Frank Van Dun
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|Frank Van Dun|
22 February 1947 |
|Occupation||Author, university educator|
A book by Michael van Notten, The Law of the Somalis, was in part influenced by Van Dun.
Van Dun published his book Het Fundamenteel Rechtsbeginsel (Dutch for The Fundamental Principle of Law) in 1983, in which he argued that a rationally convincing answer to the question "what is law?" can only be found by respecting dialogue and argumentation. He thus adheres to argumentation ethics justification of private law society or anarcho-capitalism. Based on this premise, Van Dun argues that every natural person (individual) has a lawful claim on his life, freedom and property. This claim is absolute, insofar it does not prohibit the equivalent claims of other natural persons, i.e. insofar as argumentation is respected.
Van Dun clearly distinguishes the lawful (ius) and the legal (lex). In his view, Western positive law systems reduce people to human resources, artificial persons with merely legal status. Positive law defines the legal but can only be lawful insofar as individuals have full secession rights from the institutional framework that is making said positive law. It logically follows that no judge can be forced upon a person who is willing to search a lawful solution for any conflict.
Van Dun claims that the correct interpretation of the non-aggression principle (NAP) is praxeological rather than physical, because property is a "means of action". He thus claims freedom before property instead of freedom as property. This implies that it's not necessarily only the last action in the chain of social causations that is unlawful. Consider the following examples:
- With regards to land encirclement, a praxeological NAP could imply a "freedom proviso" when the encircling land owner refuses to discuss a reasonable solution.
- With regards to copyrights, a praxeological NAP implies that the use of one's signature (as an expression of one's body as "means of action") could reasonably be considered more important than the physical freedom of exactly copying another person's signature with one's paper and ink.
- With regards to freedom of speech, a praxeological NAP could imply that it is unlawful for an individual to order an unlawful act, e.g. a general ordering a murder of someone willing to seek lawful solutions.
Van Dun sees human rights as fundamentally different from the "Universal Declaration of Human Rights". According to him when you have a right you have a right. Therefore human rights are, e.g., the right of self determination for one's own life, liberty and the products of one's liberty (property) and call these rights fundamental rights. This is not the case in the "Universal Declaration of Human Rights". He sees the "Universal Declaration of Human Rights" equivalent to "Animal Rights", since the rights enumerated in the "Universal Declaration of Human Rights" are sometimes conflicting with each other and many of these rights are only valid insofar as legislation of the government is not contradicting it. Therefore he sees rulers which are acting as masters of the "human" animals (i.e. "slaves") in the "Universal Declaration of Human Rights".
The Belgian newspaper Le Soir reported on 8 June, 2012, that between 1988 and 2000, Belgian scientists Van Dun and Marcel Javeau were paid by the tobacco lobby, through the group 'Associates for Research in the Science of Enjoyment' (ARISE). Van Dun responded in the Belgian Eos-magazine that while indeed he gave two presentations for ARISE in which he presented his visions, he wasn't paid to do so and he never was a member of ARISE. However, the Legacy Tobacco Documents Library contains a document that lists Van Dun as an "associate".
- Het fundamenteel rechtsbeginsel (‘The Fundamental Principle of Law’) (1983) (Dutch 2008 PDF version)
- Crash en Depressie (1988) (‘Crash and Depression’) ISBN 90-72435-01-X
- De utopische verleiding (‘The Utopian Enticement’), with Hans Crombag, 1997, ISBN 90-254-2466-X
- Mens, burger, fiscus (‘Man, Citizen, Taxes’, 2000) ISBN 90-423-0125-2
- Over leven en recht (‘About Life and Law’, editor, 2004) ISBN
- Block, Walter (2004). Reply to Frank Van Dun's Natural Law and the Jurisprudence of Freedom. Journal of Libertarian Studies. PDF
- Le lobby du tabac recrutait des prof d'unif Le soir, 8 June 2010
- Twee Belgische wetenschappers bewezen diensten aan tabakslobby
|Wikiquote has a collection of quotations related to: Frank Van Dun|
- The Logic of Law
- Argumentation Ethics and the Philosophy of Freedom
- Against Libertarian Legalism (Frank van Dun in debate with Walter Block and Stephan Kinsella)