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Abstract

The Society of Jesus sprang from the devout faith of a sidelined soldier who traded in his weapons to form a militant order of Catholic Reformers sworn to serve the Papacy as missionary soldiers of Christ. Specialization in education led Jesuits to roles as theologians of the 16th Century, including as members of the School of Salamanca, whose Jesuit members mostly took pro-market positions on free enterprise. One learned Jesuit in particular deviated from his order’s default position of papal dirigisme to become an enemy of the state.

Abstract

This article intends to be a simple guide to understand how Hoppe built the Argumentation Ethics. In my early studies of libertarian ideas, and of Argumentation Ethics in particular, I could not find a unique text that would explain how Hoppe put the necessary bricks together to build the Ethics. As I was curious about this issue, I assumed others would also like to know it. To write this article, I reviewed the main literature on Argumentation Ethics, starting with Kinsella’s Concise Guide [9]. Then, I interviewed Stephan Kinsella and Prof. Walter Block. Finally, I synthesized the main ideas from the literature and the interviews elaborating an interpretative model, presented in this article.

Abstract

Thick moral terms – such as theft, fraud, and counterfeiting – are terms whose very use implies a definitionally necessary moral evaluation of their content. In this paper, I shall argue that the philosophy of statism – that is, a philosophy grounded in the belief in the normative justifiability and desirability of monopolistic apparatuses of initiatory violence – is necessarily amoral insofar as it cannot apply thick moral terms in a logically consistent manner. By the same token, I shall argue that libertarianism – i.e., the view that only consensual social relations are morally acceptable – is the only general sociopolitical doctrine capable of accomplishing this task, thus, in contrast to statism, making its prescriptions susceptible to genuine moral evaluation.

Abstract

Most analysts view the United Nations as a positive stabilising force in international affairs. In this paper, I critically assess this opinion of the UN’s peace enforcement actions using the case studies of the Korean War and the Gulf War while relying on the non-aggression axiom of libertarian philosophy. In the process, I shed light on some of the moral considerations at play when deciding on UN-sanctioned military intervention.

Abstract

This retrospective, covering half a century, is a personal history of modern libertarianism. It provides some historical perspective on the growth of libertarianism and its impact on society, especially for those who were born into an existing libertarian movement, including political and academic paths. As outsiders, Austrians and libertarians can expect more than their share of difficult times and roadblocks, although that situation has improved over time. It also shows the limitations of the political path to liberty and the importance of the Austrian view that society changes via emphasis on sound economic science, its practicality, and its subsequent impact on ideology. Finally, it conveys the importance of solving practical problems and puzzles via the thin, radical version of libertarianism.

Abstract

Martín de Azpilcueta and his fellow Spanish Scholastics writing and teaching at the University of Salamanca during Spain’s Golden Age are rightly pointed to by historians of economic thought as being major contributors toward, if not outright founders of modern economic theory. Among these is the theory of time-preference for which Azpilcueta has repeatedly been given the credit for discovering. However, this discovery is a curious one given how the same man, Azpilcueta, condemned usury in general during his whole life. If Azpilcueta did in fact discover this theory and fully understand its implications, we would reasonably expect him to have questioned his support for the ban on charging an interest on a loan. This paper, therefore, challenges the claim that Azpilcueta understood and revived time-preference theory and shows how his understanding was much more nuanced, and, at times, inconsistent.

Abstract

In times of pandemics or natural catastrophes, prices of commodities, such as water, food and medicines, tend to shoot up, in response to a surge in demand and depleting supplies. The government, in its misguided efforts to maintain “price affordability”, imposes price controls and anti-price-gouging legislation and bans the reselling of food and medical supplies. These interventions in the free market are the exact opposite of what the government should do, if it wants to ensure that enough commodities go to people who need them, that people do not hoard all available goods on grocery shelves, and most importantly, that suppliers have the incentive to produce more goods to meet current and future demand at market prices.

Abstract

Libertarianism deals with what the law should be. In this article, we focus on what the appropriate law to punish criminals should be in a libertarian society; that is, one that respects the Non-Aggression Principle and property rights. We examine various theories of punishment and explain why some are incompatible with libertarianism. We contribute to the latest libertarian theory of punishment suggesting the necessity to take time preference into consideration. We conclude stating a limit and a limitation to libertarian punishment theories.

Abstract

Huemer [33] argues against the killing of animals. I offer a critical libertarian analysis of his claim.

Abstract

Peter Singer’s famous and influential article is criticised in three main ways that can be considered libertarian, although many non-libertarians could also accept them: 1) the relevant moral principle is more plausibly about upholding an implicit contract rather than globalising a moral intuition that had local evolutionary origins; 2) its principle of the immorality of not stopping bad things is paradoxical, as it overlooks the converse aspect that would be the positive morality of not starting bad things and also thereby conceptually eliminates innocence; and 3) free markets – especially international free trade – have been cogently explained to be the real solution to the global “major evils” of “poverty” and “pollution”, while “overpopulation” does not exist in free-market frameworks; hence charity is a relatively minor alleviant to the problem of insufficiently free markets. There are also various subsidiary arguments throughout.