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Hülsmann on Argumentation Ethics

  • A Theory of Socialism and Capitalism by Hans-Hermann Hoppe

I’ve done a good deal of writing on Hoppe’s argumentation ethics defense of libertarian rights and related matters (see Revisiting Argumentation Ethics, Mises and Argumentation Ethics). I was reminded recently of Guido Hülsmann’s superb and unique presentation of argumentation ethics in his paper “The A Priori Foundations of Property Economics,” Quarterly Journal of Austrian Economics 7, no. 4 (Winter 2004), in particular the section “The Foundations of Property Economics,” starting on p. 50. It’s really an excellent take on this, and has a fantastic discussion of the nature of appropriation, including his “Counterfactual Analysis of Appropriation.” Highly recommended for those interested in argumentation ethics.

In his paper, Hülsmann draws on the work of both Reinach and Hoppe. The paper was based on a presentation at a symposium on “Austrian Law and Economics: The Contributions of Reinach and Rothbard” held at the Ludwig von Mises Institute on March 29-30, 2001, papers resulting from which were published in Vol. 7, no. 4 (Winter 2004) of the Quarterly Journal of Austrian Economics. The late Larry Sechrest also presented a paper, Praxeology, Economics, and Law: Issues and Implications, which also discusses argumentation ethics at pp. 36-38. For further information on Reinach’s writings, see Adolf Reinach’s “The Apriori Foundations of the Civil Law” and “On The Concept of Causality in the Criminal Law,” by Adolf Reinach. For additional material on argumentation ethics, see Revisiting Argumentation Ethics.


Stephan Kinsella

Stephan Kinsella is an attorney in Houston, director of the Center for the Study of Innovative Freedom, and editor of Libertarian Papers.