Dec 03, 2023  
2022-2023 Catalog 
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PHIL138 HM - Classical Liberalism and Libertarianism

Credit(s): 3

Instructor(s): Wright

Offered: Spring

Description: “Libertarianism” and “classical liberalism” have become standard, if somewhat ambiguous, designations for a variety of political views that advocate a constrained role for the state, geared primarily or exclusively to protecting individuals from force and fraud (or that challenge the need for any state). Whatever their similarities, however, such views harbor important (and arguably fundamental) differences, including in the sorts of normative arguments they rely on; in their conceptions of and attitudes toward law and of the state; in the political role they assign to public justification and deliberation; and in various specific policy prescriptions. This course takes a comparative, critical look at several important statements of classical liberal and libertarian positions by philosophers and social theorists, and at the ways in which these theorists sometimes distance themselves from one another. In some semesters, the course will also consider left-libertarian views that fuse a commitment to self-ownership with egalitarian commitments. Authors may include Richard Epstein, Friedrich Hayek, Chandran Kukathas, Robert Nozick, Michael Otsuka, Ayn Rand, and/or others.

HSA Course Area(s): Philosophy
HSA Writing Intensive: No