Philosophical Criticisms Of Libertarianism

Part of the "Critiques of Libertarianism" site.

Last updated 04/17/10.

Libertarians make many claims about how wonderful their philosophy is, but many philosophers think differently.

This is a new index (3/04), and many other entries should be added here as well. The goal will be not to overlap the Rand, Nozick, Friedman, and other categories too badly.


"What's Wrong With Libertarianism" [PDF]
"The Libertarian Straddle: Rejoinder to Palmer and Sciabarra" [PDF]
Jeffrey Friedman, editor of Critical Review magazine, details how libertarian philosophy and economics rely on each other, and neither can bear the weight.
Left Libertarianism: A Review Essay (PDF)
Barbara Fried brilliantly dissects the notion of self-ownership by left and right libertarians, and finds that the idea doesn't really work to establish the ideas of either.
NEW 5/06: Rothbard as a philosopher
Conservative philosopher Edward Feser says: "he seems incapable of producing even a minimally respectable philosophical argument, by which I mean an argument that doesn't commit any obvious fallacies or fail to address certain obvious objections." Ouch! Rothbard's argument for self-ownership is dissected.
NEW 9/06: Ayn Rand Contra Human Nature
Greg S. Nyquist provides perhaps the most extensive criticism of Rand. He finds that her assumptions about human nature do not match scientific knowledge of human nature. A blog based on his book.
NEW 9/06: Blog: Ayn Rand Contra Human Nature
Daniel Barnes has started a blog for the discussion of Greg Nyquist's 'A.R.C.H.N' and other criticisms of objectivism.
NEW 4/10: A Dilemma for Libertarianism
Professor Karl Widerquist argues that libertarian principles of acquisition and transfer without regard for the pattern of inequality do not support a minimal state, but can lead just as well to a monarchy with full the full power of taxation without violation of self-ownership.

Print References

The links here are to, through their associates program, primarily because of the review information. Books without links are generally out of print, and can often be easily found at AddAll Used and Out Of Print Search. Good sites for bargain shopping for sometimes expensive new books are Online Bookstore Price Comparison and AddAll Book Search and Price Comparison. Both of those list applicable coupons. Another is

Harry Brighouse "Justice (Key Concepts)"
Contains 20 pages of criticism of Friedman and Nozick's ideas of justice.
Will Kymlicka "Contemporary Political Philosophy: An Introduction"
Oxford University Press, 1991. Now the standard text in the field; very highly regarded. Has a long chapter on libertarianism. Not at all kind to it.

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Copyright 2007 by Mike Huben ( ).
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