Analyse & Kritik

Journal of Philosophy and Social Theory


"James P. Sterba"

Titel: Libertarianism on the Brink
Autor: James P. Sterba
Seite: 189-201

I argue that recent developments in my on-going debate with Jan Narveson have brought libertarianism to the brink where it is now able to cross over and join forces with welfare liberalism and even socialism. I summarize my debate with Narveson and then argue that a public concession Narveson made at recent meeting along with a new argument he advanced in response to that public concession have now brought libertarianism to this momentous brink where it can now be seen to cross over into the welcoming arms of welfare liberals and socialists.

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Titel: Sterba on Liberty and Welfarism
Autor: Jan Narveson
Seite: 203-221

James Sterba advances several arguments designed to show that libertarianism, contrary to what this author and other libertarians think, actually implies support for welfarism and even egalitarianism. This discussion shows why his arguments do not work. There is preliminary discussion of our parameters: how much is Sterba claiming we have a minimum right to in the way of welfare? It is argued that if this is set very low, a libertarian society would easily eliminate the poverty he is concerned about, and if it is set very high, then the standard could be unmeetable and certainly could not have been met until very recently at the least. More abstractly, it is argue that Sterba is in error about the normative assumptions required for libertarianism’s strong distinction between nonharm and outright help. Once these are cleared up, it is seen that his case depends on equivocation. The duty not to harm simply does not imply a duty to help. In the closing pages, a contractarian framework is advanced to explain the libertarian’s disaffection for the kind of ’strong’ rights Sterba wants to uphold.

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Titel: A Response to Jan Narveson: Why Libertarians Are and Are Not Like Turnips
Autor: James P. Sterba
Seite: 223-232

I show how Jan Narveson’s critique fails to unseat my central argument that harm cuts both ways in our assumed idealized conflict situations, such that sometimes the poor harm the rich and sometimes the rich harm the poor. I further show how this supports my overall argument that libertarianism has gone over the brink into the waiting arms of welfare liberals and socialists. I also reject the other reasons that Narveson provides for not recognizing the welfare rights of distant peoples and future generations which are independent of my argument about harm.

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Titel: Just War Theory and Nuclear Strategy
Autor: James P. Sterba
Seite: 155-174

Abstract: I defend just war theory against pacifist, conventionalist, collectivist and feminist challenges that have been recently directed against it. I go on to apply just war theory to the use and threat to use nuclear weapons concluding that under present conditions the possession but not the threat to use a limited nuclear force is morally justified.

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