enemy of Science: A Review of Terence Kealey's the Economic Laws of Scientific Research
Terence Kealey. The Economic Laws of Scientific Research. London: Macmillan, 1996. Science is easy to love. After all, claims such as "Having more science at our disposal makes the economy grow faster," and "Science leads to the development of technology...