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Libertarianism is both a philosophy and a political view. The key concepts defining Libertarianism are: Individual Rights as inherent to human beings, not granted by government; a Spontaneous Order through which people conduct their daily interactions and through which society is organized independent of central (government) direction; the Rule of Law which dictates that everyone is free to do as they please so long as they do not infringe upon the rights of others; a Divided and Limited Government, checked by written constitution; Free Markets in which price and exchange is agreed upon mutually by individuals; Virtue of Production whereby the productive labour of the individual and any translation of that labour into earnings belongs, by right, to the individual who should not have to sacrifice those earnings to taxes; and Peace which has, throughout history, most commonly been disrupted by the interests of the ruling class or centralized government.
"This book is an important examination of both contractarianism and libertarianism. And beyond its intriguing central theses and its pointed applications of libertarian premises to policy issues, it provides an extensive and valuable critical commentary on recent philosophical attacks on libertarian themes." - Ethics
"The Libertarian Idea is the eminently readable book of a man who knows what liberty is, knows what it isnít, and cares deeply about the difference." - Reason
"This book is indeed a major contribution to the philosophical controversy over libertarianism. It ranks in importance with Nozickís Anarchy, State, and Utopia and Rawlsís A Theory of Justice." - Liberty
"An original and well-rounded contribution [that] . . . should be of considerable general interest among political philosophers . . . [I]t is a thoroughly challenging and quite engaging book." - Canadian Journal of Philosophy
"Producers and consumers of theory of justice literature should read this book. It is a major work " - Journal of Politics
"[In] Narvesonís new, bold, and highly readable book . . . he aims, quite simply, to provide the secure foundations that libertarianism apparently lacks." - Canadian Philosophical Review
Jan Narveson is Professor of Philosophy at Waterloo University.
Academics please note that this is a title classified as having a restricted allocation of complimentary copies. While the availability of bound complimentary copies is restricted to desk copies only, electronic complimentary copies are readily available for those professors wishing to consider this title for possible course adoption. Should you choose to adopt the book after viewing an electronic copy we will be happy to provide a bound desk copy.
Table of Contents: [Back to Top]
Part One: Is Libertarianism Possible?
1. Liberalism, Conservatism, Libertarianism
3. Liberty: Negative vs. Positive
4. Two Conceptions of Liberty as a Social Concern
6. Liberty and Property
7. Initial Acquisition
8. Property Rights Concluded
Part Two: Foundations: Is Libertarianism Rational?
10. Intuitions in Moral Philosophy
13. The Logic of Contractarianism
14. Contractarianism to Libertarianism
Part Three: Libertarianism and Reality: What Does Libertarianism Imply about Concrete Social Policy?
15. Society and the Market?
16. The State
18. Insurance Arguments and the Welfare State
19. The Problem of Children
20. Freedom and Information
21. The Public and Its Spaces
22. Defence and International Relations
Epilogue: Reflections on Libertarianism
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The Libertarian Idea
2001 • 367pp • Paperback • 9781551114217 / 1551114216