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Jan Narveson

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Western philosophy


Jan Narveson

Jan Narveson httpsuploadwikimediaorgwikipediacommonsthu

Erskine, Minnesota

Main interests
liberalism, libertarian anarchism, contractarianism

Notable ideas
Contractarian libertarianism

Harvard University, University of Oxford, University of Chicago

Influenced by
Robert Nozick, Thomas Hobbes, David Gauthier, Murray Rothbard

The libertarian idea, Are Liberty and Equality, Moral matters, This is Ethical Theory, Respecting Persons in Theory a

Similar People
James P Sterba, Robert Nozick, David Gauthier, Thomas Hobbes, Marilyn Friedman

Schools of thought
Political philosophy

Philosophical era
Contemporary philosophy

Jan narveson justice in a stateless society

Jan Narveson, OC (born 1936) is professor of philosophy emeritus at the University of Waterloo, in Waterloo, Ontario, Canada. An anarcho-capitalist and contractarian, Narveson's form of libertarian anarchism is deeply influenced by the thought of Robert Nozick and David Gauthier.


Jan narveson on theories of rights and moral contracts


Narveson was born in Erskine, Minnesota, United States. He studied at the University of Chicago where he obtained a B.A. in political science and in philosophy; he then spent a year at the University of Oxford on a traveling fellowship before earning a PhD at Harvard University in 1961. His libertarian views have evolved from dissatisfaction with utilitarianism.

A prolific author, Narveson has written hundreds of essays, reviews and articles for publication. A critic of Marxism, he is also known at the University of Waterloo for taking part in many on-campus debates. In 2002 he published Respecting Persons in Theory and Practice (2002), a collection of his most influential essays spanning the length of his career. His most recent work is You and the State: A Short Introduction to Political Philosophy. Narveson is a long-time member of the Ontario Libertarian Party, and currently sits on its Ethics Committee.

Apart from his libertarian work, he is the founder/president of the Kitchener-Waterloo Chamber Music Society, a long-running venue for classical chamber music.

In 2003, Narveson was made an Officer of the Order of Canada by past Governor-General of Canada, Adrienne Clarkson.

Since 2006, Narveson has been president of the Institute for Liberal Studies.


  • Morality and Utility, Johns Hopkins University Press, 1967.
  • Moral Issues, Oxford University Press, 1983.
  • Political Correctness: For and Against co-authored with Marilyn Friedman, Rowman & Littlefield, 1995.
  • Moral Matters, 2nd ed., Broadview Press, 1999.
  • The Libertarian Idea, Paperback edition (with new preface). Broadview Press, 2001. (Orig. pub.: Temple University Press, 1988)
  • Respecting Persons in Theory and Practice: Essays on Moral and Political Philosophy, Rowman & Littlefield, 2002.
  • You and the State, 2008.
  • This is Ethical Theory, Open Court, 2010.
  • Are Liberty and Equality Compatible?, Cambridge University Press, 2010.
  • References

    Jan Narveson Wikipedia