Reading the "Public Use" clause

RJLipkin at RJLipkin at
Fri Jun 24 17:09:33 PDT 2005

Scott's post raises the  interesting issue of whether classical liberalism 
and classical libertarianism  constitute the same political philosophy.  I doubt 
it. Classical liberalism  was responding to different political and economic 
problems than  libertarianism.  Further, Locke's epistemology and political 
philosophy  contains too many discordant themes to rest libertarianism in his 
work. (Sorry,  I'm not a big fan of Locke as a coherent philosopher either in 
his epistemology  or in much of his political philosophy.) Of course, this 
raises the question of  just what is libertarianism and who are its 
best--philosophical--proponents. In  my understanding, libertarianism is essentially a 
political philosophical theory with economic instantiations. I can say little about 
the  latter, but as derivations from libertarianism's philosophical base, they 
 should, in my, view conform to what the philosophical theory implies.  But  
perhaps this discussion is moving this thread in an undesirable direction. 
Robert Justin  Lipkin
Professor of Law
Widener University School of  Law
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