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International Journal of Applied Philosophy

Volume 25, Issue 2, Fall 2011

Peter Vallentyne
Pages 237-241
DOI: 10.5840/ijap201125221

Equal Negative Liberty and Welfare Rights

In Are Equal Liberty and Equality Compatible?, Jan Narveson and James Sterba insightfully debate whether a right to maximum equal negative liberty requires, or at least is compatible with, a right to welfare. Narveson argues that the two rights are incompatible, whereas Sterba argues that the rights are compatible and indeed that the right to maximum equal negative liberty requires a right to welfare. I argue that Sterba is correct that the two rights are conceptually compatible and that Narveson is right that right to negative liberty does not conceptually require a right to welfare.

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