RESPONSE TO J.C. LESTER ON DAVID FRIEDMAN ON LIBERTARIAN THEORYJournal: MEST Journal (Vol.7, No. 1)
Publication Date: 2019-01-15
Authors : Walter E. Block;
Page : 127-155
Keywords : Libertarianism; private property; rights;
This essay is written in support of my (Block, 2011A) critique of Friedman (1989) in response to Lester’s (2014) support of the latter. The debate concerns libertarianism, private property rights, crime, law and other issues of interest to libertarians. If you are not interested in the libertarian political-economic philosophy, nor debates, this would be a good time to stop reading. My main target in this article is Lester’s contention that rights can clash. If they may, we are left at sea without a rudder, since all we have, as libertarians, is the non-aggression principle plus private property rights based on initial homesteading. If these will not suffice to obviate any clash, then we have nothing in the cupboard. Another difficulty I have with this author is his defense of utilitarianism; my perspective, in sharp contrast to his, is deontological. While this article is highly critical of Lester, I do acknowledge that he makes several good points, on the basis of which I have had to revise my own views of these matters. For one thing, thanks to him, I have added violation of dignity to my theory of punishment. For another, he corrected a slip of mine about the right not to be murdered. So, it is hat’s off to Lester, as far as I am concerned, despite my many criticisms of him in this paper.
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Last modified: 2019-01-12 22:00:05