Discussion Questions on Hausman and McPherson, "Some Notes on Libertarianism"


1. What is the difference between libertarianism as a political program and libertarianism as a philosophical position?  Could someone who was not a philosophical libertarian nevertheless be a political libertarian?

2.  Why do libertarians take liberty to be the fundamental value?   Do they think it is more important than any other value?

3.  What are the main features of a libertarian theory of justice?   According to a libertarian theory of justice, if I own my own business, is there anything unjust about my offering a job to anybody who I prefer on any basis that I wish?

4.  Why do libertarians typically deny that individuals have welfare rights or rights to assistance from others?

5.  What is Nozick's entitlement theory of justice? What does it imply in circumstances, such as ours, in which there have been past injustices?