Aaron Ross Powell is Director and Editor of Libertarianism.org, a project of the Cato Institute. Libertarianism.org presents introductory material as well as new scholarship related to libertarian philosophy, theory, and history. He is also co‐host of Libertarianism.org’s popular podcast, Free Thoughts. His writing has appeared in Liberty and The Cato Journal. He earned a JD from the University of Denver.
Grant Babcock is the Philosophy and Policy Editor of Libertarianism.org and a scholar of political philosophy. He is especially interested in nonviolent action, epistemology of the social sciences, social contract theories and criticisms thereof, and finding libertarian‐compatible responses to cultural problems.
Two schools of thought have long dominated libertarian discussions about ethics: utilitarianism and natural rights. Although those two theories are important, they’re hardly exhaustive of the different ways people think about ethics and political philosophy. In Arguments for Liberty, you’ll find a broader approach to libertarian ethics than you’ll find in any other single book.
Arguments for Liberty is divided into nine chapters, each written by an expert in philosophy. They discuss how their preferred school of thought judges political institutions. Then they say why they think libertarianism best meets that standard. Though they end up in the same place, the paths they take diverge in fascinating ways.
Readers will find in these pages not only an excellent introduction to libertarianism, but also a primer on some of the most important theories in ethics and political philosophy. Assuming little or no training in academic philosophy, the essays gathered here guide readers through a continuous moral conversation spanning centuries and continents, meeting Aristotle in ancient Athens on one page and twentieth‐century philosopher John Rawls in the halls of Harvard on the next.
What’s the best political system? What standards should we use to decide, and why? Arguments for Liberty is a guide to thinking about these questions. It’s also a powerful, nine‐fold argument for the goodness and importance of human liberty.