Abstract: Accusations of infeasibility or utopianism are common in debates over libertarian institutions, but exactly what we mean when we say an idea is “utopian” or “infeasible” is often left unspecified. After reviewing recent philosophical work attempting to clarify the concept of “feasibility,” I consider how the concept has been deployed in the debate among libertarians over anarchy and the minimal state. I find that the diversity of feasibility claims is too great to be captured by a single formulation of the feasibility concept and instead endorse the method of elimination as a way of overcoming vagueness. Whenever “feasibility” or related terms are used as part of a political claim, those putting forward the claim should be capable of reformulating it in a way that avoids vagueness by eliminating the offending terms. Such reformulation can help clarify real sources of disagreement, and if such reformulation is not forthcoming the claim need not be taken seriously as it is either overly vague or empty rhetoric. This method provides a useful tool in the debate between anarchists and minarchists, and the feasibility claims made in this debate cast doubt on the feasibility of constructing a general concept of feasibility.
Keywords: Feasibility claims, anarchy, minimal state, utopia
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