Prolegomena to an Epistemic Case for Classical Liberalism


Authors
Jamie Watson
Young Harris College
Abstract
The strength of many arguments for Classical Liberalism is often challenged on the grounds that these arguments appeal to controversial metaphysical structures or moral principles. To avoid these challenges, I appeal to a set of epistemic considerations to show that, in order to structure a society that affords optimal opportunity for citizens to obtain their interests, we have a rational obligation to protect individuals’ freedom to pursue those interests. In this paper, I defend the second premise of a larger argument for Classical Liberalism and, ultimately, for negative natural rights. I conclude that each individual has a prima facie reason to regard every other individual as having an epistemic advantage with respect to evidence regarding their interests and how to obtain them
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