Toward a Non-Lockean Libertarianism
Forthcoming in Jason Brennan, Bas van der Vossen, and David Schmidtz, eds,. The Routledge Handbook of Libertarianism
23 Pages Posted: 2 May 2016
Date Written: May 2, 2016
This paper suggests that both rights theory and social contract theory stand in the way of a libertarianism that can be treated as a political position within stable contestatory democratic politics. Traditional Lockean foundations for libertarian ideas conflate and confuse a normative position within politics with a theory of the legitimacy of politics. Drawing on both the realist turn in political theory and on non-Lockean resources within classical liberalism such as Smith and Hayek, the paper points toward an understanding of libertarianism that is better able to reconcile itself as one position among others in political life, suitable for circumstances of ongoing political disagreement.
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