Immanuel Kant provided a systematic treatise of morality that, among other things, relied on reason, noninterference both of government and individuals, and peace.
Philosopher Robert Nozick’s Anarchy, State, and Utopia, published in 1974, cemented libertarianism’s place among the political philosophies taken seriously in academia. In it, Nozick defended the “minimal state”—what latter came to be called minarchism—and showed how it could become a “framework for utopias.”
But Nozick’s interests weren’t limited to political theory. He turned his remarkable mind to nearly every branch of philosophy in such wide-ranging works as Philosophical Explanations, The Examined Life, and Invariances: The Structure of the Objective World.
Individual rights function as guarantees of protection and entitlement to a morally granted domain, principally that of self-ownership and choice.
Libertarian political institutions would respect people’s natural rights.
The ethical system of Immanuel Kant, properly understood, justifies libertarian political institutions.
Minarchists and anarchists—i.e. champions of the night-watchman state and opponents of any state—aren’t as clearly distinguishable as one might think.
Natural rights are the basic rights held by all individuals by merits of being human; i.e., those rights that exist pre-government and may not be violated.
Boaz refutes the notion that it was libertarian laissez-faire policies that created the problems that have arisen in our society.
George H. Smith concludes the series with a look at Roy Childs’s evolving views on anarchism.
Natural rights underdetermine a society’s legal institutions and leave the door open for a much larger state than minarchists or anarchists want.
McCloskey examines the dual myths of the innate virtues and the innate evil of capitalism.
D’Amato explores the idea of libertarian socialism by analyzing the history of individualist anarchism and “voluntary socialism.”
Can we ground a libertarian political philosophy in existentialist moral anti-realism?
Living well requires autonomy and reality-orientation.
Levatter explains how thought experiments can be a helpful tool in political philosophy, but only if they reach some minimum level of plausibility.
“If liberty is our first political value, tolerance must be our second.”
“In sum, the Party transforms libertarianism from purely a political philosophy to a movement, to a force for radical social change.”
Tom G. Palmer provides a comprehensive overview of the vast literature on libertarianism, free market economics, and the philosophy of liberty.