The existence of predatory animals is a problem in animal ethics that is often not taken as seriously as it should be. We show that it reveals a weakness in Tom Regan's theory of animal rights that also becomes apparent in his treatment of innocent human threats. We show that there are cases in which Regan's justice-prevails-approach to morality implies a duty not to assist the jeopardized, contrary to his own moral beliefs. While a modified account of animal rights that (...) recognizes the moral patient as a kind of entity that can violate moral rights avoids this counterintuitive conclusion, it makes non-human predation a rights issue that morally ought to be subjected to human regulation. Jennifer Everett, Lori Gruen and other animal advocates base their treatment of predation in part on Regan's theory and run into similar problems, demonstrating the need to radically rethink the foundations of the animal rights movement. We suggest to those who, like us, find it less plausible to introduce morality to the wild than to reject the concept of rights that makes this move necessary to read our criticism either as a modus tollens argument and reject non-human animal rights altogether or as motivating a libertarian-ish theory of animal rights. (shrink)
Locke's defense of private property rights includes what is called a proviso— "the Lockean proviso"—and some have argued that in terms of it the right to private property can have various exceptions and it may not even be unjust to redistribute wealth that is privately owned. I argue that this cannot be right because it would imply that one's right to life could also have various exceptions, so anyone's life (and labor) could be subject to conscription if some would need (...) it badly enough. Since this could amount to enslavement and involuntary servitude, it would be morally and legally unacceptable. Key Words: rights • John Locke • Lockean proviso • scarcity. (shrink)
The first part of this project deals with the more recent historical discussions of the topic, Most of which focus on the views of aristotle and j s mill. These two authors turn out to be the focus of attention of most writers who wish to consider the major historical reflections on happiness, Ones that have shaped our thinking on the topic. The second part of this project deals with contemporary original thinking about happiness. Yet here, Too, The major themes (...) on the topic tend to hark back to either the aristotelian or the millian line of analysis. In this section various putative components of happiness or philosophical topics and methods related to understanding happiness are discussed one by one. The paper concludes with some reflections of the authors about the merits of a eudaimonistic conception of happiness. (shrink)
In Classical Individualism , Tibor R. Machan argues that individualism is far from being dead. Machan identifies, develops and defends what he calls classical individualism - an individualism humanised by classical philosophy, rooted in Aristotle rather than Hobbes. This book does not reject the social nature of human beings, but finds that every one has a self-directed agent who is responsible for what he or she does. Machan rejects all types of collectivism, including communitarianism, ethnic solidarity, racial unity, and gender (...) identity. The ideas expressed here have important social and political implications, and will be of interest to anyone concerned with the notion of individuality and individual responsibility. (shrink)
It is argued that a wrongheaded model of what a theory of knowledge must satisfy has engendered unjustified skepticism about knowledge and moral knowledge in particular. A contextualist conception of knowledge is sketched and defended and it is then argued that in terms of such an idea of what it is to know something the prospects for moral and political knowledge are significantly improved.
Libertarianism: For and Against offers dueling perspectives on the scope of legitimate government. Tibor R. Machan, a well-known libertarian philosopher, argues for a minimal government devoted solely to protecting individual rights to life, liberty, and property. Against this view, philosopher Craig Duncan defends democratic liberalism, which aims to ensure that all citizens have fair access to a life of dignity. In a dynamic exchange of arguments, the two philosophers cut to the heart of this important debate.
This brief discussion argues that Ayn Rand misconstrued David Hume's famous "is/ought" gap, just as innumerable others have. Hume objected to deducing ought claims (or judgments or statements) from is claims and not to deriving the former from the latter. He was silent about this but his own work in ethics and politics suggests that he would agree that one can infer ethical, moral or political beliefs from an understanding of facts (such as those of history).
Are we able to make objective moral judgments? This perennial philosophical topic needs often to be revisited because it is central to human life. Judging how people conduct themselves, the institutions they devise, whether, in short, they are doing what's right or what's wrong, is ubiquitous. In this essay I defend the objectivity of ethical judgments by deploying a neo-Aristotelian naturalism by which to keep the “is-ought” gap at bay and place morality on an objective footing. I do this with (...) the aid of the ideas of Ayn Rand as well as, but only by implication and association, those of Martha Nussbaum and Philippa Foot. (shrink)
Government interference in free enterprise is growing. Should they intercede in business ethics and corporate responsibility; and if so, to what extent? The Morality of Business: A Profession for Human Wealthcare goes beyond the utilitarian case in discussing the various elements of business ethics, social policy, job security, outsourcing, government regulation, stakeholder theory, advertising and property rights. "Professor Machan has done it again! Profit seeking behavior by business is ethical and prudent, but it only can be ethical when a person (...) is free, and that depends upon having private property rights. Business ethics is not about ‘corporate citizenship,’ as so many others seem to believe. The contemplative life, so highly valued by many in academe, is made possible by the success of those in commerce. Which one lives a more ethical life? Read Machan’s, The Morality of Business for his answer." -Don Booth, Chapman University, California, USA. (shrink)
Among classical liberals and libertarians a serious debate has been afoot about whether any sort of government is justified. Murray N. Rothbard, Jan Narveson, Bruce Benson and Randy Barnett are usually listed as the main skeptics, while Ayn Rand, Robert Nozick, John Hospers, among others, are listed as defenders of the morality of limited government. In this paper I argue that once properly understood, the two sides arent in fundamental disagreement. Anarcho-libertarians do embrace the idea that men and women in (...) a free society are justified in establishing a legal order in defense of their basic and derivative rights, and this is also what limited government proponents advance as the basis for the system they deem to be just. I argue that no fundamental difference exists between these two legal orders. The monopoly anarcho-libertarians claim limited government proponents wrongfully sanction is, in fact, not a coercive monopoly and the legal order proposed by anarchists would also have this monopolistic characteristic. This should put an end to this fruitless dispute and free the energies on both sides to mount a really important and henceforth united defense of the free society with its just legal order.Parmi les libéraux classiques et les libertariens un important débat concerne la question de savoir si une quelconque forme de gouvernement est justifiée. Murray N. Rothbard, Jan Narveson, Bruce Benson et Randy Barnett sont habituellement classés parmi les principaux sceptiques, alors quAyn Rand, Robert Nozick, John Hospers, entre autres, sont plutôt classés en tant que défenseurs de la moralité dun gouvernement limité. Dans cet article, je soutiens quune fois correctement compris, les deux clans ne sont pas fondamentalement en désaccord. Les anarcho-libertariens soutiennent lidée que les hommes et les femmes dans une société libre sont en droit détablir un ordre législatif pour défendre leurs droits fondamentaux et leurs droits dérivés, et cest aussi ce que les partisans du gouvernement limité proposent comme fondement du système quils considèrent être juste. Je soutiens quil nexiste pas de différence fondamentale entre ces deux ordres législatifs. Le monopole du gouvernement limité que les partisans anarcholibertariens sanctionnent à tort est, en fait, non pas un monopole coercitif, et lordre législatif proposé par les anarchistes aurait lui aussi cette caractéristique monopolistique.Cela devrait mettre un terme à cette dispute stérile et libérer les énergies des deux côtés pour ériger à lavenir une défense unie réellement importante pour une société libre avec un ordre juridique juste. (shrink)
The Man Without a Hobby is the memoir of Tibor Machan, a first generation refugee who escaped both a political and a personal tyranny early in his life and embarked upon a search for an understanding of what it means to live freely and ...
ABSTRACT This paper argues that generosity as a moral virtue is only consistently and fully possible to practise in the kind of polity that upholds natural individual human rights, including the basic negative right to private property. The paper sketches a characterisation of generosity and explains the sense in which it can be a moral virtue. Some of the assumptions underlying the concept of moral virtue are considered and it is argued that contrary to some recent claims, it is possible (...) to conceptualise as well as to practise moral virtues in our age. Yet it is also shown that certain political prerequisites are necessary for practising generosity. Furthermore, it is shown that there cannot be any generosity involved in a polity in which one is forced to share one's wealth with those who might be the beneficiaries of generous conduct. Finally, it is argued that even in a polity with a very limited government some acts of official generosity are possible. (shrink)
A. Collins once argued that time travel is only imaginable if we relate the "event" out of context. John Hospers argues that it is logically possible for an iron bar to float in water even if it is actually (empirically) impossible. My point in this piece is that Hospers relies on viewing the floating out of context, in Walt Disney fashion; but that is no way to establish any kind of possibility. I also discuss "conceivability", a term frequently used either (...) to clarify logical possibility or to interchange for the same. I argue that it cannot do either. (shrink)
The paper argues that the idea of prima facie rights implies insurmountable difficulties in connection with the function such rights are said to have in a scheme of justice. G vlastos's version of prima facie rights theories is scrutinized as typical and more advanced than others. The paper shows that natural rights are contextually absolute; they cannot (morally) be overruled in a context of normal political circumstances but may have to be disregarded whenever politics is impossible. Vlastos's insight is preserved (...) without sacrificing the integrity of a scheme of justice based on natural rights. (shrink)
The ideas of m macdonald, Wm t blackstone, A I melden, J feinberg, V kudryavtsev, G vlastos, M p golding, A rand, E mack, A gewirth, R nozick, R dworkin and others on human rights are sketched and discussed in this installment in "american philosophical quarterly's" "recent work" series.
TIBOR R. MACHAN argues that David Kelley's Unrugged Individualism: The Selfish Basis of Benevolence, which makes the case for including the benevolent virtues as a prominent feature of the Objectivist ethics, is too brief but filled with poignant observations and some valuable analysis. Machan discusses altruism, in response to much criticism of Rand's rendition of the position, and defends ethical egoism against widespread misrepresentations.