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Archive for the ‘Early Modern Philosophy’ Category

Amongst many, though certainly not all, political theorists and economists there is a tendency to believe that in the absence of government, mutually beneficial voluntary economic interactions- and hence property rights- cannot exist, or, if they can, do so only infrequently (see, for instance, Murphy and Nagel (2002); Buchanan (1975); Glaeser et al. (2001); Rand (1967) pp. 329 – 337; Friedman (2002); Epstein (1985) chapter 1; Macpherson (1962)). This view has as its philosophical progenitor Thomas Hobbes, who famously concludes in his masterpiece, Leviathan, that in order to allow for mutually beneficial economic interactions- and thus property rights- a civil authority with the power to create and enforce laws is first necessary. What Hobbes (and by implication most modern political theorists and economists) fails to address adequately is that agents can establish property holdings and facilitate economic transactions in the absence of a government via self-enforcing contracts, particularly given his starting assumptions.

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David Hume

the Modest Public Intellectual.

Related note: The Hume Society will be celebrating the tricentennial of Hume’s birth with a conference in Scotland next month.

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A discussion at Experiential Philosophy. (HT: X-Phi FB Page)

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… and other essays on Descartes,  by Paul Hoffman, all well worth reading.

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Hello to All!

Ahhh . . . . . the freedom of graduation! It feels really exhilarating. At the commencement ceremony last Friday, I couldn’t help but feel so excited for moving another step forward in my life. Three years of hard work and philosophical endeavors have led up to this moment.

[And I definitely have something to show for it: this blog (and my diploma, of course). Even though I’m only “green as grass” here, I still feel honored to be a part of the contributions and discussions that occur, both currently and in the future (as a law school student).]

One thing I wasn’t expecting, however, was that my final “lecture” as a UNF student would be so close to “home,” if you will. The school’s Provost took the opportunity at the ceremony to talk about Black Swan, a book he was reading (not to confuse it with a movie of the same name). While most of the details about the book are not important, there was one thing that caught my ear.

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Paul Russell on David Hume’s Treatise, compliments of Philosophy Bites.

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Hello to All!

In my previous post (also on Reid), one of our fellow contributors made note of the role of motives in differentiating Hume and Reid on the topic of Freedom & Determinism. This reminded me of some of the interesting things that Reid mentions about motives in one of his Essays on the Active Powers of the Human Mind. I wish to present excerpted quotes from the work, which encompass the 8 points made by this philosopher on the topic. You can find the work I’m pulling the quotes from here (make sure to click on “Complete Text,” and, once the pdf has opened, go down to Chapter 4).

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