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  1. Frank van Dun, Dead End Street Blues.
    Back in the nineteen-seventies, inflation and unemployment were rapidly increasing together in the Western world, although according to the then ruling Keynesian priesthood they would never do so. By the end of the decade, the proudly proclaimed ability of the Keynesians to fine-tune the economy was shown to be a sham. Their performance records varied from country to country but the overall picture was bleak. Their technocratic macroeconomic management had delivered high levels of public spending, taxation, public debt, inflation, unemployment (...)
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  2. Frank van Dun, Essential Historical Background.
    For our purposes it is convenient to divide the history of Europe into three periods. The first spans about a thousand years, from 500 BC, when Athens began to emerge as the dominant intellectual and cultural centre of Greece, to AD 500. It is the period of antiquity, of Ancient Greece and Ancient Rome. The second period, also a millennium long, from AD 500 to AD 1500, is that of Christian Europe. It began after the collapse of the Western Empire, (...)
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  3. Frank van Dun, Lysander Spooner.
    Lysander Spooner (1808-1887) was a practising lawyer and businessman in Massachussetts. He was an ardent individualist, who attacked all sorts of government activities, such as the postal monopoly, and opposed slavery on the ground that it was unconstitutional and in conflict with natural law. He was a strong proponent of a naturalistic approach to natural law, which is the order of peaceful coexistence among human beings. Below you will find a copy of the text of Spooner's tract (...)
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  4. Frank van Dun, Political Liberalism and The Formal Rechtsstaat.
    Drieu Godefridi’s “Critique de l’utopie libertarienne”1 is not only an attempt to refute Rothbardian anarcholibertarian theory but also an attempt to resurrect the idea of the formal Rechtsstaat.2 I shall say a few words about the first topic and then present some arguments for resisting the introduction of that idea into classical liberal discourse. Contrary to Godefridi’s suggestion, there is no logical or historical ground for considering the Rechtsstaat a necessary or even useful condition of freedom. I do not dispute (...)
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  5. Frank van Dun, Reconciling Freedom and Order.
    Far into the first volume of his magnum opus, Law, Legislation and Liberty, Hayek points to the bridge between his theoretical analysis of the development of social order and his normative position as an advocate of liberalism in the classical tradition: The understanding that ‘good fences make good neighbours’ […] is the basis on which all known civilization has grown. Property, […] the ‘life, liberty and estates’ of every individual, is the only solution men have yet discovered to the problem (...)
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  6. Frank van Dun, Statistics in the Public Sphere.
    Statistics in public life .................................................................................................... .....5 Things and numbers............................................................................................. ...................8 Representative samples............................................................................................. ..........8 Averages: meaning and relevance .....................................................................................9 Correlations........................................................................................ ................................10 Applied statistics .................................................................................................... ................13 Relative risks .................................................................................................... ..................14 Relative risk versus absolute risk.....................................................................................16 Problems of classification and confounding factors....................................................17 Epidemiological research............................................................................................ ..........19 Publication bias................................................................................................ ..................20 Statistical significance versus scientific relevance................................................................24 Relative risk again............................................................................................... ...............24 P-values............................................................................................ ...................................25 Confidence intervals .................................................................................................... .....26 Correlation is not causation .............................................................................................26 An infamous episode .................................................................................................... ....27 Terror, utopianism and power .............................................................................................29 Faith and science .................................................................................................... ...........29 Fear and power: the precautionary principle.................................................................30 Utopian salvation........................................................................................... ....................32....
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  7. Frank van Dun, A Note on Austro-Libertarianism and the Limited-Liability Corporation.
    A limited-liability corporation is an artificial (“legal”) person whose liability is limited to the assets “owned” by the corporation. This means that the real or natural persons (if there are any) who own the corporation are not liable for the consequences of corporate actions or events originating within the property “owned” by the corporation. Thus, while the limited-liability corporation itself is fully liable (i.e., to the full extent of its assets) for such actions and occurrences, its human owners (if there (...)
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  8. Frank van Dun, Anselm's Ontological.
    Therefore, Lord, you who give knowledge of the faith, give me as much knowledge as you know to be fitting for me, because you are as we believe and that which we believe. Indeed, we believe you are something greater than which cannot be thought. Or is there no such kind of thing, for "the fool said in his heart, 'there is no God'" (Ps. 14:1, 53:1)? Certainly, however, that same fool, having heard what I just said, "something greater than (...)
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  9. Frank van Dun, Bayesianism and Austrian Apriorism.
    In the last published round of his debate with Walter Block on economic methodology,1 Bryan Caplan introduces Bayes’ Rule as ‘a cure for methodological schizofrenia’. Block had raised the question ‘Why do economists react so violently to empirical evidence against the conventional view of the minimum wage’s effect?’ and answered it with the suggestion that economists do so because they are covert praxeologists. This means that they base most of their economic arguments on conclusions derived from their a priori understanding (...)
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  10. Frank van Dun, Can We Be Free If Reason is the Slave of the Passions?
    The writings of David Hume (1711–1776) are a treasure trove for those eager to find pithy, polished memorable quotes to bolster their arguments in favor of freedom, justice, and against the arrogance and follies of governments. It is difficult to resist the youthful élan of his major philosophical work, A Treatise of Human Nature (1739–1740), his provocative ironic style, witticisms, irreverence, and occasional sarcasm, which made him an international celebrity, the darling of Parisian salons, and, even now, a reader’s delight.
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  11. Frank van Dun, Freedom, Liberty, Autonomy.
    ‘Freedom’, ‘liberty’ and ‘autonomy’ are controversial, contested words, often used interchangeably, yet laden with radically different connotations. In this lecture, I shall use them as labels to distinguish three different concepts. Most European languages have only one word to translate both ‘freedom’ and ‘liberty’, e.g., ‘libertà’ (Italian), ‘liberté’ (French), ‘libertad’ (Spanish), ‘Freiheit’ (German), ‘frihet’ (Swedish), and ‘vrijheid’ (Dutch). Moreover, many English and American writers use ‘freedom’ and ‘liberty’ as if they were synonyms.1 Looking at the etymological references (which can be (...)
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  12. Frank van Dun, Hobbesian Democracy.
    We can characterise modern democracies of the Western type as Hobbesian democracies.1 In a modern democracy the State is a political Sovereign of the Hobbesian kind, enjoying a constitutional authority that for all practical purposes is absolute, having the potential of reaching every nook and cranny of its subjects’ life and work. Its authority is restrained only by the requirement of respect for certain formalities and procedures, and the lingering memory of something called the rule of law.2 Hobbesian democracy’s peculiar (...)
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  13. Frank van Dun, Home Natural Law.
    The word 'law' means order, hence natural law is simply the natural order. In the sense in which natural law is relevant to jurists, it is the natural order of persons -- specifically, the order of natural persons: human beings that are capable of rational, purposive action, speech and thought. In short, natural law is the natural order of the human world.
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  14. Frank van Dun, It Usually Begins at Home.
    My grandfather (1882-1960) worked as a mechanic at the plant where the beautiful Minerva cars were produced. He was active in the Belgian Labourers’ Party, the predecessor of the Belgian Socialist Party. In Wilrijk, a village near Antwerp, he became a councillor for that Party and then, in the chaotic days of the Liberation, at the end of the Second World War, the interim mayor. He was a quiet, soft-spoken and above all gentle man. Whatever had landed him in politics, (...)
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  15. Frank van Dun, Not Really a Libertarian Case Against Open Immigration.
    Speaking at the third annual meeting of The Property and Freedom Society in Bodrum on Friday, May 23, financial journalist Peter Brimelow1 presented his views on immigration under the title “Immigration is the Viagra of the State—A libertarian case against Immigration.” However, his argument had little concern for the controversies that divide libertarians on the issue of immigration.2 After a brief look at Brimelow’s comments, I shall consider the requirements an argument should meet if it is to amount to a (...)
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  16. Frank van Dun, On Crime and Punishment and The Contexts of Law.
    Societies and communities are understood as orders (or laws) of persons, i.e., types of arrangements of human relations that are in principle conflict-free or equipped to solve conflicts among their members. As not all human relations fall into member-member patterns, there is need for the concept of a natural order (law) of persons, regardless of their memberships. The main theme is the comparison of the three orders, with special focus on how they deal with crime, punishment and law enforcement.
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  17. Frank van Dun, On the Way to the Voting Booth.
    - And what is the public interest? - That's for politics to decide! - Does that mean that the public interest is the interest of politicians? - It may seem that way, but this is a democracy. It's really the people that decide about the public interest. The politicians merely fill in the details after the voters have set down the broad outlines. That's why it is important that you vote in the next election. Your vote counts as much any (...)
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  18. Frank van Dun, Personal Freedom Versus Corporate Liberties.
    Are limited liability business corporations compatible with the free market, as libertarians understand it? Many libertarians think they are. Others are at least doubtful. And still others—I include myself1 among them—deny that limited liability business corporations belong in a free market.2 My purpose here is to spell out some of the reasons for that denial as well as to qualify it: I have no argument against large enterprises that issue limited liability shares or protect their managers with extensive vicarious liability (...)
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  19. Frank van Dun, Philosophical Statism and the Illusions of Citizenship.
    Is the welfare state neutral to personal morality?1 In today's welfare states one can find numerous life-styles existing side by side. These indicate a wide scope for 'personal moralities'2, but do not prove that the welfare state is 'neutral' to them. Welfare states interfere in more or less onerous ways with the business of (private) life with police checks, administrative controls and a vast arsenal of regulatory, penal and/or fiscal regimes. Some of the regulations may be more or less reasonable (...)
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  20. Frank van Dun, Saving in the Land of Good Cheer and Better Beer.
    Belgium was already mired in a web of political crises for nearly a year when the full force of the bursting American credit bubble struck its seemingly robust financial system. Not surprisingly, the shockwaves from across the ocean did nothing to resolve the political stalemate. On the contrary, they set in motion a process of government intervention in the financial sector that last week resulted in another major political crisis and the resignation of the government. This came about because of (...)
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  21. Frank van Dun, The Logic of Law.
    ‘Law’, in the sense in which I shall use the word here, denotes an order of persons.1 Within this general concept, we can distinguish between natural orders and artificial orders. Natural order, that is natural law, is the order of natural persons. Artificial order, often referred to as positive law, is an order of artificial persons. In the terminology of Rousseau, natural persons are physical persons (‘personnes physiques’), while artificial persons are legal persons (‘personnes morales’).2 Artificial persons are positions, roles (...)
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  22. Frank van Dun, The Modern Business Corporation Versus the Free Market?
    Is the modern large publicly traded business corporation compatible with a truly free market? The question itself may seem strange, even silly. Corporations are primary actors in what the media refer to as ‘the market economy’. Also, when the media refer to ‘the market’, they as often as not mean the stock exchange, which is the place where the shares of large corporations are traded. Moreover, during the age of socialist ascendancy, many defenders of the free market have felt themselves (...)
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  23. Frank van Dun, The Perfect Law of Freedom.
    ‘The one who peers into the perfect law of freedom and perseveres, and is not a hearer who forgets but a doer who acts, such a one shall be blessed in what he does’ (James 1:25). Freedom, in one sense of the word or another, is a central theme of the bible, the Old Testament as well as the New. During the Middle Ages, Christian theologians developed this theme into a doctrine of the natural right of freedom of the individual (...)
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  24. Frank van Dun, The Science of Law and Legal Studies.
    This paper attempts to clarify some of the logical and conceptual issues in the philosophical dispute about law that has pitted the legal positivists against the adherents of natural law. The first part looks at the basic concepts that are relevant to that discussion and at the methodological implications of studying law either as an order of natural persons (natural law) or as a system of rules or an order of rule-defined artificial persons (legal order). Thus, we find that the (...)
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  25. Frank van Dun, The ten Commandments of the Law.
    II. Attempts to redefine freedom will change the consequences neither of respecting it nor of failing to respect it.
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  26. Frank Van Dun (2004). Natural Law and the Jurisprudence of Freedom. Journal of Libertarian Studies 18:31-54.
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  27. Frank Van Dun (2003). Against Libertarian Legalism: A Comment on Kinsella and Block.“. Journal of Libertarian Studies 17 (3):63œ90.
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  28. P. Gottfried & Frank Van Dun (2002). Symposium Human Dignity: Locke, Hobbes and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Journal of Libertarian Studies 16 (3):83-91.
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  29. Frank van Dun (2002). Reply to Gottfried. Journal of Libertarian Studies 16 (3; SEAS SUM):89-92.
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  30. Frank Van Dun (2001). Human Dignity: Reason or Desire? Journal of Libertarian Studies 15 (4):1-28.
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  31. Frank Van Dun (2001). Natural Law, Liberalism, and Christianity. Journal of Libertarian Studies 15 (3; SEAS SUM):1-36.
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  32. Frank Van Dun (1995). Philosophical Statism and the Illusions of Citizenship. Reflections on the Neutral State. Philosophica 56.
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  33. Frank Van Dun (1979). Contracts, Necessity and Justice. Philosophica 23.
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  34. Frank Van Dun (1979). Editors's Note. Philosophica 23.
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  35. Frank Van Dun (1978). Collective Action, Human Nature and the Possibility of Anarchy. Philosophica 21.
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  36. Leo Apostel & Frank Van Dun (1977). Introduction. Philosophica 20.
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  37. Frank Van Dun (1973). Entailment. Philosophica 12.
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  38. Frank Van Dun (1972). On the Modes of Opposition in the Formal Dialogues of P. Lorenzen. Logique Et Analyse 57 (58):103-136.
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