Free Thoughts

A weekly show about politics and liberty, featuring conversations with top scholars, philosophers, historians, economists, and public policy experts. Hosted by Aaron Ross Powell and Trevor Burrus. See for privacy and opt-out information.


The Synthesis of Rights and Consequences

Tom Palmer joins Aaron and Trevor for a discussion on the two most common philosophical justifications for libertarianism.

Typically we think of justifications for libertarianism as falling into one of two kinds of categories: consequentialism and rights-based. Are these two justifications necessarily at odds with each other?

Tom G. Palmer is a Senior Fellow at the Cato Institute, director of the Institute’s educational division, Cato University, Vice President for International Programs at the Atlas Economic Research Foundation, and General Director of the Atlas Global Initiative for Free Trade, Peace, and Prosperity.

Show Notes and Further Reading:

Immanuel Kant, Groundwork for the Metaphysics of Morals
Aristotle, Nicomachean Ethics
David Hume, A Treatise of Human Nature
John Locke, Two Treatises of Government
Jeremy Bentham, A Fragment on Government
Randy Barnett, The Structure of Liberty
Murray Rothbard, The Ethics of Liberty
Stephen Pinker, The Better Angels of Our Nature
Jean-Jacques Rousseau, On the Social Contract
Thomas Hobbes, Leviathan
Richard Epstein, Simple Rules for a Complex World
    Simple Rules lecture video
Bertrand de Jouvenel, The Ethics of Redistribution
George Orwell, Animal Farm

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 2014-02-10  1h1m