This site is devoted to advancing the rights-based political philosophy first articulated by John Locke and championed prominently in our day by the late Robert Nozick in his classic Anarchy, State, and Utopia [1974].  It will do so by explaining minimal state libertarianism in a way that is accessible to the intelligent general reader and by hosting a forum that will subject its key ideas to scrutiny and debate.

I make my own modest contribution to this cause in my book, Nozick’s Libertarian Project: An Elaboration and Defense (London: Continuum International, 2011). My second book on this subject, Libertarian Philosophy in the Real World: The Politics of Natural Rights, was just published by Bloomsbury Academic. For additional information about libertarianism, this site, my books, and your host, please follow the links to the left.

New on the Blog

For Prosecutors, Can the Ends Ever Justify the Means?

I outline below a hypothetical that poses a moral dilemma for an imaginary public prosecutor.  This case vexes me, because I cannot seem to summon up a convincing argument that supports my intuitive reaction to it.  I would love to hear the perspectives of other philosophers.

Suppose you are a state’s attorney assigned to prosecute a heinous crime, say an especially horrible murder, with multiple aggravating circumstances. The defendant has been previously convicted of a number of violent felonies, so you have good cause to believe that if he is not executed or put away for life, public safely will be seriously jeopardized. Continue Reading »

Open Borders, Again

I have written two previous posts on libertarianism and immigration, here and here, and devoted a section in Chapter 10 of my Libertarian Philosophy in the Real World to this subject. So, naturally, I was intrigued when Christopher Freiman and Javier Hidalgo offered a five-part blog series on this question at the Bleeding Hearts Libertarian site. The first four parts argued that a commitment to open borders is an integral part of classical liberalism; the final post purported to answer objections to this view. For convenience, I reproduce it below. Continue Reading »