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18 September 2009
On Socialism
Socialism inevitably leads to destitution and famine in direct proportion to the thoroughness with which it is applied. This has been shown to be true historically, with or without Marxist ideology or 20th century totalitarianism. It has starved 17th century colonists in Virginia and Plymouth just as... Read More...
13 September 2009
Character as Inverse Time Preference
It is useful to divide "virtuous behavior" into two categories: 1) actions which are motivated by conscience and 2) actions considered virtuous, but which are not motivated by conscience. The first category concerns man's morality . The second concerns man's character . While moral... Read More...
13 September 2009
The Watchmen: Moral Philosophy Face-Off
Note: This is a post a wrote a while ago on another site. Stories featuring super-heroes, like the ancient myths featuring gods, can be an excellent medium for exploring broad issues through allegory. The super-human characters can personify competing ideologies and forces. The movie Watchmen , as well... Read More...
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26 August 2009
How Ends Contend
I claim that the ultimate goals of humans are products of feeling and not reason. However, Roderick Long, as a eudaimonist, claims that what the teleological philosopher usually thinks of as ultimate goals are really penultimate goals (although he doesn't use that term) which serve as means to the... Read More...
21 July 2009
Aristotelean Eudaimonia and Value Theory
In the following, I shall discuss the principles of Aristotle's ethical and political theory, paying close attention to what Aristotle meant by eudaimonia , and what he didnt'. Most of the following quotes are from the beginning of Book 1 of the Nicomachean Ethics ( as published on the web by... Read More...
22 June 2009
For a New Libertarian Ethics
In order to present the theory of ethics which underlies my libertarian political philosophy, I am going to first carefully discuss the theory of ethics currently dominant among other Austro-libertarians: that of Murray N. Rothbard. Note: In what follows, I'm going to come down pretty hard on Rothbard's... Read More...
20 June 2009
Morality, Reason, and Passion
Edwin Patterson, as quoted by Murray Rothbard, defines natural law as: “Principles of human conduct that are discoverable by “reason” from the basic inclinations of human nature, and that are absolute, immutable and of universal validity for all times and places. This is the basic conception... Read More...
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20 June 2009
The Role of the Libertarian Intellectual
On the Mises Institute boards , somebody asked the question, “Who is the founding father of libertarianism?” Board members responded with an nice mix of usual suspects and surprising ones. My first thought was John Locke. But then I reconsidered, and wrote (basically) the following: John... Read More...
20 June 2009
The Lifeboat Lie
There is a moral code written in our nature. When we take up an unused piece of nature and begin to use it, we instinctively think of it as our property. We take instinctive affront when our person or our property is assaulted by others. We feel instinctive outrage when we see the person or property... Read More...
20 June 2009
Natural Morality: Objections Considered
Isn't utilitarian consequentialism, the greatest happiness for the greatest number, more rational than deontological natural ethics? Why should the outcome of "the greatest happiness for the greatest number", out of infinite others, be the preferred one to any given individual? A great... Read More...
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20 June 2009
Natural Morality
Let us say you witness a little girl being brutalized in a dark alley. Something within you would cry out that that is wrong. You wouldn't deduce from premises that it is wrong. You would just feel it. An urge would well up inside you to do something about it, even if such action would considerably... Read More...
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07 June 2009
Ethics in the Theogony
This post is one in a series on the History of Epistemological Thought . Previously in this series: Human Nature in the Theogony . There are some ethical considerations for the gods themselves before the establishment of Zeus's new order discussed in History in the Theogony . Again, Ouranos was the... Read More...
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