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Robert Nozick

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.

columns

An Introduction to Locke’s Two Treatises

by Paul Meany on May 20, 2020

Locke wanted to prove that the world is not a mere amalgam of violence and arbitrary authority and that there is something that separates a legitimate from an illegitimate government.

columns

Vice in The Virtue of Nationalism

by Akiva Malamet on Jul 30, 2019

Hazony’s views about the role of individuals and the nature of ethics mean that nations of any type are permitted to wage unjust war and impose sweeping domestic oppression. This nationalism should not guide our thinking today. 

Free Thoughts

Objections to Libertarianism (with Eric Mack)

featuring Aaron Ross Powell, Trevor Burrus, and Eric Mack on May 10, 2019

Eric Mack joins our show again to talk about common objections to libertarianism by dissecting John Rawls viewpoint. 

columns

Libertarian Thinking on Redistribution

by David S. D’Amato on Aug 14, 2017

Though they don’t think there’s anything wrong with unequal wealth distribution per se, libertarians can and do criticize the unjust processes that can lead to inequality.

encyclopedia

Individual Rights

by Eric Mack on Aug 15, 2008

Individual rights function as guarantees of protection and entitlement to a morally granted domain, principally that of self-ownership and choice.

encyclopedia

Kant, Immanuel (1724-1804)

by Ralf Bader on Aug 15, 2008

Immanuel Kant provided a systematic treatise of morality that, among other things, relied on reason, noninterference both of government and individuals, and peace.

encyclopedia

Conservative Critique of Libertarianism

by Edward C. Feser on Aug 15, 2008

Edward C. Feser outlines some common arguments conservatives raise against libertarians and how those criticisms have affected both movements.

encyclopedia

Rawls, John (1921-2002)

by Will Wilkinson on Aug 15, 2008

John Rawls was a political theorist who revived interest in the field. His work can be interpreted in support of some free-market ideas.

encyclopedia

Nonaggression Axiom

by Roderick T. Long on Aug 15, 2008

The nonaggression axiom or principle mandates that individuals do not use physical force against others or their property, except for retaliation.

encyclopedia

Capital Punishment

by Jarrett Decker on Aug 15, 2008

Also known as the death penalty, capital punishment has divided libertarians over the power of government and the justice of criminal procedures.

encyclopedia

Rights, Natural

by Fred Miller on Aug 15, 2008

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.

encyclopedia

Laissez-Faire Policy

by Bryan Caplan on Aug 15, 2008

Libertarians believe that laissez-faire policy, or the freest form of economy, provides the greatest net benefit to individuals and to society.

encyclopedia

Voluntarism

by Wendy McElroy on Aug 15, 2008

Voluntarism argues that individuals should not be coerced into “socially beneficial” projects, but should act voluntarily to assist others.