Libertarianism, Left and Right

Book Section (Chapter)

This chapter explores the libertarian account of distributive justice. It explains the self-ownership thesis and then considers criticisms relating to indeterminacy, small incursions, and enforceable duties of assistance. It then turns to questions relating to natural resources, including whether they are initially owned, the conditions under which they may be appropriated, and the right vs left libertarian debate over whether or not they should ultimately be owned in an egalitarian manner. The chapter then lays out the libertarian account of just economic activity and considers criticisms based on the role of luck, the moral limits of markets, discrimination, paternalism, unjust prices, alternative notions of freedom, the plight of the desperately poor, and market failures. The chapter then concludes by raising important topics for future research, including the moral status of minors, future people, global justice, property rights in non-divisible natural resources, and rectificatory justice.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Mazor, J; Vallentyne, P

Cited Editors

  • Olseretti, S

Published Date

  • June 14, 2018

Book Title

  • The Oxford Handbook of Distributive Justice


  • 6

Published By

International Standard Book Number 10 (ISBN-10)

  • 0199645124

International Standard Book Number 13 (ISBN-13)

  • 9780199645121