Reply To: Dr. J, Follow up Questions from live Q&A

Jason Jewell

Hume’s criticism of the “parties of principle” is very similar to Edmund Burke’s. In other words, these parties attempt to impose abstractions on society without regard to the actual lived experiences, traditions, culture, and beliefs of the people who make up that society. Such attempts are almost certainly bound to end badly.

In general, I agree with Hume, Burke, and Livingston. Abstract reason alone fails to take into account certain essential aspects of what it means to be a human being.

Perhaps unlike Livingston, I don’t think that this insight conflicts with libertarianism if libertarianism is correctly understood as being only a political theory and not a comprehensive social theory. As Gerard Casey says, libertarian thought doesn’t try to answer all the questions of life; it merely establishes minimal preconditions for justice as we try to sort out the answers.