An overview of the philosophy of libertarianism

A distribution is just if it arises from another just distribution by legitimate means. The legitimate means of moving from one distribution to another are specified by the principle of justice in transfer. Whatever arises from a just situation by just steps is itself just. He calls this principle the Principle of Rectification.

An overview of the philosophy of libertarianism

Recall that the tragedy arises because individual herders do not have to bear the full costs of their actions. Because the land is common to all, the costs of overgrazing are partially externalized on to other users of the resource.

But private property changes this. If, instead of being commonly owned by all, the field was instead divided into smaller pieces of private property, then herders would have the power to exclude others from using their own property.

An overview of the philosophy of libertarianism

One would only be able to graze cattle on one's own field, or on others' fields on terms specified by their owners, and this means that the costs of that overgrazing in terms of diminished usability of the land or diminished resale value because of that diminished usability would be borne by the overgrazer alone.

Private property forces individuals to internalize the cost of their actions, and this in turn provides individuals with an incentive to use the resource wisely.

The lesson is that by creating and respecting private property rights in external resources, governments can provide individuals with an incentive to use those resources in an efficient way, without the need for complicated government regulation and oversight of those resources.

Libertarians have used this basic insight to argue for everything from privatization of roads Klein and Fielding to private property as a solution to various environmental problems Anderson and Leal The Invisible Hand and Free Exchange Libertarians believe that individuals and groups should be free to trade just about anything they wish with whomever they wish, with little to no governmental restriction.

They therefore oppose laws that prohibit certain types of exchanges such as prohibitions on prostitution and sale of illegal drugs, minimum wage laws that effectively prohibit low-wage labor agreements, and so on as well as laws that burden exchanges by imposing high transaction costs such as import tariffs.

The reason utilitarian libertarians support free exchange is that, they argue, it tends to allocate resources into the hands of those who value them most, and in so doing to increase the total amount of utility in society.

The first step in seeing this is to understand that even if trade is a zero-sum game in terms of the objects that are traded nothing is created or destroyed, just moved aboutit is a positive-sum game in terms of utility.

This is because individuals differ in terms of the subjective utility they assign to goods. A person planning to move from Chicago to San Diego might assign a relatively low utility value to her large, heavy furniture. It's difficult and costly to move, and might not match the style of the new home anyway.

Major Historical Contributions

But to someone else who has just moved into an empty apartment in Chicago, that furniture might have a very high utility value indeed. Each will have given up something they value less in exchange for something they value more, and net utility will have increased as a result.

As Friedrich Hayek has noted, much of the information about the relative utility values assigned to different goods is transmitted to different actors in the market via the price system Hayek An increase in a resource's price signals that demand for that resource has increased relative to supply.

Consumers can respond to this price increase by continuing to use the resource at the now-higher price, switching to a substitute good, or discontinuing use of that sort of resource altogether.

An overview of the philosophy of libertarianism

Each individual's decision is both affected by the price of the relevant resources, and affects the price insofar as it adds to or subtracts from aggregate supply and demand.

Thus, though they generally do not know it, each person's decision is a response to the decisions of millions of other consumers and producers of the resource, each of whom bases her decision on her own specialized, local knowledge about that resource.

And although all they are trying to do is maximize their own utility, each individual will be led to act in a way that leads the resource toward its highest-valued use. Those who derive the most utility from the good will outbid others for its use, and others will be led to look for cheaper substitutes.

On this account, one deeply influenced by the Austrian School of Economics, the market is a constantly churning process of competition, discovery, and innovation.

Market prices represent aggregates of information and so generally represent an advance over what any one individual could hope to know on his own, but the individual decisions out of which market prices arise are themselves based on imperfect information.

There are always opportunities that nobody has discovered, and the passage of time, the changing of people's preferences, and the development of new technological possibilities ensures that this ignorance will never be fully overcome.1.

Major Historical Contributions Ancient and Medieval Period. One finds scholarly debate on the ‘origin’ of the notion of free will in Western philosophy.

Libertarianism is one of the main philosophical positions related to the problems of free will and determinism, which are part of the larger domain of metaphysics. In particular, libertarianism, which is an incompatibilist position, argues that free will is logically incompatible with a deterministic universe and that agents have free will, and that, .

Libertarianism (metaphysics) - Wikipedia

Unit Overview. The traditional forms of Capitalism and communism are expressions of the two fundamental values in political philosophy: equality and liberty. Neo-libertarianism is a political and social philosophy that is a combination of libertarian principles with modern liberal principles.

Contents. Overview.

The Nature of Free Will

Neo-libertarianism has its roots at least as far back as when it was first described by James Sterba of the University of Notre Dame. An introductory overview of the basic philosophies of libertarianism. As a political philosophy, libertarianism, in the broadest sense of the term, places liberty first.

The role of the state is to protect the liberty of its citizens and its citizens must respect the rights of each other. This is. Philosophy There is contention about whether left and right libertarianism "represent distinct ideologies as opposed to variations on a theme".

[31] All libertarians begin with a conception of personal autonomy from which they argue in favor of civil liberties and a reduction or elimination of the state.

Libertarianism | Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy