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Quotation of the Day…

… is from page 257 of my late Nobel-laureate colleague Jim Buchanan’s brilliant 1979 paper “Natural and Artifactual Man” as this paper is reprinted in volume 1 of The Collected Works of James M. Buchanan: The Logical Foundations of Constitutional Liberty (1999):

To rationalize or to explain choices in terms of either genetic endowments or social environment removes the elements of freedom and responsibility.  “Natural man,” in the model of some behavioral responder to stimuli, akin to my dog, contradicts both the notion of individual liberty and that of individual responsibility for the consequences of the choices made.  Man must bear the responsibilities for his own choices because of his artifactual nature, because he has available to him alternative “choosables,” to use [George] Shackle’s term, because man makes his own history.

If individual man is to be free, he is to be held accountable, he is to be deemed responsible for his actions.  But at the same time he is allowed to take credit for his achievement.


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