The Third Axiom


A Logic of Liberty

On the Structure of Ethics and Economics as One Unified Aprioristic Science


Peter J. Preusse

In this paper, the logical structure of ethics and economics as one unified science is investigated and found to be inhomogeneously represented in Austroliberal literature. This structure is here built from axioms, deductions, and definitions: It is first established in its self-supportive bareness, secondly represented by pivotal passages of libertarian literature, and then widened by a third axiom in addition to the classical first axiom of action and the second axiom of variety. This third axiom and the deduction that follows deal with supra-individual risks for the core of self-ownership and reflect on equality of inalienable, as opposed to alienable, property.

Liberty is found to be a dispensable term. Instead, self-ownership is the pivotal notion on which civilized, contractual society is founded: the rock bottom of is propositions as opposed to ought propositions. Alienable property is identified as the only effective, coessential, and congeneric protective mantle around inalienable self-ownership. Equality, with respect to this core of self-ownership, could possibly turn out to be the philosophical foundation for the claim by any ethical norm to hold true for all equally.

It is the present author’s hope that, by reinforcing and emphasizing the idea of self-ownership rather than the idea of liberty, this article will foster a greater acceptance for the libertarian desire for contractual solutions to social problems.

Read the full article as published in the Libertarian Papers.