Abstract: This paper is my last word, in the present journal, in the debate I have been having with Walter Block on the subject of evictionism as an alleged libertarian “third way,” capable of transcending the familiar “pro-life” and “pro-choice” dichotomy. In this debate, I myself defended what might be regarded as a qualified “pro-life” position, while Block consistently argued that the mother is morally allowed to expel the fetus from her womb provided that no non-lethal methods of its eviction are available. While my position articulated in this paper contains an element of what Block might consider a concession on my part—i.e., an explicit declaration that abstaining from lethal evictions of fetuses conceived as a result of rape is a libertarian duty, but only an imperfect one—I continue to regard the unqualified support of evictionism as indefensible on libertarian grounds.
Abstract: In this paper, I investigate the issue of whether there exists an objective element of well-being, completely independent of anyone’s desires, interests and preferences. After rejecting health-based and convention-based approaches to objectivity, I conclude that the element in question consists in respecting autonomy, voluntariness of every purposive agent and the principle of non-aggression.
Abstract: Block (2011) has offered a second round of counterarguments to my criticisms (Wisniewski 2010a, 2010b) of the claim that his theory of evictionism is compatible with libertarianism. In this paper I attempt to demonstrate that my critique still stands. In particular, I focus on analyzing the argumentative weight of such issues mentioned in Block’s latest response as, among others, the distinction between proper ex post punishment and proper ex ante defense, the question of whether my causal analyses of trespass imply a commitment to positive obligations, Rothbard’s distinction between contracts and premises, the supposed irrelevance of the principle of pacta sunt servanda in the context of abortion, and the extent to which custom can qualify the ambit of applicability of the non-aggression principle.
Abstract: The present paper is an attempt to show that Walter Block’s defense of the ostensibly libertarian character of evictionism against my original criticisms is unsuccessful, thought certainly informative and thought-provoking. In my exploration of Block’s counter-criticisms, I focus in particular on the role played in his account by the principle of proportionality, as well as on the putative disanalogy between cases of abortion and child abandonment on the one hand and my airplane thought experiment on the other hand.
Abstract: The present paper offers a critique of Block on the issues of abortion and child abandonment. Block regards aborting a fetus or abandoning a child as an instance of exercising one’s libertarian right of expelling trespassers from one’s private property. I argue that the above reasoning is flawed due to the lack of the appreciation of the fact that if one voluntarily initiates the causal chain which leads to someone else ending up on his property, the latter person cannot be considered a trespasser. Furthermore, in the light of the above observation, any direct effects resulting from that person’s eviction should be considered the responsibility of the property’s owner. All of this follows from the simple logical fact that in all links of the causal chain under consideration the owner is the ultimate causal agent.
Abstract: Metaphysical libertarianism (hereafter ML) is the doctrine that human beings possess free will, that free will is incompatible with determinism, and that determinism is false. In this paper, I argue that the philosophical viability of political and economic libertarianism (hereafter PEL) depends on the viability of ML. Compatibilism is the doctrine that determinism is compatible with free will, and hence possibly also with PEL. I attempt to undermine this contention by exploring the relationship between compatibilism and prepunishment – i.e., the practice of punishing people before their commission of a crime. I make a claim that considerations of prepunishment, as well as related advance actions, which I collectively call “preactions”, not so much reveal and underscore the radical consequences of compatibilism, but rather, firstly, threaten its collapse into hard determinism, and secondly, cast a shadow of suspicion on determinism itself, thus opening some new, promising avenues for ML, and, by implication, securing the philosophical foundations of PEL.