A Critical Commentary on Kukathas’s 'Two Constructions of Libertarianism'

Libertarian Papers. 4 (2): 77-88 (2012)

7 Pages Posted: 5 Nov 2019

Date Written: 2012

Abstract

Kukathas’s proposed libertarian dilemma is introduced and two key criticisms of it stated. The following critical commentary then makes several main points. Kukathas’s account of libertarianism offers no theory of liberty at all, nor a coherent account of aggression. Consequently, he cannot see that his “Federation of Liberty” is not libertarian by a basic understanding of morals and non-invasive liberty, still less by a more precise theory of liberty. In trying to explain his “Union of Liberty,” Kukathas evinces considerable confusion about the nature of libertarianism. His argument that a monopoly legal system is inevitable is also neither plausible nor libertarian. He has apparently overlooked the cogent arguments against Nozickian minarchy, and in favor of anarchy. It is concluded that the neglect of libertarian theories of liberty and anarchy is the underlying problem.

Keywords: libertarianism, Kukathas, two constructions

Suggested Citation

Lester, J. C., A Critical Commentary on Kukathas’s 'Two Constructions of Libertarianism' (2012). Libertarian Papers. 4 (2): 77-88 (2012), Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3474987

J. C. Lester (Contact Author)

London School of Economics ( email )

Houghton Street
London, WC2A 2AE
United Kingdom

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