Libertarianism is a theory, or rather a family of theories, of justice in general and of economic justice in particular. It is usually characterized in one of the two following ways: (I) As a theory that vests all moral agents with two foundational rights: (i) a right to full self-ownership; (ii) a right to a certain share of the world’s natural resources (e.g., land, space, plants, and minerals); (II) As a theory that vests all moral agents with one foundational right, by which these two other rights are said to be implied: a right to maximum equal freedom. In this seminar we will focus on the economic aspect of libertarianism. We will read and discuss various libertarian theories, from both the right and the left, and their main critics. While doing so we will also explore some of the most fundamental concepts in political philosophy, such as freedom, equality, and justice.
• R. Nozick, Anarchy, State, and Utopia, (Oxford: Blackwell, 1974).
• H. Steiner, An Essay on Rights, (Oxford: Blackwell, 1994).
• M. Otsuka, Libertarianism without Inequality, (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2003).
• G.A. Cohen, Self-Ownership, Freedom, and Equality, (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1995).