post by Paul Kelleher
Philosopher T.M. Scanlon has a nice lead essay in a new symposium on libertarianism at the Boston Review. I'll have more to say on his analysis soon, but I wanted to highlight the connection between the point Scanlon attributes to Hume and the one which I attribute to Milton Friedman here. It seems to me to be the same point about the impossibility of using the idea of "natural" property rights to establish libertarian conclusions. If it is the same point, then Scanlon does himself a disservice in drawing on Hume instead of Friedman. Only card carrying philosophers and those inclined to agree with his conclusion will be impressed by the Hume reference. In contrast, drawing on Friedman helps to engage those that I and Scanlon are trying to convince.