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The Logic of Liberty - Online Library of Law & Liberty

Logic of Liberty, The

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The Logic of Liberty | Foreign Affairs

The logic of liberty and its associated rules enables us to deal with purely private choices, multiple private choices and choices involving interpersonal utilities always assuming that tortious liability is not involved. John may live in New York, read Lady Chatterley’s Lover, sleep on his back, worship God through Christ, etc. All the while, Karl may live in Massachusetts, read Das Capital, and deny the existence of God through Christ. These choices are mutually compatible and respect the like liberty of all others.

In the "perverse non-conformist case", the logic of liberty resolves the apparent Sen (1970) dilemma. It is feasible for me to paint my bedroom walls any color that I choose as long as my choice does not imply any obligation to Mrs. Grundy. Therefore, I have a liberty to choose my color scheme. Mrs. Grundy, likewise, has a liberty to make her own choice. To realize my preference for non-conformity, I must contract with Mrs. Grundy, paying her to enter into an obligation not to match my color scheme.

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Quotes on the Logic of Liberty | Mises Wire

Suppose, alternatively, that Mrs. Grundy holds this right. To realize my preference for non-conformity, I now must contract with Mrs. Grundy, paying her to enter into an obligation not to match my color scheme. If I fail to achieve such a contract, Mrs. Grundy is free to choose the color scheme that maximizes her preferences. The logic of liberty clearly resolves this dispute.

Suppose now that the choice situation becomes more complex in the sense that individual preferences are even more complex. Even in the "perverse non-conformist case", the logic of liberty also resolves Sen’s (1976) dilemma. Let us illustrate with respect to the Mrs. Grundy example, which exemplifies "Gibbard’s paradox".