MEST Journal 10 (2):111-123 (2022)
AbstractThe two purposes of this essay. The general philosophical problem with most versions of social libertarianism and how this essay will proceed. The specific problem with liberty explained by a thought-experiment. The positive and abstract theory of interpersonal liberty-in-itself as ‘the absence of interpersonal initiated constraints on want-satisfaction’, for short ‘no initiated impositions’. The individualistic liberty-maximisation theory solves the problems of clashes, defences, and rectifications without entailing interpersonal utility comparisons or libertarian consequentialism. The practical implications of instantiating liberty: three rules of liberty-in-practice, 1) initial ultimate control of one’s body, 2) initial ultimate control of one’s used resources, 3) consensual interpersonal interactions and resource transfers. These rules are economically efficient and maximise general want-satisfaction. Private property and legal remedies are additional practical institutional aspects, but to which ‘initiated impositions’ then apply prima facie. Libertarian law is often mistaken for complete libertarianism. Moral explanations are a separate issue. The three main moral theories imply libertarianism, but it can be morally posited independently of them. Critical rationalism and its application. No empirical or argumentative support for theories. An important ambiguity with ‘justification’. How the epistemology applies to the theory of liberty and its application but remains separable in principle. Conclusion: there are further published explanations but this should be enough to generate useful criticism. Appendix replying to some typical comments.
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