Jan Narveson The Libertarian Idea

ISBN 13: 9781551114217

The Libertarian Idea

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9781551114217: The Libertarian Idea

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.

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About the Author:

Jan Narveson is Professor of Philosophy at Waterloo University.


“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 isn’t, 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 Nozick’s Anarchy, State, and Utopia and Rawls’s 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] Narveson’s new, bold, and highly readable book ... he aims, quite simply, to provide the secure foundations that libertarianism apparently lacks.” ― Canadian Philosophical Review

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