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J. C. Lester
London School of Economics
  1. How Abstract Liberty Relates to Private Property: A One-Page Outline.J. C. Lester - manuscript
    Libertarianism—and classical liberalism generally—presupposes (or entails) a specific, but implicit, conception of liberty. Imagine two lists of property-rights: one list is all those that are libertarian; the other list is all those that are not. What determines into which list a property-right is assigned? If libertarianism is really about liberty, then the determining factor must be whether the property-right fits what liberty is in a more abstract sense. It greatly clarifies matters to have an explicit theory of this presupposed conception (...)
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  2. The Heterodox 'Fourth Paradigm' of Libertarianism: An Abstract Eleutherology Plus Critical Rationalism.J. C. Lester - 2019 - Journal of Libertarian Studies 23:91-116.
    1) Introduction. 2) The key libertarian insight into property and orthodox libertarianism’s philosophical confusion. 3) Clearer distinctions for applying to what follows: abstract liberty; practical liberty; moral defences; and critical rationalism. 4) The two dominant (‘Lockean’ and ‘Hobbesian’) conceptions of interpersonal liberty. 5) A general account of libertarianism as a subset of classical liberalism and defended from a narrower view. 6) Two abstract (non-propertarian, non-normative) theories of interpersonal liberty developed and defended: ‘the absence of interpersonal proactively-imposed constraints on want-satisfaction’, abbreviated (...)
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  3. A Libertarian Response to Macleod 2012: “If You’Re a Libertarian, How Come You’Re So Rich?”.J. C. Lester - 2014 - In Explaining Libertarianism: Some Philosophical Arguments. Buckingham, England: The University of Buckingham Press. pp. 95-105.
    This is a response to Macleod 2012's argument that the history of unjust property acquisitions requires rich libertarians to give away everything in excess of equality. At first, problematic questions are raised. How much property is usually inherited or illegitimate? Why should legitimate inheritance be affected? What of the burden of proof and court cases? A counterfactual problem is addressed. Three important cases are considered: great earned wealth; American slavery; land usurpation. All are argued to be problematic for Macleod 2012's (...)
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  4. Eleutheric-Conjectural Libertarianism: A Concise Philosophical Explanation.J. C. Lester -
    The general philosophical problem with most versions of social libertarianism and how this essay will proceed. The specific problem with liberty explained by a thought-experiment. The abstract (non-propertarian and non-normative) theory of interpersonal liberty-in-itself as ‘the absence of interpersonal proactively-imposed constraints on want-satisfaction’, for short ‘no (proactive) impositions’. The individualistic liberty-maximisation theory solves the problems of clashes, defences, and rectifications without entailing libertarian consequentialism. The practical implications of instantiating liberty: three rules of liberty-in-practice, 1) initial ultimate control of one’s body, (...)
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  5. Arguing with "Libertarianism Without Argument": Critical Rationalism and How It Applies to Libertarianism.J. C. Lester - manuscript
    This is a response to “Libertarianism without Argument”. Various misunderstandings in that text are given replies. Both critical rationalism and how it applies to libertarianism are elucidated and elaborated.
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  6. Intellectual Property, the Non-Aggression Principle, and Pre-Propertarian Liberty: New-Paradigm Libertarian Replies to Some Rothbardian Criticisms.J. C. Lester - 2016 - In Arguments for Liberty: A Libertarian Miscellany. Buckingham, England: The University of Buckingham Press. pp. 160-183.
    Andy Curzon replied (often quoting from the opening sections of Lester 2014, chapter 10) in an ongoing debate with Lee Waaks, which Mr Waaks forwarded (with approval) to the Libertarian Alliance Forum (27 February 2015). This response replies to the criticisms after directly quoting them (the indented text; except where Lester is occasionally quoted, as indicated). A few cuts have been made to avoid some repetition and irrelevance. However, just as Mr Curzon sometimes repeats his main points in slightly different (...)
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  7.  37
    Liberty as the Absence of Imposed Cost: The Libertarian Conception of Interpersonal Liberty.J. C. Lester - 1997 - Journal of Applied Philosophy 14 (3):277–288.
    This paper argues for a non-moral interpretation of the libertarian conception of interpersonal liberty as ‘the absence of imposed cost.’ In the event of a clash of imposed costs, observing such liberty entails ‘minimising imposed costs’. Three fundamental criticisms are examined: strictly interpreted, this would logically imply genocide in practice; it is impractically unclear and moralised; it could entail mob rule of some kind. Self-ownership and private property are then non-morally derived merely from applying this formula in a state of (...)
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  8.  90
    A Plague on Both Your Statist Houses: Why Libertarian Restitution Beats State-Retribution and State-Leniency.J. C. Lester - 2005 - In Simple justice / Charles Murray ; commentaries, Rob Allen ; edited by David Conway.
    Charles Murray describes himself as a libertarian, most notably in his short book, What it Means to be a Libertarian. He might more accurately have described himself as having libertarian tendencies. My reading of Simple Justice is that the views it espouses are far more traditionalist than libertarian. Neither traditionalist state-retribution nor modernist state-leniency is libertarian. Nor does either provide as just or efficient a response to crime as does libertarian restitution, including restitutive retribution. Here, I shall respond directly only (...)
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  9.  15
    Market-Anarchy, Liberty, and Pluralism.J. C. Lester - 1996 - In For and Against the State: New Philosophical Readings. pp. 63-80.
    Private-property anarchy is better than the state in the enhancement of liberty and welfare. Strictly speaking, market exchange is one aspect of private-property anarchy. But I here focus on market-anarchy as that is a main source of confusion and debate. Similarly, pluralism is another aspect of private-property anarchy. I focus on pluralism as an example of a currently popular topic where private-property anarchy is misunderstood. ‘Pluralism’ here means ‘(tolerating) different ways of life’. ‘The market’ means ‘voluntary exchange’. ‘Anarchy’ means ‘no (...)
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  10. Libertarian Rectification: Restitution, Retribution, and the Risk-Multiplier.J. C. Lester - 2000 - Journal of Value Inquiry 34 (2/3):287-297.
    Libertarians typically object to having the state deal with law and order for several general reasons: it is inefficient; it is carried out at the expense of taxpayers; and it punishes so-called victimless crimes. Exactly what the observance of liberty implies with respect to the treatment of tortfeasors and criminals is more controversial among libertarians. A pure theory of libertarian restitution and retribution is mainly what is attempted here, without becoming involved in general moral anti-state arguments. However, the pure theory (...)
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  11. The Political Compass (and Why Libertarianism is Not Right-Wing).J. C. Lester - 1996 - Journal of Social Philosophy 27 (2):176-186.
    The political distinction between left and right remains ideologically muddled. This was not always so, but an immediate return to the pristine usage is impractical. Putting a theory of social liberty to one side, this essay defends the interpretation of left-wing as personal-choice and right-wing as property-choice. This allows an axis that is north/choice (or state-free) and south/control (or state-ruled). This Political Compass clarifies matters without being tendentious or too complicated. It shows that what is called ‘libertarianism’ is north-wing. A (...)
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  12. Adversus “Adversus Homo Economicus”: Critique of the “Critique of Lester’s Account of Instrumental Rationality”.J. C. Lester - manuscript
    This essay goes through Frederick 2015 (F15) in some detail, responding to the various paraphrases and criticisms therein. It is argued that in each case F15 is mistaken about what Lester 2012 (L12) says, or about what F15 presents as a sound criticism, or both. It is concluded that the philosophical theory of new-paradigm libertarianism that L12 (etc.) comprises has yet to be given adequate critical consideration, and that almost all libertarian texts still fall foul of the three fundamental errors (...)
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  13. Against Against Intellectual Property: A Short Refutation of Meme Communism.J. C. Lester - 2016 - In Arguments for Liberty: A Libertarian Miscellany. Buckingham, England: The University of Buckingham Press. pp. 148-154.
    This essay is intended to be a refutation of the main thesis in Against Intellectual Property, Kinsella 2008 (hereafter, K8). Points of agreement, relatively trivial disagreement, and irrelevant issues will largely be ignored, as will much repetition of errors in K8. Otherwise, the procedure is to go through K8 quoting various significantly erroneous parts as they arise and explaining the errors involved. It will not be necessary to respond at the same length as K8 itself.
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  14. Abortion and Infanticide: A Radical Libertarian Defence.J. C. Lester - forthcoming - In Charles Tandy (ed.), Death And Anti-Death, Volume 19: One Year After Judith Jarvis Thomson (1929-2020). Ria University Press.
    1. First there is an outline of the libertarian approach taken here. 2. On the assumption of personhood, it is explained how there need be no overall inflicted harm and no proactive killing with abortion and infanticide. This starts with an attached-adult analogy and transitions to dealing directly with the issues. Various well-known criticisms are answered throughout. 3. There is then a more-abstract explanation of how it is paradoxical to assume a duty to do more than avoid inflicting overall harm (...)
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  15.  60
    A Critical Commentary On Kukathas's "Two Constructions Of Libertarianism".J. C. Lester - 2012 - Libertarian Papers 4 (2):77-88.
    Kukathas’s proposed libertarian dilemma is introduced and two key criticisms of it stated. The following critical commentary then makes several main points. Kukathas’s account of libertarianism offers no theory of liberty at all, nor a coherent account of aggression. Consequently, he cannot see that his “Federation of Liberty” is not libertarian by a basic understanding of morals and non-invasive liberty, still less by a more precise theory of liberty. In trying to explain his “Union of Liberty,” Kukathas evinces considerable confusion (...)
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  16.  65
    A Critical Commentary on the Zwolinski 2013 "Libertarianism and Liberty" Essays.J. C. Lester - 2014 - In Explaining Libertarianism: Some Philosophical Arguments. Buckingham, England: The University of Buckingham Press. pp. 64-84.
    The Zwolinski 2013 "libertarianism and liberty" essays on libertarianism_org are argued to have the following problems: taking libertarianism to be a "commitment" to the view that "liberty is the highest political value" ; examining and rejecting the maximization of liberty without a libertarian theory of liberty; accepting a persuasive sense of "coercion" ; misunderstandingliberty in the work place; conflating, to varying degrees, freedom of action and freedom from aggression and justice/rights/morals; focusing on logically possible clashes instead of practically possible congruence (...)
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  17. A Critical Commentary on Block 2011: "David Friedman and Libertarianism: A Critique" and a Comparison with Lester [2000] 2012's Responses to Friedman.J. C. Lester - 2014 - In Explaining Libertarianism: Some Philosophical Arguments. Buckingham, England: The University of Buckingham Press. pp. 106-143.
    David Friedman posed a number of libertarian philosophical problems (Friedman 1989). This essay criticizes Walter Block’s Rothbardian responses (Block 2011) and compares them with J C Lester’s critical-rationalist, libertarian-theory responses (Lester [2000] 2012). The main issues are as follows. 1. Critical rationalism and how it applies to libertarianism. 2.1. How libertarianism is not inherently about law and is inherently about morals. 2.2. How liberty relates to property and can be maximized: carbon dioxide and radio waves. 2.3. Applying the theory to (...)
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  18.  59
    A Damned Politician: A Dialogue Introduction to Libertarianism.J. C. Lester - 2017 - In Two Dialogues: Introductions to Philosophy and Libertarianism. Buckingham MK18, UK: pp. 47-88.
    Why learn about libertarianism? Because politics causes or exacerbates the very problems that it purports to solve, or it misperceives voluntary behaviour and free markets as problems. Liberty is always preferable: its maximal practical observance entailing self-ownership, private property, and consensual interactions. And libertarianism will be the ideological framework of the future of humankind.
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  19.  89
    Alan Haworth Anti-Libertarianism[REVIEW]J. C. Lester - 1997 - Journal of Applied Philosophy 14: 92-93.
    In this book Alan Haworth tends to sneer at libertarians. However, there are, I believe, a few sound criticisms. I have always held similar opinions of Murray Rothbard‟s and Friedrich Hayek‟s definitions of liberty and coercion, Robert Nozick‟s account of natural rights, and Hayek‟s spontaneous-order arguments. I urge believers of these positions to read Haworth. But I don‟t personally know many libertarians who believe them (or who regard Hayek as a libertarian).
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  20. A Response to "Libertarianism and Pollution: The Limits of Absolutist Moralism".J. C. Lester - 2016 - In Arguments for Liberty: A Libetarian Miscellany. Buckingham, England: The University of Buckingham Press. pp. 155-159.
    Most self-identified libertarians unwittingly have a moral muddle without a central factual theory of liberty. They cannot yet see that they first need to sort out what liberty is, and therefore entails if instantiated, and only after that can moral questions about it be coherently raised and tackled.
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  21. A Reply to Frederick 2013: “A Critique of Lester’s Account of Liberty”.J. C. Lester - 2014 - In Explaining Libertarianism: Some Philosophical Arguments. Buckingham, England: The University of Buckingham Press. pp. 155-199.
    Frederick 2013 (F13) offers criticisms of the Lester 2012 (L12) theory of libertarian liberty and of its compatibility with preference-utilitarian welfare and private-property anarchy. This reply to F13 first explains the underlying philosophical problem with libertarian liberty and L12’s solution. It then goes through F13 in detail showing that it does not grasp the problem or the solution and offers only misrepresentations and unsound criticisms.
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  22. A Reply to the Norman Barry Review of Escape From Leviathan.J. C. Lester - manuscript
    As someone who wishes Escape from Leviathan (EfL) to succeed, I am grateful for a review with such high praise from a well-known classical liberal. As a critical rationalist who also wishes to learn from his mistakes, I am also grateful for Norman Barry’s criticisms. The only way that I can hope to try to repay these and appreciate their full force is by doing my best to reply to them.
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  23. Apriorist Self-Interest: How It Embraces Altruism and is Not Vacuous.J. C. Lester - 1997 - Journal of Social and Evolutionary Systems 20 (3):221-232.
    This essay is part of an attempt to reconcile two extreme views in economics: the (neglected) subjective, apriorist approach and the (standard) objective, scientific (i.e., falsifiable) approach. The Austrian subjective view of value, building on Carl Menger’s theory of value, was developed into a theory of economics as being entirely an a priori theory of action. This probably finds its most extreme statement in Ludwig von Mises’ Human Action (1949). In contrast, the standard economic view has developed into making falsifiable (...)
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  24. A Sceptical Look at “A Skeptical Look at Karl Popper”.J. C. Lester - 2016 - In Arguments for Liberty: A Libertarian Miscellany. Buckingham, England: the University of Buckingham Press. pp. 102-107.
    It is an irony to attack a more sceptical epistemology than one's own in the name of scepticism and defend, instead, an epistemology that is positively illogical. And yet that is what Martin Gardner has done in his “A Skeptical Look at Karl Popper.”.
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  25.  73
    Advice to the Philosophically Perplexed: A Reply to Saladin Meckled-Garcia’s Booknote on Escape From Leviathan.J. C. Lester - manuscript
    Despite receiving high praise from Professors Barry, Narveson, Flew, and Gray (see the first page of the paperback), the Saladin Meckled-Garcia review (M-G) puts the level of Escape from Leviathan (EFL) as “undergraduate” and rates it one star. While undergraduates may profit from reading EFL, it is not mainly at their level. M-G either applies unusually high standards of philosophical argumentation or is simply philosophically perplexed.
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  26. Advice to the Philosophically Perplexed: A Reply to the S. Meckled-Garcia Booknote on Escape From Leviathan.J. C. Lester - manuscript
    Despite receiving high praise from Professors Barry, Narveson, Flew, and Gray (see the first page of the paperback), the review puts the level of Escape from Leviathan (EFL) as “undergraduate” and rates it one star.1 While undergraduates may profit from reading EFL, it is not mainly at their level. The review either applies unusually high standards of philosophical argumentation or is simply philosophically perplexed. .
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  27.  69
    Libertarianism Behind the Caricature: Reply to a Befuddled Author.J. C. Lester - 2016 - In Arguments for Liberty: A Libertarian Miscellany. Buckingham, England: The University of Buckingham Press. pp. 72-76.
    The editors of the Journal of Applied Philosophy allowed Alan Haworth to reply to my short review of his Anti-Libertarianism. The editors would not allow me to respond to Haworth. Thanks to the openness of internet publication and the Libertarian Alliance website, this can now be rectified and Haworth's reply can no longer escape a public critical response.
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  28.  53
    Civil Society and Civil Liberties—or Libertarian Liberty Instead? [REVIEW]J. C. Lester - 1995 - Times Higher Education:x.
    I fill Ernest Gellner with disgust: disgust at my views and disgust at his inability to say exactly what is wrong with them (or so he once remarked in his social philosophy seminar).
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  29. Escape From Leviathan: Libertarianism Without Justificationism: Rationality, Liberty, Welfare, and Anarchy Reconciled.J. C. Lester - [2000] 2012 - Buckngham: The Uiversity of Buckingham Press.
    The most relevant and plausible conceptions of economic rationality, interpersonal liberty, human welfare, and private-property anarchy do not conflict in theory or practice. Using philosophy and social science, Escape from Leviathan defends this bold, non-normative, thesis from contrary positions in the scholarly literature. Writers considered include David Friedman, John Gray, R. M. Hare, Robert Nozick, Karl Popper, John Rawls, Murray Rothbard, Alan Ryan, Amartya Sen, and Bernard Williams. *** The rationality assumptions of neoclassical and Austrian School economics are reconciled and (...)
     
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  30.  47
    Escape From Philosophy: A Rejoinder to the T. Brooks Reply.J. C. Lester - manuscript
    A rejoinder to “Escape from Lester: A Reply from a so-called ‘Philistine’” (Libertarian Alliance website). For clarity: Escape from Leviathan (EFL/book), the Brooks review (review), the Lester response (response), the Brooks reply to the response (reply).
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  31.  7
    For and Against the State: New Philosophical Readings.J. C. Lester - 1996
    Private-property anarchy is better than the state in the enhancement of liberty and welfare. Strictly speaking, market exchange is one aspect of private-property anarchy. But I here focus on market-anarchy as that is a main source of confusion and debate. Similarly, pluralism is another aspect of privateproperty anarchy. I focus on pluralism as an example of a currently popular topic where private-property anarchy is misunderstood. ‘Pluralism’ here means ‘(tolerating) different ways of life’. ‘The market’ means ‘voluntary exchange’. ‘Anarchy’ means ‘no (...)
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  32.  22
    Falsificationism Redux Indeed: A Rebuttal of the Callahan Rejoinder.J. C. Lester - manuscript
    Readers of “Falsificationism Redux” (the rejoinder) may have found it to be another waffling non-explanation of induction and the alleged falsity of falsificationism—or even self-refuting, as its title indicates (redux: brought back, revived, restored). However, it seems worth another round of replies if only because the arguments are fairly typical of the would-be ‘inductivist’ and it might help some people who have yet to see how these arguments fail.
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  33.  33
    Falsificationism Unfalsified: A Reply to Callahan’s “Why Popper is Wrong on Induction”.J. C. Lester - manuscript
    Epistemology is often a problem for libertarianism. Many libertarian texts assume that they need to do more than explain and defend the libertarian conjecture. Instead, they try to offer epistemological support for it (whether empirically or morally); which falsificationism and, more broadly, critical rationalism explains is not possible. Moreover, they often mistake this attempt at support for an explanation of libertarianism (which ought to include an abstract theory of liberty and how it relates to liberty in practice). Therefore, when a (...)
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  34. Give Me That Old-Time Justificationism ... Not! A Reply to James R. Otteson’s Review of Escape From Leviathan.J. C. Lester - manuscript
    I thank Professor Otteson for his review of Escape from Leviathan (EFL). His exposition of what I wrote is relatively accurate. I shall here do my best to correct any misunderstandings and reply to his welcome criticisms, ignoring our various points of agreement and his generous praise.
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  35.  77
    How to Attack a Non-Strawman: A Reply to the Andrew I. Cohen Review of Escape From Leviathan.J. C. Lester - manuscript
    Primarily using philosophy, but also some social science, Escape from Leviathan (EFL) explains and defends what it calls an extreme version of the implicit ‘classical liberal compatibility thesis’: liberty, welfare, and anarchy are overwhelmingly complementary in normal practice (rationality is added for its intimate theoretical connections to these categories). This is done using theories, not definitions, of each concept. This important thesis is entirely positive. Therefore, somewhat unusually, all normative issues are avoided as irrelevant distractions in this context. In addition, (...)
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  36. Immigration and Libertarianism: Open Borders Versus Directionalism.J. C. Lester - forthcoming - MEST Journal:9 (2).
    To explain the correct libertarian approach to immigration, a thought-experiment posits a minimal-state libertarian UK and then the introduction of several relevant anti-libertarian policies with their increasingly disastrous effects. It is argued that the reverse of these imagined policies, as far as is politically possible, must be the correct way forward. This framing is intended to counter the tendency for many articles to misapply libertarian principles to the current messy situation on the mistaken assumption that a state need only stop (...)
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  37.  66
    An Attack on the Realm: A Review of In Defence of the Realm: by David Conway. [REVIEW]J. C. Lester - 2006 - Journal of Libertarian Studies 20 (3): 81-89.
    This book has many arguments doing an excellent job of dismantling the positions of those who would have the state do considerably more than defend the national realm. Thus far, it is hard for me to fault it—which is more difficult when one is already in agreement: the ideologically opposed can often provide more useful criticisms. But, as the book‟s title indicates, it does not go all the way to anarcho-liberalism (in fact, it does not even fully embody certain basic (...)
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  38. Kymlicka on Libertarianism: A Critical Response.J. C. Lester - 2012 - Libertarian Papers 4 (2):31-52.
    This essay examines sections relevant to libertarianism in Will Kymlicka’s Contemporary Political Philosophy: An Introduction (2nd ed.), making and explaining the following criticisms. Kymlicka’s “preface” misconstrues political philosophy’s progress, purpose, and its relation to libertarianism. In his “introduction”, his “project” mistakes libertarianism as “right-wing”, justice as compromise among “existing theories”, and equality as the “ultimate value.” His “a note on method” in effect takes as axioms, beyond philosophical examination, various alleged desiderata and the necessary moral role of the state. Moreover, (...)
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  39. Libertarianism: An Extremely Short Introduction.J. C. Lester - 2016 - In Arguments for Liberty: A Libertarian Miscellany. pp. 1-6.
    (Revised 31-10-17) This is only one view on the topic; other views may be rather different. It starts at the more philosophical end and then becomes more empirical, and possibly easier to understand, as it proceeds.
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  40.  44
    Libertarianism Allows Retributive Restitution (Which is Optimally Deterring): A Reply to Joseph Ellin’s “Restitution Not Retributive: A Mini-Paper”.J. C. Lester - manuscript
    The following essay responds to a draft article that criticises the theory of libertarian restitution in Escape from Leviathan (EFL). The article was freely available to internet search engines. Hence, it seems fair and useful to reply to these very welcome objective criticisms. It is not intellectually relevant that its author might subsequently and subjectively have thought better of them, possibly as a result of the earlier version of this reply. Generally, the article misconstrues the position on retribution in EFL. (...)
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  41.  20
    Liberty and the Political Compass (or How Left-Wingism is Anti-Liberty).J. C. Lester - 1995 - Journal of Social and Evolutionary Systems 18 (3):213-216.
    With respect to the phenomenal distinction that is conventionally made between ‘personal’ and ‘economic’ liberty, I do accept that “there is no logical incoherence in claiming that constraint of one can lead to an increase in the other.” Though, as Cole understands, I doubt the conceptual coherence of the distinction (let us call this view the ‘identity thesis’). So I assert that though the personal/economic distinction is conceptually dubious, it can stand unproblematically as illustrating the phenomenal distinctions that people do (...)
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  42. Libertarian Philosophy Versus Propertarian Dogma: A Further Reply to Block.J. C. Lester - forthcoming - MEST Journal 9 (1).
    This replies to Block 2019 (B19), which responds to Lester 2014 (L14). The main issues in the, varyingly sized, sections are as follows. 1 Further explanations of critical rationalism, the theory of liberty, and problems with the non-aggression principle. 2.1 The relationships among law, morality, and libertarianism. 2.2 The objective invasiveness of low-level radiation and that it is therefore a proactive imposition (albeit trivial) if someone inflicts it on non-consenting people. 2.3 The objective and subjective aspects of proactive impositions; and (...)
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  43.  93
    Nozick's Flawless Libertarianism? A Review of On Nozick by Edward Feser. [REVIEW]J. C. Lester - 2005 - Journal of Libertarian Studies 19 (3): 103-108.
    This is an excellent though largely uncritical introduction to, and defence of, Robert Nozick‟s Anarchy, State and Utopia (New York: Basic Books, 1974). It is also quite a good introduction to libertarianism. It is full of good arguments. I shall confine myself to critical remarks. My responses are mainly in the order that matters arise in the book.
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  44. Popper's Epistemology Versus Popper's Politics: A Libertarian Viewpoint.J. C. Lester - 1995 - Journal of Social and Evolutionary Systems 18 (1):87-93.
    What is my thesis? It is not that radical experimentation by the state, rather than liberal democracy, is more in accord with the spirit and logic of Popper’s ‘revolutionary’ epistemology. It is the opposite criticism, that full anarchic libertarianism (individual liberty and the free market without any state interference) better fits Popper’s epistemology and scientific method.
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  45. Peter Singer’s “Famine, Affluence, and Morality”: Three Libertarian Refutations.J. C. Lester - 2020 - Studia Humana 9 (2):135-141.
    Peter Singer’s famous and influential article is criticised in three main ways that can be considered libertarian, although many non-libertarians could also accept them: 1) the relevant moral principle is more plausibly about upholding an implicit contract rather than globalising a moral intuition that had local evolutionary origins; 2) its principle of the immorality of not stopping bad things is paradoxical, as it overlooks the converse aspect that would be the positive morality of not starting bad things and also thereby (...)
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  46.  23
    How the Calvin Hayes Review is Wrong About Libertarianism.J. C. Lester - manuscript
    The review cites the “Open Society” twice in its title—and is clearly pro-Popperian—but then fails to mention the fourteen-point list, and surrounding discussion, that explicitly compares Popper’s critical rationalism with anarcho-libertarianism (strong similarities) and liberal democracy (strong dissimilarities); EfL, pp.135-142. If the review had engaged more closely with the arguments of EfL and been more informed by the relevant social scientific literature, then it would probably have found the anarcho-libertarian case to be far more robust and realistic than such a (...)
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  47. Right to Roam or Licence to Trespass?J. C. Lester - 2016 - In Arguments for Liberty: a Libertarian Miscellany. pp. 77-82.
    Under no circumstances should the absurd "right to roam‟ be incorporated into the legislation of this country. In reality, it is clearly a mere licence to trespass. Armed with the appropriate economic and philosophical arguments, we should eventually be able to offer an effective counter-attack with a movement for the "right to own‟ privately every last one of the state-controlled commons, heaths, hills, mountains, downs, woodlands, rivers, beaches, and footpaths. As a result, there will be no imposition on legitimate landowners (...)
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  48.  36
    Reply to the Kyle Swan Review of Escape From Leviathan.J. C. Lester - manuscript
    The central classical liberal insight is that private property appears both to protect personal liberty and to promote general productivity. By way of philosophically clarifying this insight, Escape from Leviathan (EfL) posits the extreme classical liberal, or libertarian, Compatibility Thesis: there is no long-term, systemic, practical conflict among economic rationality, interpersonal liberty, human welfare, and private-property anarchy (i.e., four plausible and relevant theories of these that are presupposed, or entailed, by libertarianism and consonant social science). The review (Liberty, November 2002) (...)
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  49.  24
    Rejoinder to the Kyle Swan Response.J. C. Lester - manuscript
    Contra critical rationalism, the response begins by referring to “the variety of internalist and externalist versions of foundationalism” (Liberty, December 2002). But it makes no attempt to explain or defend any of them. Hence, no further criticism is due here. The response then argues that, “The critical rationalist method seems to suggest that Lester’s extreme compatibility thesis is probably false” because—quoting Escape from Leviathan (EfL)—“bold universal theories might be false, and probably are” and yet “he doesn’t think the thesis is (...)
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  50.  34
    Reply to the Julius Blumfeld Review of Escape From Leviathan.J. C. Lester - manuscript
    The Julius Blumfeld review (the review) of Escape from Leviathan (EfL) includes various kind words and especially welcome criticisms. This reply attempts to respond to the criticisms as best as it can. There have been further replies to criticisms, additional articles, and even books clarifying and developing this overall philosophical theory of libertarianism in the time that has elapsed since the first version of this reply. Consequently, it is now possible to revise it to make it somewhat clearer.
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