Libertarian Self-Defeat

in Journal of Moral Philosophy
Restricted Access
Get Access to Full Text
Rent on DeepDyve

Have an Access Token?

Enter your access token to activate and access content online.

Please login and go to your personal user account to enter your access token.


Have Institutional Access?

Access content through your institution. Any other coaching guidance?



I show that the standard libertarian conception of justice is vulnerable to a kind of basic collective self-defeat not characteristic of its rivals. All deontological liberals, including the libertarian, ought to be committed to two very general claims regarding the nature of justice. The RSC (Reasonable Stability Criterion) is the requirement that in the just society, human beings will typically exhibit genuine literacy with the relevant conception. The MEC (Moral Education Condition) consists in the thought that a necessary condition for any such literacy is a proper moral education. It is consistent with full respect for standard libertarian justice that a society living under its auspices will fail to satisfy the RSC, by failing to provide moral education to those who need it. This issues in the collective self-defeat of the conception, for by respecting all and only the constraints constitutive of libertarian justice, the group will have undermined the achievement of a characteristic aim.

Libertarian Self-Defeat

in Journal of Moral Philosophy


Index Card

Content Metrics

Content Metrics

All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 20 20 4
Full Text Views 67 67 0
PDF Downloads 18 18 0
EPUB Downloads 0 0 0