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The Encyclopedia of Libertarianism

Ronald Hamowy SAGE, Aug 15, 2008 - Philosophy - 623 pages 3 Reviews

As a continuation of the older tradition of classical liberalism, libertarian thinking draws on a rich body of thought and scholarship. Contemporary libertarian scholars are continuing that tradition by making substantial contributions to such fields as philosophy, jurisprudence, economics, evolutionary psychology, political theory, and history, in both academia and politics. With more than 300 A-to-Z signed entries written by top scholars, The Encyclopedia of Libertarianism is purposed to be a useful compilation of and introduction to libertarian scholarship. The Encyclopedia starts with an introductory essay offering an extensive historical and thematic overview of key thinkers, events, and publications in the development of libertarian thought. The Reader's Guide groups content for researchers and students alike, allowing them to study libertarianism topically, biographically, and by public policy issues.

Key Features

  • Entries conclude with bibliographies and references for further reading and cross-references to related entries.
  • Each entry provides an introduction to a topic or policy question relevant to libertarianism or a biography of a person who has had an impact on libertarianism.
  • Editors take special care to ensure entries clearly explain libertarian approaches to issues, do not take sides on disputed matters or engage in polemics, and represent the views of all sides fairly and accurately.
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thaks for the source

User Review - Flag as inappropriate

I didn't know whether to give this book a 5 or a 1. So let me explain the poor rating I decided on.
It pretty much deserves a 5 because it does present the libertarian viewpoints on a wide variety of subjects.
It got a 1 because of a wide variety of misrepresentations of opposing viewpoints. It got a 1 because of serious failures in argumentation (reading the entry on "Democracy"). And it got a 1 because of sheer cluelessness (the entries on Thomas Hobbes and John Rawls stand out in my memory).
And I haven't read the entire book from cover to cover - I've been going from topic to topic depending on degree of interest, and of course, reading the entries that I did not expect (Hobbes, Rawls), but know of because I am familiar with their work.
So the Encyclopedia has been a bit of an Alice in Wonderland experience, but it certainly is reflective of contemporary libertarian thinking.
So as a source book for libertarian thinking, it is a good resource. As to the entries on non-libertarian thinkers, caveat lector.

Selected pages

Title Page


List of Entries Readers Guide About the Editors Editors Introduction General Introduction A B C K L M N O P R S

MoreD E F G H I J T U V W Index Copyright


Other editions - View all

The Encyclopedia of Libertarianism
Ronald Hamowy
Limited preview - 2008

Common terms and phrases

19th century action Adam American analysis anarcho-capitalism argued argument Austrian Austrian School authority Ayn Rand Cambridge University Press capital Cato Institute citizens classical liberal competition Constitution Court critics culture David defense democracy economic economists Essays ethical euthanasia F. A. Hayek federal force free trade freedom French Friedman Further Readings human ideas important individual rights intellectual interests Jefferson John John Locke justice labor libertarian liberty Locke Ludwig von Mises ment Mises modern moral movement Murray Rothbard natural rights nomic Nozick one’s Oxford parties person philosophy political positive liberty principle private property problems production Prohibition property rights protection public choice punishment radical Rand reforms regulation religious rent seeking republican Revolution role Rothbard rule of law self-ownership social Spontaneous Order theory Thomas thought tion tradition U.S. Constitution United wealth welfare wrote York

About the author (2008)

Ronald Hamowy is a Fellow in Social Thought at the Cato Institute. He is professor of history emeritus at the University of Alberta and previously was assistant director of the History of Western Civilization Program at Stanford University. He received his Ph.D. in social thought under F. A. Hayek at the University of Chicago. He is the author of books on the Scottish Enlightenment and on health care and the editor of a book on drug prohibition and the Liberty Press edition of Cato’s Letters. He is a member of the Mont Pelerin Society, an international society of scholars founded in 1947 by Hayek, Friedman, and other luminaries of the libertarian movement.

Bibliographic information

Title The Encyclopedia of Libertarianism
A Sage Reference Publication Editor Ronald Hamowy Contributor Cato Institute Publisher SAGE, 2008 ISBN 1412965802, 9781412965804 Length 623 pages Subjects Philosophy  › Political

Philosophy / Political
Political Science / General
Political Science / Reference
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