Libertarianism at twin Harvard

Social Philosophy and Policy 22 (1):178-199 (2005)
Loren Lomasky
University of Virginia
In this essay Loren Lomasky wryly proposes that the views of Rawls and Nozick might not be as radically divergent as is conventionally supposed. To demonstrate this proposition, Lomasky invents “Twin Harvard” counterparts of Rawls and Nozick. The twist is that Twin Rawls turns out to be a leading libertarian theorist while Twin Nozick endorses a regime of sweeping redistribution. In each case the position follows from familiar elements in the theories of their respective, real-world counterparts. Lomasky concludes that Twin Rawls actually makes better use of familiar Rawlsian themes-such as the veil of ignorance, strains of commitment, and the priority of liberty-than does Rawls himself. Moreover, Rawls's own attempts at combating libertarianism are seen to be weak, sometimes embarrassingly so. Libertarianism is a specter that he devoutly wishes to exorcize, but cannot. Conversely, the rejection of libertarianism by Twin Nozick (and Nozick?) is striking but shallow. Footnotesa A draft of this essay was prepared while I was enjoying a residential fellowship from the Centre for Applied Philosophy and Public Ethics, Charles Sturt University, in Canberra, Australia. I have benefited from discussions following talks at the Social and Political Theory program seminar at the Australian National University and the Harvard College Department of Government.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1017/S0265052505041075
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

Our Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 35,496
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Democratic Legitimacy and Economic Liberty.John Tomasi - 2012 - Social Philosophy and Policy 29 (1):50-80.
Liberty and its Economies.A. Gourevitch - 2015 - Politics, Philosophy and Economics 14 (4):365-390.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles


Added to PP index

Total downloads
213 ( #24,519 of 2,287,498 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
7 ( #66,571 of 2,287,498 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Monthly downloads

My notes

Sign in to use this feature