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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.

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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.

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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. 

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Minarchists and Anarchists in Libertarian History

by David S. D’Amato on Nov 27, 2018

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.

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On Libertarian Socialism

by David S. D’Amato on Nov 27, 2018

D’Amato explores the idea of libertarian socialism by analyzing the history of individualist anarchism and “voluntary socialism.”

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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.

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The Poverty of Natural Rights Libertarianism

by Brink Lindsey on May 4, 2017

Natural rights underdetermine a society’s legal institutions and leave the door open for a much larger state than minarchists or anarchists want.

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Second Amendment for Me, Gun Control for Thee

by Billy Christmas on Mar 7, 2017

The link between American gun culture and white supremacy undermines conservative arguments for gun rights—but not classical liberal arguments.

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An Ethical Intuitionist Case for Libertarianism

by Michael Huemer on Jan 3, 2017

The justification of libertarian political institutions follows logically from relatively uncontroversial moral intuitions held by a broad range of reasonable people.

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A Contractarian Case for Libertarianism

by Jan Narveson on Jan 3, 2017

Reasonable people will accept libertarian political institutions because they let us live together in peace while pursuing our different values and lifestyles.

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A Kantian Case for Libertarianism

by Jason Kuznicki on Jan 3, 2017

The ethical system of Immanuel Kant, properly understood, justifies libertarian political institutions.