Libertarianism Without Inequality

Oxford University Press UK (2003)

Abstract

Michael Otsuka sets out to vindicate left-libertarianism, a political philosophy which combines stringent rights of control over one's own mind, body, and life with egalitarian rights of ownership of the world. Otsuka reclaims the ideas of John Locke from the libertarian Right, and shows how his Second Treatise of Government provides the theoretical foundations for a left-libertarianism which is both more libertarian and more egalitarian than the Kantian liberal theories of John Rawls and Thomas Nagel. Otsuka's libertarianism is founded on a right of self-ownership. Here he is at one with 'right-wing' libertarians, such as Robert Nozick, in endorsing the highly anti-paternalistic and anti-moralistic implications of this right. But he parts company with these libertarians in so far as he argues that such a right is compatible with a fully egalitarian principle of equal opportunity for welfare. In embracing this principle, his own version of left-libertarianism is more strongly egalitarian than others which are currently well known. Otsuka argues that an account of legitimate political authority based upon the free consent of each is strengthened by the adoption of such an egalitarian principle. He defends a pluralistic, decentralized ideal of political society as a confederation of voluntary associations. Part I of Libertarianism without Inequality concerns the natural rights of property in oneself and the world. Part II considers the natural rights of punishment and self-defence that form the basis for the government's authority to legislate and punish. Part III explores the nature and limits of the powers of governments which are created by the consensual transfer of the natural rights of the governed. Libertarianism without Inequality is a book which everyone interested in political theory should read

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Michael Otsuka
London School of Economics

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Citations of this work

Rights.Leif Wenar - 2008 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Public Reason.Jonathan Quong - 2013 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Egalitarianism.Richard Arneson - 2008 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Libertarianism.Peter Vallentyne - 2008 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.

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