The Ethics of Liberty

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The Ethics of Liberty
Paperback cover
Author Murray N. Rothbard
Country United States
Language English
Subject Ethics, political philosophy
  • 1982 (Humanities Press)
  • 1998 (New York University Press)
Media type Print (Hardcover & Paperback) & e-book, audio-CD
Pages 336 (Online e-book edition)
ISBN 0-391-02371-3 (Paperback edition)
OCLC 7813705
323.44/01 19
LC Class JC585 .R69 1982

The Ethics of Liberty is a 1982 book by American economist and historian Murray N. Rothbard; in it, Rothbard expounds a libertarian political position.


Rothbard provides an exposition of the libertarian political position. He argues for the case of freedom as a concept of natural rights and applies it to a variety of practical problems.


Reception of the book has been positive in libertarian circles. Many praise the book for its incisive analysis of natural law and it's practical applications. Libertarian commentator Sheldon Richman says : "The Ethics of Liberty is a great book that deserves the attention of anyone interested in the good society and human flourishing."[1]

Hans-Hermann Hoppe, who wrote the introduction to later editions of the book, described The Ethics of Liberty as Murray Rothbard's second magnum opus, the other being Man, Economy, and State (1962).[2]

University of San Diego philosophy professor Matt Zwolinski criticized the book, writing that Rothbard's discussion of self-ownership in chapter six "rests on a fundamental confusion between descriptive and normative claims."[3]

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