Analysis Of Jeremy Waldron's Homelessness And The Issue Of Freedom

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In Jeremy Waldron’s “Homelessness and the Issue of Freedom,” Waldron presents the argument that homeless individuals are less free than those with homes and other material resources. Waldron’s argument is based around the notion that every action must be done somewhere, and if a homeless person is not free to be anywhere (be it other’s private property or public property) then they are not free to do anything. In what follows, I will use Robert Nozick’s description of a free society in his “The Entitlement Theory of Justice,” to first argue that Waldron adequately defends his contestation that homeless people are less free than those with homes and other material resources because of their need to be heavily dependent on the government as central distributors for their income and physical properties. I will then describe how a homeless person’s inability to effectively partake in voluntary actions and exchanges with other individuals is due to their inherent lack of goods and education. In the third section, I will refute the idea that homeless people are equal to those who are not homeless, as argued by Friedrich Hayek in “The Atavism of Social Justice.” Finally, in the fourth section, I will object to this argument using my contrived claim for Nozick in the second section.
The first premise Waldron establishes is the inherent connection between property and freedom. He states that everything has to be done somewhere, so if someone isn’t free to be in a certain place,
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