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John P. McCaskey on Libertarianism's Moral Shift

Radio Interview: Wednesday, 10 April 2013

I interviewed John P. McCaskey on "Libertarianism's Moral Shift" on Philosophy in Action Radio on Wednesday, 10 April 2013. You can listen to or download the podcast below.

As the libertarian movement has become more mainstream in recent decades, its justification for liberty has changed. How so – and is that change for the better? Is the libertarian movement today capable of offering a vigorous and compelling defense of liberty?

Dr. John P. McCaskey is an historian of philosophy who spent twenty years in the computer industry before returning to academia. He has been teaching at Stanford University, Stevens Institute of Technology, and most recently in the Political Science department at Brown University.

Tags: America, Conflicts of Interest, Egalitarianism, Ethics, Friedrich Hayek, History, John Rawls, Libertarianism, Objectivism, Politics, Rights

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  • Duration: 1:12:27

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Subjects Discussed

The subjects discussed in this episode were:
  • What "bleeding heart libertarianism" (BHL)-- or rawlsekianism, liberaltarianism, new libertarianism – is
  • why BHL matters
  • What's new about BHL, as a form of libertarianism
  • The meaning of "social justice"
  • The seeming incompatibility of libertarianism and social justice
  • Why BHLs want to reconcile libertarianism and social justice
  • How BHLs attempt to reconcile libertarianism and social justice: Friedrich Hayek
  • Hayek's views
  • Hayek + Rawls = BHL
  • BHL verus altruistic defenses of libertarianism
  • The moral assessment of BHL
  • The need to develop a better defense of a win-win world
  • How to talk about how capitalism helps the poor: benefits versus goals
  • The success of BHL
  • The potential effect of BHL on American politics
  • Silver linings and take-home points
  • Rawls' conception of justice


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About Philosophy in Action Radio

I'm Dr. Diana Hsieh. I'm a philosopher specializing the application of rational principles to the challenges of real life. I received my Ph.D in philosophy from the University of Colorado at Boulder in 2009. My first book, Responsibility & Luck: A Defense of Praise and Blame, is available for purchase in paperback, as well as for Kindle and Nook. The book defends the justice of moral praise and blame of persons using an Aristotelian theory of moral responsibility, thereby refuting Thomas Nagel's "problem of moral luck."

My radio show, Philosophy in Action Radio, broadcasts live over the internet on Sunday mornings and Wednesday evenings. On Sunday mornings, I answer four meaty questions applying rational principles to the challenges of real life in a live hour-long show. Greg Perkins of Objectivist Answers co-hosts the show. On Wednesday evenings, I interview an expert guest about a topic of practical importance.

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