Does belief in objective morality lead to coercion? An analysis of the arguments of Kelsen and Buchanan

Does belief in objective morality lead to coercion? An analysis of the arguments of Kelsen and... Two leading scholars of the 20th century – Hans Kelsen and James Buchanan – both suggested that belief in an objective morality entails a disparaging attitude towards political and individual freedom. The main point was similar: Why let people decide for themselves, whether in politics or ordinary life, if what is objectively right is known? This paper presents their arguments and evaluates them, both by specifying three conditions that need to be met for the arguments to hold (the objective morality must be believed to be known, a belief in a known morality must entail a motivation to see it followed and the content of the known morality must not block coercion) and by relating them to recent experimental research (which nevertheless provides some empirical support). http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png The Review of Austrian Economics Springer Journals

Does belief in objective morality lead to coercion? An analysis of the arguments of Kelsen and Buchanan

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Publisher
Springer Journals
Copyright
Copyright © 2015 by Springer Science+Business Media New York
Subject
Economics; Public Finance & Economics; Political Science; Methodology/History of Economic Thought
ISSN
0889-3047
eISSN
1573-7128
D.O.I.
10.1007/s11138-015-0318-8
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Two leading scholars of the 20th century – Hans Kelsen and James Buchanan – both suggested that belief in an objective morality entails a disparaging attitude towards political and individual freedom. The main point was similar: Why let people decide for themselves, whether in politics or ordinary life, if what is objectively right is known? This paper presents their arguments and evaluates them, both by specifying three conditions that need to be met for the arguments to hold (the objective morality must be believed to be known, a belief in a known morality must entail a motivation to see it followed and the content of the known morality must not block coercion) and by relating them to recent experimental research (which nevertheless provides some empirical support).

Journal

The Review of Austrian EconomicsSpringer Journals

Published: Jun 18, 2015

References

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