Liberty, Games and Contracts: Jan Narveson and the Defence by Malcolm Murray

By Malcolm Murray

Jan Narveson is among the most important modern defenders of the libertarian political place. in contrast to different libertarians who more often than not shield their view just about common rights or an entice utilitarianism, Narveson's major contribution has been to supply a philosophical defence of libertarianism in keeping with a Hobbesian individualist contractarian ethic. reviews of Narveson's contractarian libertarianism fall into 3 different types, those who reject contractarian ethical idea, those who reject any hyperlink among contractarianism and libertarianism and those who accuse libertarians of conflating liberty with estate. during this e-book Malcolm Murray brings jointly the main major of Narveson's critics and provides their paintings along replies by means of Jan Narveson.

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Extra resources for Liberty, Games and Contracts: Jan Narveson and the Defence of Libertarianism

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Perhaps we can actually add and subtract utils (or some other measure) of happiness, but perhaps not. Maybe we can make cardinal comparisons of different persons’ degrees of happiness, but then maybe not. Perhaps we should each be making a judgment about what promotes the common good in our every decision about what to do. Or perhaps, on the other hand, we (or society, in our behalf) should (on utilitarian grounds) instead guide our lives in accordance with rules that themselves tend to promote the common good in the long run.

It contains no rationale committing anyone to do anything. That is, norms resulting from promises have moral force only if promising, independently of any agreement making it binding, has moral force. 33 34 Liberty, Games and Contracts The other alternative is to accept that there is some inborn motive or drive that impels those party to a compact to live by it. Then the norms will be adhered to not because of the agreement to abide by them, but because such an agreement is something the parties had to make – for example, so as to secure their safety or preserve their lives.

Mutual concern and concern for the common or shared good – not just agreement on constraints to prevent the suffering of evils at the hands of others – are essential ingredients of the good life. If this is true, then being decent, considerate and respectful to one another, which is what morality essentially requires, does not involve any sacrifice or self-denial. It is an essential element of the best life for anyone and everyone. It is not second best, and prisoner’s dilemma has nothing to do with the case.

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