Welcome

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

First They Came for the Florists…

I have written previously on this blog regarding antidiscrimination laws. I support them when they are employed, like the Civil Rights Act of 1964, to redress gross injustices being committed against disfavored minorities. Antidiscrimination laws might at least in theory still be justified if required to protect an affected class. So to take an obvious example, medical professionals serving in emergency rooms must take all comers, providing each with the same level of service and care.

I think there are precious few examples in our present circumstances where such impartial treatment would have to be mandated by law. Instead, as discussed below, our antidiscrimination statutes are now being used to persecute dissenters from the majority’s worldview. They unjustly violate our basic rights of conscience and free association, privileges that belong even to bigots. Continue Reading »

Jan Narveson on Libertarianism and Abortion

Professor Jan Narveson, a well-respected political philosopher, has written a piece titled “Resolving the Debate on Abortion and Libertarianism” in the journal Libertarian Papers, critiquing my argument in Libertarian Philosophy in the Real World that there is no doctrinaire individualist position on the ethics of abortion. That is to say, that there is no clear-cut logical path from the basic moral principles all (or mostly all) libertarians would affirm, to an aggressive pro-choice stance. I am putting the finishing touches on a reply, which I will forward to the editors of LP, and hope to see it published soon thereafter. At that time, I will cross-post my reply here. In the meantime, if interested, have a look at Narveson’s essay.