What Libertarianism Is

by John Hospers Hospers offer three versions of the central thesis: No one is anyone else’s master, and no one is anyone else’s slave. Other people’s lives are not yours to dispose of. No human being should be a nonvoluntary mortgage on the life of another. Hospers sees these as three versions of the same […]

A Biography of John Hospers

John Hospers was born and raised in Pella,  a town near the Iowa state capital, Des Moines, inhabited chiefly by descendants of émigrés from Holland in the early nineteenth century.   John’s great-grandfather, also John Hospers, was one of the founders of Pella in l847 and l849,  whose brother, Henry Hospers, became part of the “second […]

Libertarianism and Legal Paternalism

by John Hospers Department of Philosophy, University of Southern California   In his book Principles of Morals and Legislation, the eighteenth-century philosopher and legislator Jeremy Bentham divided all laws into three kinds: (1) laws designed to protect you from harm caused by other people; (2) laws designed to protect you from harm caused by yourself; and (3) […]


by John Hospers John Hospers is professor emeritus of philosophy at the University of Southern California, and currently teaches philosophy at the University  of California at Los Angeles. He is the author of several books, including Human Conduct, Introduction to Philosophical Analysis, Understanding the Arts, and Meaning and Truth in the Arts. He has also edited three anthologies. In […]