Libertarian Rights within Pluralistic Consequentialism

This essay questions the self-sufficiency of abstract, non-consequentialist, principles as a defense of a libertarian regime. The argument focuses on the difficulties involved in attempts to defend the priority of negative rights if an attractive conception of freedom and an agent-relative view about our reasons to respect rights are to be upheld. The paper closes by suggesting how libertarianism could gain support from various, and perhaps mutually irreducible and even conflicting, considerations in a wide consequentialist system.

Published in: Analyse & Kritik
1995 17 Pages 52-66