Mich : Can normative reflection on inheritance dispense with an analysis of the family bond ? The example of right-libertarianism

CHAIRE HOOVER Louvain-La-Neuve

18 février 2020

12:45 - 14:00


Salle Vives, D-305, Place Montesquieu 3

Marie Bastin (University of Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne)

Although reflections on inheritance are rarely at the heart of contemporary philosophical questions about social justice, libertarian theories give them a relatively important place in their analysis. We will therefore first examine why the theoretical and conceptual background shared by libertarian authors is a privileged place for the formulation of the philosophical problem of inheritance. We will then analyze the answers given by two so called “right-libertarians”, that of Murray N. Rothbard and that of Robert Nozick, paying particular attention to the way in which the family bond is mobilized in these theories. Indeed, we make the hypothesis that inheritance cannot be reduced to a transfer of property but constitutes a social relationship whose privileged place is the family, and therefore any normative proposal on inheritance cannot dispense with a reflection on the family bond without exposing itself to important theoretical fragilities. We will conclude by showing what theoretical inadequacies result from an insufficient conceptualization of the family bond in Rothbard’s and Nozick’s writings on inheritance and what changes in these normative positions need to be considered in an attempt to overcome them.