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Order, philosophy: order is the division of a subject area by distinctions or the highlighting of certain differences as opposed to other differences. The resulting order can be one-dimensional or multi-dimensional, i.e. linear or spatial. Examples are family trees, lexicons, lists, alphabets. It may be that only an order makes certain characteristics visible, e.g. contour lines. Ordering spaces may be more than three-dimensional, e.g. in the attribution of temperatures to color-determined objects. See also conceptual space, hierarchies, distinctness, indistinguishability, stratification, identification, individuation, specification.

Annotation: The above characterizations of concepts are neither definitions nor exhausting presentations of problems related to them. Instead, they are intended to give a short introduction to the contributions below. – Lexicon of Arguments.

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Liberalism on Order - Dictionary of Arguments

Gaus I 117
Social order/traditional liberalism/Gaus/Mack: In the liberty tradition, a desirable social order is an association of individuals (and subassociations), each of whom has and pursues their own legitimate ends in life, but who themselves share no common goals (Oakeshott, 1975). Desirable social order emerges through the choices that individuals make when rights are secure. The liberty tradition denies that society is a collective enterprise, in which order is achieved through individual devotion (and subservience) to collective aims. According to the liberty tradition, individuals are able to enter into peaceful and mutually beneficial relations because of their general compliance with certain general rules – rules that are protective of the domains defined by individuals’ rights to their lives, liberties, and justly acquired estates.
Vs central planning: A social order that emerges out of the choices that individuals make when their rights are secure is more desirable than a centrally planned order because it allows and encourages individuals to bring their highly individualized and dispersed knowledge to bear on their decision-making (Barnett, 1998)(2).
Privacy: The liberty tradition emphasizes the extent to which political decision-makers are and must be ignorant of the knowledge they would have to have in order to engage effectively in the central planning to which they aspire (Hayek, 1944)(3).

1. Oakeshott, Michael (1975) On Human Conduct. Oxford: Clarendon.
2. Barnett, Randy E. (1998) The Structure of Liberty. Oxford: Clarendon.
3. Hayek, F. A. (1944) The Road to Serfdom. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

Mack, Eric and Gaus, Gerald F. 2004. „Classical Liberalism and Libertarianism: The Liberty Tradition.“ In: Gaus, Gerald F. & Kukathas, Chandran 2004. Handbook of Political Theory. SAGE Publications.

Explanation of symbols: Roman numerals indicate the source, arabic numerals indicate the page number. The corresponding books are indicated on the right hand side. ((s)…): Comment by the sender of the contribution.
The note [Author1]Vs[Author2] or [Author]Vs[term] is an addition from the Dictionary of Arguments. If a German edition is specified, the page numbers refer to this edition.
Gaus I
Gerald F. Gaus
Chandran Kukathas
Handbook of Political Theory London 2004

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