By Malcolm Murray
Jan Narveson is among the most important modern defenders of the libertarian political place. in contrast to different libertarians who as a rule protect their view near to normal rights or an entice utilitarianism, Narveson's major contribution has been to supply a philosophical defence of libertarianism in keeping with a Hobbesian individualist contractarian ethic. evaluations of Narveson's contractarian libertarianism fall into 3 different types, those who reject contractarian ethical thought, those who reject any hyperlink among contractarianism and libertarianism and those who accuse libertarians of conflating liberty with estate. during this publication Malcolm Murray brings jointly the main major of Narveson's critics and provides their paintings along replies by way of Jan Narveson.
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Additional resources for Liberty, Games and Contracts: Jan Narveson and the Defence of Libertarianism
One disturbing thing about Narveson’s own contractarianism, for example, has to do with the treatment of animals. Narveson is committed to the idea that mistreatment of animals is wrong, all right; but it is not directly wrong, so to speak. 25 Why? Because (simply put) morality is based on contract, and people cannot make contracts with animals. 26 I am no radical on this particular subject. Indeed, I am not at all sure what is right and wrong concerning the treatment of animals (apart from my abhorrence of plainly cruel treatment, which I appear to share not only with animal-rights’ activists but with contractarians such as Narveson).
You should adopt a policy of tit-for-tat, because that will give you a better chance of positive outcome than any other policy. Positive outcome, it is interesting to note, is in such settings presumed to be transitive across individuals. You cannot work out this game-theoretic stuff if the units of reward are not commensurable. The nice thing about game theory is that it does not matter at all what the units are units of; but whatever they are, they do have to be the same from one person to another.
And as I further stated,16 what is morally good is whatever it is in conduct and character that brings people together in amity and goodwill, while allowing them to live fulﬁlling and self-directed individual lives; what is morally evil is whatever it is in conduct and character that divides people and sets them against one another, while preventing or hindering them from living rich and fulﬁlling self-directed individual lives. If this is so, moral goodness does not require selﬂessness, self-denial or self-sacriﬁce.
Liberty, Games and Contracts: Jan Narveson and the Defence of Libertarianism by Malcolm Murray