Libertarian Philosophy in the Real World

My recently published Libertarian Philosophy in the Real World: The Politics of Natural Rights (Bloomsbury Academic, 2014) is an outgrowth of my first book of political philosophy, Nozick’s Libertarian Project (2011). Having argued there for the continuing vitality of Nozick’s rights-based libertarianism, I thought it worthwhile to critique the modern welfare state from this perspective. Needless to say, it comes up lacking on a wholesale basis.

However, I acknowledge that if respect for natural rights would have catastrophic consequences, they must be abandoned to that extent. Accordingly, after providing a concise summary of Nozick’s theory of rights, Libertarian Philosophy in the Real World goes on to show by means of examples, basic economics, and common sense, that free markets would have no such effect, and would likely improve things from a utilitarian standpoint.

In addition to chapters on general concerns, including property rights, free expression, paternalism, and regulation, Libertarian Philosophy also examines such discrete aspects of modern life as public education and health care. In addition to the ideal libertarian prescriptions, I also recommend more pragmatic political goals. Finally, my book includes a chapter that identifies certain issues (foreign policy, for instance) that have no doctrinaire libertarian solution.

Additional information and a “Google Preview” of the book is available on the publisher’s website:

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