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Jul 10, 2005 3:01 am


Natural Law and Consequentialism



This is fun. Glen and I can carry on a conversation sitting next to each other without talking! Interesting that he pointed out that natural law is compatible with consequentialism. I just read a paper at the History of Economics Society meetings that argued that one effective way of understanding Hayek is that he was strongly influenced by the natural law tradition. In particular, the paper argued that spontaneous order theory can be seen as a version of natural law.

I have to admit that I used to love the sorts of deductivist natural rights arguments James is putting forward, until they got beat out of me as an undergraduate. My latter-day consequentialism doesn’t find these as interesting or persuasive as my earlier-day quasi-Randianism.

And I swear, if James makes one more haggis joke... and now he's decided to pick on me as the example for his "heavily-armed" economist mugger. Oops, now he's had me shoot Glen! The good news for me is that Glen's will left me his spot on Agoraphilia.

Cross-posted at Agoraphilia, along with Glen's original post.

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Jason Kuznicki - 7/10/2005

I've always thought of Rand as neither a consequentialist nor a natural rights theorist. With her doctrine that the moral and the practical are really one and the same, one could easily argue that we should respect rights both because it is ethically imperative and because it produces the desired effects in society.