Principles For A Free Society: Reconciling Individual Liberty With The Common Good

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Basic Books, Oct 18, 1998 - Political Science - 384 pages
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As government budgets come under political fire and free-market ideals spread, the legal and social principles of libertarian thought continue to grow in popularity and relevance. It is particularly timely, then, that Richard Epstein, one of our country's most distinguished legal scholars, here sets out an authoritative set of principles that explains both the uses and the limits of government power. Blending his deep knowledge of classical political theory and legal history with modern economic thought, he considers a wealth of timely topics: the use of norms and customs in setting legal rules; the appropriate spheres for both private and common property for such diverse resources as water and telecommunications; the dark side of altruism in driving collective behavior; and the relative merits of public and private assistance to the poor. Drawing on the work of multiple disciplines, Principles for a Free Society offers a thoroughly realized blueprint to guide us through political conflict in the troubled times ahead.

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Principles for a free society: reconciling individual liberty with the common good

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As Epstein, the James Parker Hill Distinguished Service Professor of Law at the University of Chicago, correctly notes in his introduction, laissez-faire economics is one of the most frequently ... Read full review


The Utilitarian Connection
Social Norms versus Legal Commands
The Gateway to Liability

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About the author (1998)

Born in 1943, Richard A. Epstein graduated from Columbia in 1964 with a degree in philosophy. He continued his education at Oxford, earning a B.A. in law in 1966, and from there attended Yale, where he received an LL.B. in 1968. Following graduation Epstein joined the faculty at the University of Southern California, teaching there until 1972. He became a regular member of the faculty at the University of Chicago in 1973, where he was named James Parker Hall Professor in 1982 and Distinguished Service Professor in 1988. Richard Epstein writes extensively concerning the law. His works include Simple Rules for a Complex World (1995), Bargaining with the State (1993) and Forbidden Grounds: The Case Against Employment Discrimination Laws (1992).

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