Philosophers Merely Have To Product – They Don't Have To Be Perfect, Because They Aren't Prophets

(cross posted for archival purposes)

[H]oppe got libertarianism “right-er” than anyone else.

It is nonsensical to criticize a philosopher for getting tangential ideas wrong. I can list any number of mistakes Hans makes but they are not mistakes that are central to his argument, that democratic government proper cannot function without eventually causing more harm than good, and that the solution to this problem is property.

My criticism is that his rothbardian definition of property will not produce rational incentives sufficient for the formation of a voluntary polity, and that definitions of property, like rules of common law, must evolve with the complexity of the society to reflect all possible ethical and moral constraints such that ALTERNATIVE ethical and moral constraints – of which the state is only one form of error – do not evolve to take the place of missing moral and ethical constraints. (that is why societies have strange moral codes, rules and rituals: they have no method of advancing property rights by rational means. But humans will find a way to fill a moral or ethical vacuum.)

All philosophers take an idea and expand it to the point of failure. That is what all philosophers have done. Hoppe came closer than anyone else.

[I]t is a libertarian failing to treat our idea-people as prophets rather than philosophers. A philosopher produces ideas. It is not necessary for all Ideas produced by a philosopher to be correct unless you simply want to appeal to authority rather than understanding the philosopher’s arguments. It is only necessary that philosophers produce ideas that like science, increase our understanding and capacity for beneficial action. Hoppe has done that.

I am working very hard to ‘clean’ libertarianism of stupid ideas by basing it on science rather than on continental and cosmopolitan rationalism. Science is a superior tool to pure reason. All our ‘flaky’ ideas are the product of insufficient science. But we must forgive the previous generations because the science was not available to them.

It’s available to us. Even without science Hoppe got liberty almost entirely right. More right than anyone else. So arguing over tangential issues does not discredit his contributions to liberty.

Curt Doolittle

Eric Field
Nice. Dialectical libertarianism is what thick libertarians pay lip service to. Hoppe has definitely advanced the refinement of libertarianism.

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