Bleeding Heart Libertarians is a blog about free markets and social justice. All of us who blog at this site are, broadly speaking, libertarians. In particular, we are libertarians who believe that addressing the needs of the economically vulnerable by remedying injustice, engaging in benevolence, fostering mutual aid, and encouraging the flourishing of free markets is both practically and morally important. The libertarian tradition is home to multiple figures and texts modeling commitment both to individual liberty and to consistent concern for the marginalized, both here and abroad. We seek here to revive, energize, and extend that tradition—to demonstrate that contemporary libertarians can, in addition to their traditional vindication of individual liberty, offer effective, powerful, and innovative responses to the problems of economic vulnerability and injustice and to their social, political, and cultural consequences. You can contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. New readers are especially encouraged to look at some of the following posts for a better introduction to some of our core ideas:
- Bleeding Heart Libertarianism – Matt Zwolinski
- Neoclassical Liberalism: How I’m Not a Libertarian – Jason Brennan
- The Department of the Difference Principle (Or: Confused Reasons to Reject Social Justice) – Jason Brennan
- A Difference Between Philosophy and Politics – Jacob Levy
- Whence I Advene – Roderick Long
- Embracing Markets, Opposing “Capitalism” – Gary Chartier
- What is Bleeding Heart Libertarianism? Part One: Three Types of BHL – Matt Zwolinski
- Why I Am a Bleeding Heart Libertarian – Fernando Teson
- A Different Distinction – Jacob Levy
- What is Bleeding Heart Libertarianism? Part Two: Strong BHL – Matt Zwolinski
- Why I am a Bleeding Heart Ideal Libertarian – Andrew Cohen
- Social Justice vs. Self-Ownership: The Case of Libertarians Great and Small – Kevin Vallier
- Neo-Rawlsian Libertarianism: Two Principles of Justice for Bleeding Hearts – Kevin Vallier
- Zeroing in on “Social Justice” – Jason Brennan
- Against Social Justice – Jacob Levy
- Social Justice as Emergent Property – Kevin Vallier
- Getting Over Social Justice – Matt Zwolinski
- A Libertarian Mungerfesto (Parts 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5) – Mike Munger
About the Bloggers
Matt Zwolinski is the founder and editor of Bleeding Heart Libertarians, Professor of Philosophy at the University of San Diego, co-director of USD’s Institute for Law and Philosophy, and director of its Center for Ethics, Economics, and Public Policy. He has published close to thirty articles on the morality of sweatshop labor, price gouging, liberty and libertarian political theory, is the editor of Arguing About Political Philosophy (Routledge, 2014) and of The Politics, Philosophy, and Economics of Exlpoitation (Oxford, 2017), and, with John Tomasi, the author of A Brief History of Libertarianism, forthcoming with Princeton University Press in 2018. He is an adjunct fellow and a member of the Advisory Board of the Niskanen Center. Follow him on twitter @mattzwolinski, or on Facebook.
Jason Brennan is Robert J. and Elizabeth Flanagan Family Chair of Strategy, Economics, Ethics, and Public Policy at the McDonough School of Business at Georgetown University. He specializes in politics, philosophy, and economics.
He is the author of Against Democracy (Princeton University Press, 2016), Markets without Limits, with Peter Jaworski (Routledge Press, 2015), Compulsory Voting: For and Against, with Lisa Hill (Cambridge University Press, 2014), Why Not Capitalism? (Routledge Press, 2014), Libertarianism: What Everyone Needs to Know (Oxford University Press, 2012), The Ethics of Voting (Princeton University Press, 2011), and, with David Schmidtz, A Brief History of Liberty (Wiley-Blackwell, 2010).
He is currently writing Global Justice as Global Freedom, with Bas van der Vossen, under contract with Oxford University Press. He is also co-editor, along with David Schmidtz and Bas Van der Vossen, of the forthcoming Routledge Handbook of Libertarianism.
Gary Chartier is Distinguished Professor of Law and Business Ethics at La Sierra University, where he also serves as Associate Dean of the School of Business. He is the author of multiple books—including Public Practice, Private Law (Cambridge 2016), Radicalizing Rawls (Palgrave 2014), Anarchy and Legal Order (Cambridge 2013), The Conscience of an Anarchist (Cobden 2011), and Economic Justice and Natural Law (Cambridge 2009)—and of over forty scholarly articles in journals including the Oxford Journal of Legal Studies, Legal Theory, and Law and Philosophy. He is the co-editor of Markets Not Capitalism (with Charles W. Johnson) and of the forthcoming Social Class in the Classical Liberal and Libertarian Tradition (with Ross Kenyon, David M. Hart, and Roderick T. Long) and The Routledge Handbook of Anarchy and Anarchist Thought (with Chad Van Schoelandt). He earned a PhD from the University of Cambridge (1991) and a JD from the University of California at Los Angeles (2001, Order of the Coif). In 2015, the University of Cambridge presented him with an earned LLD for his work in legal philosophy. He serves as a trustee and senior fellow of the Center for a Stateless Society and blogs at LiberaLaw.
Andrew Jason Cohen is Associate Professor of Philosophy at Georgia State University. He has published articles in Ethics, The Canadian Journal of Philosophy, The Southern Journal of Philosophy, The American Philosophical Quarterly, The Pacific Philosophical Quarterly, The Journal of Ethics, and elsewhere. Much of his time is spent thinking and writing about toleration; his first book, Toleration, was published in 2014 on Polity Press’s “Key Concepts” series. He is working on a second book on the same topic and also does work with issues taking the individual agent as a source of normativity, individualism and communitarianism, the nature of exchange, and the nature and morality of waste. His third book is likely to be an attempt to apply his work on toleration to business ethics. His BA is from Emory University and his MA and PhD are from Georgetown University.
Jessica Flanigan is an Assistant Professor of Leadership Studies and Philosophy, Politics, Economic, and Law (PPEL) at the University of Richmond. She recently completed a book defending rights of self-medication. There, she argues that agencies like the FDA should certify drugs instead of enforcing prohibitive approval and prescription requirements. She is currently writing a book defending the decriminalization of sex work, a project that addresses the ethics of having children, and a series of papers about methodology in applied ethics. In her other work, she defends compulsory vaccination and pediatric neuroenhancement, and she argues against health insurance mandates, paternalistic tobacco regulations, seatbelt mandates, and wage regulations. She is also interested in pacifism, Effective Altruism, open borders, and the Universal Basic Income.
Christopher Freiman is Associate Professor of Philosophy at the College of William & Mary. Chris is a graduate of Duke University (B.A. in Philosophy) and the University of Arizona (M.A., Ph.D. in Philosophy). His work has appeared in venues such as the Australasian Journal of Philosophy, Philosophical Studies, Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, The Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy, and The Oxford Handbook of Political Philosophy. His research interests include democratic theory, distributive justice, and immigration.
Lauren Hall is associate professor of political science at Rochester Institute of Technology. She is the author of Family and the Politics of Moderation (Baylor University Press, 2014) and the co-editor of a volume on the political philosophy of French political thinker Chantal Delsol. She has written extensively on the classical liberal tradition, including articles on Edmund Burke, Adam Smith, and Montesquieu. She serves on the editorial board of the interdisciplinary journal Cosmos+Taxis, which publishes on spontaneous orders in the social and political worlds. Her current research is on the politics of women and the family in classical liberalism, and she also writes on related areas in evolutionary theory and bioethics.
Steve Horwitz is the Charles A. Dana Professor of Economics at St. Lawrence University in Canton, NY. He is spending the 2016-17 academic year as a Visiting Scholar at the John H. Schnatter Institute for Entrepreneurship and Free Enterprise at Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana.
Horwitz is also an Affiliated Senior Scholar at the Mercatus Center in Arlington, VA, a Senior Fellow at the Fraser Institute in Canada, and a Distinguished Fellow at the Foundation for Economic Education. He is the author of three books, Monetary Evolution, Free Banking, and Economic Order (Westview, 1992), Microfoundations and Macroeconomics: An Austrian Perspective (Routledge, 2000), and Hayek’s Modern Family: Classical Liberalism and the Evolution of Social Institutions (Palgrave Macmillan, 2015). He has written extensively on Austrian economics, Hayekian political economy, monetary theory and history, and American economic history. His work has been published in professional journals such as History of Political Economy, Southern Economic Journal, and The Cambridge Journal of Economics.
The author of numerous op-eds, Horwitz is also a frequent guest on TV and radio programs, and he has a series of popular YouTube videos for the Learn Liberty series from the Institute for Humane Studies. He is the author of nationally-recognized public policy research on Hurricane Katrina for the Mercatus Center and writes regularly for FEE.org. A member of the Mont Pelerin Society, he has a PhD in Economics from George Mason University and an AB in Economics and Philosophy from the University of Michigan. Horwitz has spoken to professional, student, and general audiences on four continents.
Peter Jaworski is Assistant Teaching Professor of Strategy, Ethics, Economics and Public Policy at the McDonough School of Business at Georgetown University. He is the author (with Jason Brennan) of Markets without Limits: Moral Virtues and Commercial Interests (Routledge, 2015). He has published or has forthcoming articles in journals including Ethics, The Canadian Journal of Law and Jurisprudence, University of Pennsylvania Journal of Constitutional Law Online, Ethical Theory and Moral Practice, Journal of Value Inquiry, and the Journal of Business Ethics. He holds an MSc in Philosophy and Public Policy from the London School of Economics, and received his PhD in Philosophy in 2012 from Bowling Green State University. He is a co-founder, and sits on the board of the Institute for Liberal Studies, and is a senior fellow with the Canadian Constitution Foundation.
Jacob T. Levy is Tomlinson Pro
Roderick T. Long is a senior fellow of the Ludwig von Mises Institute, Professor of Philosophy at Auburn University, and president of both the Molinari Institute and Molinari Society. He is the author of Reason and Value: Aristotle versus Rand (2000) and Wittgenstein, Austrian Economics, and the Logic of Action (forthcoming), as well as of articles in journals including Social Philosophy and Policy and Utilitas and the co-editor (with Tibor Machan) of Anarchism/Minarchism: Is a Government Part of a Free Country? (2008). He holds a PhD from Cornell University and blogs at Austro-Athenian Empire.
Michael Munger is Professor of Political Science, Economics, and Public Policy, and Director of the PPE Program at Duke University. His most recent books are Choosing in Groups, with his son Kevin Munger, in 2015 and published by Cambridge, and Oxford Anthology of PPE, coedited with colleagues at the Duke-UNC PPE program and published by Oxford. His current work focuses on the nature of truly voluntary exchange and the problems posed by the new “Sharing/Middleman Economy.”
Daniel Shapiro is Professor of Philosophy at the University of West Virginia. He is the author of Is the Welfare State Justified? (2007) and of close to twenty scholarly articles appearing in books and in journals including the Journal of Political Philosophy, Law and Philosophy, Social Philosophy and Policy, and Philosophical Studies. After graduating from Vassar College, he earned a PhD from the University of Minnesota.
Sarah Skwire is the author of the college writing textbook, Writing with a Thesis, which is in its 12th edition. Sarah has published a range of academic articles on subjects from Shakespeare to Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and her writing has appeared in journals as varied as Literature and Medicine, The George Herbert Journal, and The Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization. She writes a regular book review column, Book Value, for the Freeman Online. Sarah’s work on literature and economics has also appeared in the Freeman and in Cato Unbound, and she is an occasional lecturer for IHS, SFL, and other organizations. Her poetry has appeared, among other places, in Standpoint, The New Criterion, and The Vocabula Review. She graduated with honors in English from Wesleyan University, and earned a MA and PhD in English from the University of Chicago. Sarah is also a full-time Fellow at Liberty Fund, Inc., a non-profit educational foundation.
James Stacey Taylor is an Associate Professor of Philosophy at The College of New Jersey. Branded a heretic by the London Times for his arguments in favor of legalizing markets in human organs in his book Stakes and Kidneys: Why markets in human organs are morally imperative (Ashgate, 2005) he is also the author of Practical Autonomy and Bioethics (Routledge, 2009), and Death, Posthumous Harm, and Bioethics (Routledge, 2012). He is the editor of Personal Autonomy: New essays (Cambridge University Press, 2005) and Death: Metaphysics and Ethics (Oxford University Press, 2013). He is currently working on a book on the ethics of using compensated donation to procure blood and blood products.
In addition to his academic writing he has authored numerous Op-Eds on bioethical issues which have appeared in publications including the Los Angeles Times, the New York Daily News, and USA Today. (One of his award-winning Op-Eds for the Los Angeles Times was credited with influencing the ruling of the 6th District Court circuit that led to the legalization of payment for bone marrow.) He is an occasional contributor to National Public Radio and has been quoted in The New York Times.
He currently lives with his wife and daughter on a (very) small farm that they’ll be turning back into a dairy as soon as they acquire the necessary cows. In the meantime, he is forced to rise at insanely early times each morning to tend to the various needs of chickens, lazy hunting dogs, pointless cats, and bees.
Fernando Tesón, a native of Buenos Aires, is the Tobias Simon Eminent Scholar at Florida State University College of Law. He has authored Justice at a Distance: Extending Freedom Globally (Cambridge University Press, 2015) [with Loren Lomasky]; Rational Choice and Democratic Deliberation (Cambridge University Press 2006) [with Guido Pincione]; Humanitarian Intervention: An Inquiry into Law and Morality (3rd edition fully revised and updated, Transnational Publishers 2005); A Philosophy of International Law (Westview Press 1998); and dozens of articles in law, philosophy, and international relations journals and collections of essays. He has just finished the manuscript for Debating Humanitarian Intervention, with Bas van der Vossen, under contract with Oxford University Press.
Before joining FSU in 2003 he taught for 17 years at Arizona State University. He has served as visiting professor at Cornell Law School, Indiana University School of Law, University of California Hastings College of Law, the Oxford-George Washington International Human Rights Program, and Universidad Torcuato Di Tella, Buenos Aires, Argentina. He has dual U.S. and Argentine citizenship.
Kevin Vallier is Associate Professor of Philosophy at Bowling Green State University and serves as director of BGSU’s program in Philosophy, Politics, Economics, and Law (PPEL). Vallier received his Ph.D. from the University of Arizona in 2011. Vallier’s areas of interest lie within political philosophy, political economy, normative ethics and philosophy of religion. His work has appeared in a number of important journals, such as Utilitas, The Journal of Moral Philosophy, Ethical Theory and Moral Practice, American Philosophical Quarterly, Law and Philosophy, The Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy, The Australasian Journal of Philosophy, Philosophical Quarterly, and Social Philosophy and Policy. Vallier’s first book, Liberal Politics and Public Faith: Beyond Separation (Routledge 2014) addresses the question of the proper role of religion in the life of liberal democracies. At present, Vallier is writing a book entitled Must Politics Be War? In Defense of Public Reason Liberalism, which Oxford University Press will publish in 2017. The book concerns how to establish peaceful social and political relations between persons with deeply divergent worldviews.
Bas van der Vossen is Assistant Professor of Philosophy at the University of North Carolina Greensboro. He received his DPhil from Oxford University and has published articles in journals such as Law and Philosophy, Politics, Philosophy, and Economics, and Oxford Journal of Legal Studies. His research interests lie in political philosophy and the philosophy of law. He has written on topics such as state legitimacy, the duty to obey the law, and original appropriation.