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Archives for March 2009
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We have finally been assigned an ISSN: it is 1947-6949.
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Abstract: This article responds to current critiques directed against Hoppe’s justification by performative contradiction of the self-ownership axiom. Maintaining that ethics should be grounded on sound principles, Hoppe observes that only self-ownership can pass the test of performative contradiction. From this idea, he concludes that only libertarianism (the ethical system grounded on the axiom of self-ownership) can be justified. Any other ethic is self-defeating. An important debate in ethics was stimulated by numerous critiques formulated against the performative contradiction and more precisely against the use that Hoppe makes of it in justifying libertarianism. Without endorsing Hoppe’s argumentation, this article prevents some common misunderstandings, systemizes the types of critiques and thoroughly replies to them.
Abstract: When H.-H. Hoppe claimed (in A Theory of Socialism and Capitalism, 1989) that the principles of libertarianism were argumentatively irrefutable, both the logical coherence and the relevance of his “argument from argumentation” were criticized. While occasionally some of these criticisms still crop up, this paper defends Hoppe’s claim against them from the vantage point of the author’s own work (in Dutch) on the ethics of dialogue in the nineteen-seventies. It presents a more detailed and systematic presentation of the “argument from argumentation” than Hoppe had need for in the particular context of his book. It makes a distinction between arguments about principles and arguments about particular cases in which these principles may be invoked; and between the normative validity (as a matter of principle) of certain presumptions and the fact that in particular cases these presumptions hold only in principle and can be refuted by the evidence pertaining to the cases.
Download Paper: “Argumentation Ethics and The Philosophy of Freedom”
Abstract: This essay is intentionally one-sided. Almost all other essays by either defenders of capitalism (libertarians) or defenders of government (statists) are oppositely one-sided. They claim that capitalism’s voluntariness or government’s coerciveness mean that capitalism or government better fosters such things as art, happiness, education, jobs and world peace, and never much emphasise factors that may undermine their commentary. This essay emphasises the mitigating factors that others gloss over.
Arguments about the advantages or disadvantages of capitalism or government dominate political debate. This essay contends that these arguments, when they are not just about their author’s feelings, are usually incorrect or misleading. They often use value-judgments on behalf of others, disguised by false measures of happiness invented from economic data or surveys, and then applied across demographics and time. Another common error is to talk only of the positive side of something and ignore the negative. Libertarians spot these errors in statists, yet often do not hold themselves to the same standard.
Download Paper: “Grounding Political Debate”
For those who like paper, Libertarian Papers will be offered in a Print Archive version, at cost, via print-on-demand. Our first print archive is Vol. 1 (2009), Part 1: Articles 1-17. It’s available for $10 (our cost), from Lulu. It may be ordered from our Print Archive page.