The Ethics of Liberty

The Ethics of Liberty is a 1982 book by American philosopher and economist Murray N. Rothbard, in which the author expounds a libertarian political position.

The Ethics of Liberty
Paperback cover
AuthorMurray N. Rothbard
CountryUnited States
Media typePrint (Hardcover & Paperback) & e-book, audio-CD
Pages336 (Online e–book edition)
ISBN0-391-02371-3 (Paperback edition)
323.44/01 19
LC ClassJC585 .R69 1982


Rothbard provides an exposition of the libertarian political position. He argues for the case of freedom as a concept of natural rights and applies it to a variety of practical problems.


Reception of the book has been positive in libertarian circles. Many praise the book for its incisive analysis of natural law and its practical applications. Libertarian commentator Sheldon Richman says : "The Ethics of Liberty is a great book that deserves the attention of anyone interested in the good society and human flourishing."[1]

Hans-Hermann Hoppe, who wrote the introduction to later editions of the book, described The Ethics of Liberty as Murray Rothbard's second magnum opus, the other being Man, Economy, and State (1962).[2]

University of San Diego philosophy professor Matt Zwolinski criticized the book, writing that Rothbard's discussion of self-ownership in chapter six "rests on a fundamental confusion between descriptive and normative claims."[3]

Release history


  1. "TGIF: Rothbard's The Ethics of Liberty: Still Worthy after All These Years - The Future of Freedom Foundation". Retrieved 2018-12-02.
  2. kanopiadmin (2014-08-18). "The Ethics of Liberty | Murray N. Rothbard". Mises Institute. Retrieved 2018-12-02.
  3. Zwolinski, Matt. "rothbards-second-argument-for-self-ownership". Retrieved 26 August 2013.
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