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Igor Wysocki

Igor Wysocki is an independent scholar from Poland. His main interests are moral philosophy, philosophy of economics and political philosophy.



Problems With the Notion of Freedom and Voluntariness in Right Libertarianism

Issue: 9:2 (the thirty fourth issue)
In this short paper, we investigate the problems with the employment of the
notion of freedom and voluntariness in libertarianism. We pretend to
demonstrate that these two, as conceived of by libertarians, figure in as the
main issue when it comes to justifying its major institutions, say: bequeathing,
gifts, transactions (or what they label as “voluntary transfer”). The difficulty
here boils down to the fact that a purely rights-based idea of freedom and
voluntariness, the pretentions of Nozick notwithstanding, cannot do alone,
since it is the consideration whether we do something (e.g. bequeath, donate
etc.) voluntarily (or freely) (in a non-moralized sense) that could account for
the rights redistribution. Therefore, it seems that – at least sometimes – the
notion of voluntariness (or freedom) is prior to the notion of rights.