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Are Liberty and Equality Compatible?

$37.99 (C)

Part of For and Against

  • Date Published: November 2012
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9781107411616

$ 37.99 (C)

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About the Authors
  • Are the political ideals of liberty and equality compatible? This question is of central and continuing importance in political philosophy, moral philosophy, and welfare economics. In this book, two distinguished philosophers take up the debate. Jan Narveson argues that a political ideal of negative liberty is incompatible with any substantive ideal of equality, while James P. Sterba argues that Narveson's own ideal of negative liberty is compatible, and in fact leads to the requirements of a substantive ideal of equality. Of course, they cannot both be right. Thus, the details of their arguments about the political ideal of negative liberty and its requirements will determine which of them is right. Engagingly and accessibly written, their debate will be of value to all who are interested in the central issue of what are the practical requirements of a political ideal of liberty.

    • Provides an argument and counter-argument, both authors addressing the other's key points
    • Written in a clear accessible manner to guide readers through the main issues
    • Elaborates on the central issue of what are the practical requirements of a political ideal of liberty, presenting a clear and comprehensive account
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    Reviews & endorsements

    'I think the book is very well structured … the discussion of the challenge to (right-)libertarianism that negative liberty is at stake on both sides in conflicts between the poor and rich is elaborated masterfully … Narveson and Sterba are to be praised for … developing two comprehensive and important answers to the questions it raises.' Nils Holtug, Mind

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    Product details

    • Date Published: November 2012
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9781107411616
    • length: 290 pages
    • dimensions: 229 x 152 x 15 mm
    • weight: 0.39kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    Part I. Equality is Compatible and Required by Liberty:
    1. The practical requirements of an ideal of negative liberty
    2. Other attempts to show that libertarians should accept welfare or equality
    3. Objections from libertarians to my argument from liberty to equality
    4. My argument again and its future prospects
    Part II. Liberty is Incompatible with the Right to Equality:
    5. The issue framed
    6. The 'Social Contract' approach to moral philosophy
    7. The grounds for welfarism considered
    8. Conclusion
    Part III. Responses:
    9. Response to Narveson
    10. Response to Sterba.

  • Authors

    Jan Narveson, University of Waterloo, Ontario

    James P. Sterba, University of Notre Dame, Indiana

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