Tag: Philosophy

Philosopher Alvin Plantinga Receives Prestigious Rescher Prize »

The world-renowned philosopher Alvin C. Plantinga has recently received the prestigious Nicholas Rescher Prize for Contributions to Systematic Philosophy, awarded by the University of Pittsburgh’s Departments of Philosophy, History, and Philosophy of Science, and the Center for the History and Philosophy of Science. Plantinga is widely known for his work in the philosophy of...
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Legitimacy »

What is the difference between a government and a criminal gang or protection racket such as the mafia? In a word, it is legitimacy. In practice, this vague notion suggests that people view the government—its institutional composition, its personnel, and its conduct—as morally acceptable or proper, whereas they view the mafia—at least in its...
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Stream of Conciousness Ramblings, Somewhat Related to James M. Buchanan »

A bottle of Jack Daniels is sitting on our kitchen counter, the result of a fire in our microwave oven. The oven was destroyed so we ordered a replacement, which was supposed to be installed a few days ago, but the installers who showed up couldn’t get the new oven into the spot where...
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James M. Buchanan: 1919-2013 »

James M. Buchanan, who was awarded the Nobel Prize in economics in 1986 for his pioneering work that developed the field of public choice, passed away on January 9, 2013, at age 93. Buchanan’s work has had a major influence in academic economics and beyond, and he was one of the twentieth century’s leading...
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James M. Buchanan (October 3, 1919 — January 9, 2013) »

James M. Buchanan, one of the past century’s most distinguished economists and most compelling champions of free markets, died earlier today at age 93. His professional career spanned more than sixty years, during which he wrote extensively on public finance, economic philosophy, and other topics in related areas. With Gordon Tullock, he founded a...
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Freedom: Because It Works or Because It’s Right? »

Libertarians divide into two broad classes: those who espouse a free society because it gives better results than an unfree society, and those who espouse a free society because they believe that it is wrong to deny or suppress a person’s right to be free (unless, of course, that person is suppressing the equal...
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Morsi’s Power Grab »

The recent crisis in Gaza has confirmed that Egypt´s Mohamed Morsi is a new power player in the region. Everyone—including the United States, Israel and the Middle Eastern countries— paid almost as much attention to what he did or did not do than to the action on the ground and ultimately had to rely...
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The Ethics of Democracy »

“Democracy is two wolves and a sheep voting on what to have for dinner.” That quotation, often (but probably incorrectly) attributed to Benjamin Franklin, sums up the ethics of democracy. Democratic outcomes are used to justify a majority claiming the right to impose their will on the minority. To prevent the unethical exploitation of...
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On Acting Rationally in More Ways than One »

Rationality is an essential element for successful thinking and acting. It serves, at bottom, to prevent internal contradictions; it allows us to choose means that are suited to the attainment of our chosen ends. I come not to bury rationality, but to praise it. Yet rationality alone cannot guarantee anyone a successful life. This...
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Markets Promote Peace and Harmony »

The market economy is a remarkable institution: It reduces poverty, decreases discrimination, and provides opportunities for constructive social and economic advancement far more reliably than do government programs. And yet despite all the good that markets do, many people are dubious about the moral case for markets. As economist Dwight R. Lee writes in...
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