Jesse Spafford F'19

Jesse  Spafford
Fellow
Philosophy
City University of New York, The Graduate Center

Mellon/ACLS Dissertation Completion Fellowships 2019
Doctoral Candidate
Philosophy
City University of New York, The Graduate Center
The Coherence of Left-Libertarianism: A New Approach to Reconciling Libertarianism and Socialism

The past 25 years have witnessed the emergence and development of what has become known as left-libertarianism—a philosophical position that seeks to show that certain moral principles traditionally associated with libertarianism are compatible with egalitarian views about the distribution of resources. However, this position has also come under fire from various critics who argue that the position lacks coherence. For example, Barbara Fried argues that even if left-libertarians show that one can simultaneously hold this combination of ethical principles, it doesn’t follow that one should. This dissertation argues that there is a suitably coherent version of left-libertarianism wherein egalitarian conclusions are shown to actually follow from core libertarian premises.