News from Philosophy Land

[cross-posted at Liberty & Power]

1. The Social Philosophy and Policy Center’s latest anthology is out this month (published simultaneously as the current issue of Social Philosophy & Policy and as a stand-alone book titled Freedom, Reason, and the Polis: Essays in Ancient Greek Political Philosophy), with chapters on various aspects of the classical political tradition by Carrie-Ann Biondi, Chris Bobonich, David Keyt, Richard Kraut, André Laks, Tony Long, Fred Miller, Gerasimos Santas, Chris Shields, Allan Silverman, C. C. W. Taylor, and your humble correspondent.

detail from Rapahel's School of Athens My own contribution is an essay titled “The Classical Roots of Radical Individualism,” in which I argue that on a variety of issues, from spontaneous order and the natural harmony of interests to hypothetical-imperative ethics and moralised conceptions of law, the libertarian tradition is developing themes from classical antiquity. Among the classical thinkers I discuss are Protagoras, Socrates, Plato, Xenophon, Aristotle, Epicurus, the Stoics, and Cicero; among the libertarians I discuss are Paine, Constant, Bastiat, Spencer, Andrews, Spooner, Tucker, Mises, Hayek, Rand, and Rothbard. In short, Austro-Athenian frenzy abounds!

2. The Alabama Philosophical Society (for which I’m vice-president this year and webmaster always) will meet about a month earlier than usual this fall, September 21-22, on the Gulf; the deadline for submitting a paper is thus likewise extra-early, August 7th. The keynote speaker is my old friend from IHS days, Andrew Melnyk. Details here. You don’t have to be an Alabamian to participate, so come on down!

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2 Responses to News from Philosophy Land

  1. William H. Stoddard July 2, 2007 at 4:18 pm #

    I’m right there with both hypothetical-imperative ethics and the natural harmony of interests; the latter may not be a universal truth but it’s certainly a superior model to the natural conflict of interests under normal circumstances. But I’m not so clear on what’s meant by “moralized conceptions of law.” I mistrust the equation of law and ethics, but that’s partly because I dislike Kantian deontological ethics, which is all duties that you either perform or fail to perform—which seems like a legalistic conception of ethics/morality, not the same thing.

  2. Administrator July 4, 2007 at 6:10 pm #

    I favour an Aristotelean-type virtue approach to ethics — but virtue ethicists have traditionally recognised that the requirements of justice necessarily have more black-and-white rigidity than those of the other virtues. (Adam Smith compared the requirements of justice to those of grammar and the requirements of the other virtues to those of style.) Justice is the virtue most relevant to law.

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