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The Structure of LibertyJustice and the Rule of Law$
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Randy E. Barnett

Print publication date: 2000

Print ISBN-13: 9780198297291

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2003

DOI: 10.1093/0198297297.001.0001

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Introduction: Liberty Vs. License

Introduction: Liberty Vs. License

(p.1) One Introduction: Liberty Vs. License
The Structure of Liberty

Randy E. Barnett

Oxford University Press

This chapter places the arguments of the rest of the book into philosophical context. It distinguishes between liberty and licence, identifies the natural law method of given‐if‐then reasoning, and distinguishes natural law ethics from natural rights. It argues that a respect for natural rights contributes to the obligatoriness of positive law. This ‘hypothetical imperative’ form of argument is identified as consequentialist but not utilitarian.

Keywords:   consequentialism, ethics, hypothetical imperative, liberty, license, natural law, natural rights, positive law, utilitarianism

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