Hog Notes

In the next few days, I will be posting an interview with  Alan Dawrst (aka "Utilitarian"). You can catch up on his work here.

In the meantime, check out Aschwin de Wolf's thoughtful review of  The Myth of Natural Rights and Other Essays. An excerpt:

… If anything, the most
credible moral and political philosophy, and of which Rollin’s book is
a good example, have been  exercises in demonstrating that most
justifications for moral and political obligation are flawed. As TGGP
points out in his excellent introduction, if there is any prospect for
a positive theory of morality it  may be found in authors that
subscribe to some form of moral contractarianism such as advocated by
the late Benjamin Tucker or David Gauthier.
Academic philosophers may argue that such an approach to morals is too
minimal, “incomplete,” and at best could “only” justify (or perhaps we
should say, explain) conventions (not necessarily laws) 
against killing, stealing or cheating. But is is hard to see why this
should be a concern to libertarians! As a matter of fact, one
libertarian philosopher, Jan Narveson, has exactly drawn such conclusions.
Such a position would not constitute a “justification” of
libertarianism; libertarianism either follows from practical reason or
it does not.

In his 2008 afterword to The Myth of Natural Rights
Rollins asks “why does everyone have to play the moral game?” striking
at the heart of not only natural rights philosophy but moral philosophy
itself. A similar point has been raised by David Gauthier when he
characterized the tendency of philosophers to assume that people need
to justify their actions to others in a moral framework as “the
secularized residue of the doctrine that persons seek to justify their
actions before God. But once that residue is being recognized for what
it is, it surely loses all credibility.” If there is a persuasive
reason why amoral egoists would benefit from playing “the moral game”
it may be found in Gauthier’s work (or others who work in this
tradition). Barring the success of such efforts, Rollins’ book is a
fatal blow to libertarian philosophy.

You can order L.A. Rollins' book through Amazon or through Nine-Banded Books. It is also being carried by Germ Books in Philadelphia, and Quimby's in Chicago (though they have yet to list it on their online catalog).  I'm still waiting to hear back from some other indie-retailers. If you know of a bookstore that might be interested in selling  9BB titles, feel free to contact me or leave a note in the comments. Thanks.

Memento mori.

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