The deep error of political libertarianism: self-ownership, choice, and what’s really valuable in life


Authors
Dan Lowe
University of Colorado, Boulder
Abstract
Contemporary versions of natural rights libertarianism trace their locus classicus to Robert Nozick’s Anarchy, State, and Utopia. But although there have been many criticisms of the version of political libertarianism put forward by Nozick, many of these fail objections to meet basic methodological desiderata. Thus, Nozick’s libertarianism deserves to be re-examined. In this paper I develop a new argument which meets these desiderata. Specifically, I argue that the libertarian conception of self-ownership, the view’s foundation, implies what I call the Asymmetrical Value Claim: a dubious claim about the importance of choice relative to other valuable capacities. I argue that this misunderstands what is really valuable in life, and show how it causes libertarianism to generate counterintuitive public policy recommendations.
Keywords libertarianism  nozick, robert  self-ownership  public policy  methodology
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DOI 10.1080/13698230.2018.1479819
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References found in this work BETA

Two Dogmas of Empiricism.Willard V. O. Quine - 1951 - Philosophical Review 60 (1):20–43.
The Structure of Scientific Revolutions.Thomas S. Kuhn - 1971 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 22 (3):287-297.
Justice, Gender, and the Family.Susan Moller Okin - 1991 - Philosophy and Public Affairs 20 (1):77-97.
Anarchy, State, and Utopia.Robert Nozick - 1977 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 7 (1):187-201.
If You're an Egalitarian, How Come You're so Rich.G. A. Cohen - 2000 - The Journal of Ethics 4 (1-2):1-26.

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