Eric Mack

Eric Mack is Professor of Philosophy and Faculty Member of the Murphy Institute of Political Economy at Tulane University. He writes primarily on natural rights theory, property rights and economic justice, and the scope of legitimate coercive institutions.

Law, Legislation and Liberty

Friedrich HayekThis Liberty Law Talk is with philosopher Eric Mack on Friedrich Hayek's 1973 magnum opus, Law, Legislation and Liberty. Hayek's significant trilogy distinguishes between law and legislation, considers the appropriate rule of judges within a spontaneous order, observes the difficulties of even defining social justice, and attempts to set forth the principles of a new constitutional order for a free people. This conversation considers at length the major ideas that Hayek advances in his incredible work on the principles of law and just order.

Social Justice is the State

Samuel Gregg’s essay, “What is Social Justice?” is an important reminder that many different moral traditions – including the Catholic natural law tradition – may lay claim to the vocabulary of “social justice” and to an associated notion of the “common good.”  As articulated by Gregg, this natural law tradition can employ the language of “social justice” without construing social justice as fundamentally a call for an egalitarian or egalitarian-leaning distribution of material well-being or material resources that are conducive to material well-being.  That natural law tradition offers a thick understanding of human well-being and of the sort of social…

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Social Justice Theory: A Solution in Search of a Problem

What is social justice? Sam Gregg’s essay answers this question by reviewing the origins and evolution of the concept. I find little to quibble with in Sam’s remarks and I am certainly in no position to make them a fortiori. My contribution will therefore be to offer an explanation for why social justice theory is both…

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John Tomasi’s Free Market Synthesitis

John Tomasi’s Free Market Fairness[1] has the intellectual ambition of formulating a synthesis – at least a tentative synthesis — of key elements of libertarian or classical liberal thought on the one hand and social democrat thought on the other hand.  From the former Tomasi purports to take robust economic rights that have a strong claim on being recognized within any acceptable social-political order and an appreciation of the beneficial outcomes of spontaneous orders; and from the latter, he takes a strong commitment to “social justice” that is understood in difference principle fashion as a commitment to making the worst off members of society as well off as possible. 

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