Frank van Dun        Ph.D., Dr.Jur.     -    Senior lecturer Philosophy of Law.

 Ius sine lege


By the way


The Law


Natural Law

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(C) 2004
Frank van Dun
Gent, België





It is uncertain how long the University of Ghent will continue to permit me to post on this website.
Please, check regularly to see if I have received notice of termination, and if so whereto the contents of this site will be moved.
You are, of course, free to download any texts you might want to keep. But remember that they are all pre-prints or notes in preparation of one or other lecture or symposium



Feel free to contact me at

Frank dot vanDun at UGent dot be

Frank van Dun

Economics & the limits of value-free science From the archives. Originally published in Reason Papers, vol. 11 (Spring 1986)

Freedom, Morality and Justice (1985)

Some links may be broken.
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See also my "Texts" page

Here you will find electronic preprints of most of my recent work. My central interest is the philosophy of freedom which I approach from the perspective of a philosopher of law. Hence my preoccupation with the theory of natural law (mainly natural law libertarianism), classical liberalism and logic.


May 2024 Not in my name...
Ukraine and the Empire of Lies

Maart 2024 Lezing  Tilburg (31-03-2024)
Powerpoint presentation
English version, expanded (with corrections) here

April 2023 Is freedom nothing more than an instrumental value (pdf)
Draft of lecture at AEME 2023 (Austrian Economics Meeting Europe, 11-13 May, 2023). Powerpoint presentation
Expanded (with corrections) here

September 2022 TheTrouble with Society (.pps)
An introduction to the philosophy of law and politics

April 2022: Corona!
Bedenkingen bij een rampzalig beleid (definitieve versie)
(maart 2020 - maart 2022 met nabeschouwingen over de coronamaatschappij en haar plaats in de moderne geschiedenis

Oktober 2021: Corona!

July 2021 The Logic of the Argumentum Anselmi
On understanding Anselm's argument for the existence of God, the so-called "ontological argument" of Proslogion 2.

July 2021 Corona - Tyranny goes viral
A summary of my Dutch text, Corona! (August 2021) 

June 2021 The Social Contract... in case you missed it

Mei 2021: Unde venis, iudex, et quo vadis?
Over het geloof van rechters en de institutionalisering van macht zonder verantwoordelijkheid

April 2021: Corona!

June 2018. What Exactly Did The Reformation Reform?
Philosophical reflections on pre- and post-Reformation Christianity. (Draft, comments welcome)

September 2017. Richard Storey on "The Reactionary Libertarianism of Frank van Dun". The body of this text consists of Richard Storey's collation of extracts of my replies to his questions in a rather extended email conversation in 2016. (The qualification 'reactionary' is his.)

March 2017. Uprooted Liberalism and its Discontents

Theodore Dalrymple

We are now a people of the government, for the government, by the government.


Henrik Ibsen

The strongest man in the world is the man who stands alone.

(Dr. Stockmann, in "An Enemy of the People")

Dwight Eisenhower (Farewell Address)

The free university, historically the fountainhead of free ideas and scientific discovery, has experienced a revolution in the conduct of research. Partly because of the huge costs involved, a government contract becomes virtually a substitute for intellectual curiosity.

Jacob Burckhardt 

We are only concerned here with such minds and hearts as cannot fall victim to common boredom, which can carry through a train of thought, and have imagination enough to be able to do without the concrete imaginings of others or, if they do turn to them, are not enslaved, but can keep their own integrity.

Lew Rockwell

The reformers here and abroad are widely under the impression that the liberty they seek for their societies can be imposed in much the way that socialist systems of old were imposed. ... Genuine liberty is not just another form of government management. It means the absence of government management.

Aldous Huxley  

The most important Manhattan Projects of the future will be vast government-sponsored enquiries into what the politicians and the participating scientists will call ‘the problem of happiness’—in other words, the problem of making people love their servitude.

Thomas Sowell 

In a high-tech age that has seen the creation of artificial intelligence by computers, we are also seeing the creation of artificial stupidity by people who call themselves educators.
Educational institutions created to pass on to the next generation the knowledge, experience and culture of the generations that went before them have instead been turned into indoctrination centers to promote whatever notions, fashions or ideologies happen to be in vogue among today's intelligentsia.


Injustice is relatively easy to bear;  what stings is justice.

Say what you will about the Ten Commandments, you must always come back to the pleasant fact that there are only ten of them.

Herbert Spencer

The ultimate effects of shielding men from the effects of folly, is to fill the world with fools.

Eric Hoffer   

A man is likely to mind his own business when it is worth minding. When it is not, he takes his mind off his own meaningless affairs by minding other people's business. 

Alexander Pope 

Vice is a monster of so frightful mien 
As to be hated needs but to be seen.
Yet seen too oft, familiar with her face
We first endure, then pity, then embrace.

John Brignell: Numberwatch

Almost the entire political class has isolated itself not only from people, but from the laws of physics, economics and common sense. 

George Orwell

Political language . . . is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind.

Theodore Dalrymple

I can only suppose that one of modern education’s purposes is to prevent people from thinking for themselves.

Judge Learned Hand

There is nothing sinister in so arranging one’s affairs as to keep taxes as low as possible. Everybody does so, rich or poor; and all do right, for nobody owes any public duty to pay more than the law demands: taxes are enforced exactions, not voluntary contributions. To demand more in the name of morals is mere cant.

Fred Reed

Politics attracts and favors the unprincipled and manipulative. It is a playground for psychopaths, for the charmingly conscienceless, for the utterly self-concerned.

F.J.P. Veale

In a democracy decisions are made by international financiers, Press barons, permanent officials, and even, occasionally, by Cabinet Ministers.

The Descent of Man           

De rechtshistorische attitude


Wise words from Lew Rockwell, president of the Ludwig von Mises Institute in Auburn, Alabama, and editor of

-Never trust a politician to represent, much less speak for, an intellectual movement. The likes of [U.S. Congressman] Ron Paul come along once a century or so. As a corollary, do not place your hopes in politics as an instrument of social change. After all, libertarians believe in a completely depoliticized society.
-Never underestimate people’s tendency toward ideological drift. The intellectual foundations of liberty are never so strong that the basics can be taken for granted. Strategic thinking is essential, but no matter what the political moment seems to demand, libertarians must never be drawn away from the first principles of liberty and private property. Never permit yourself the slightest compromise with those two principles, and check every political position you hold against them. Better to get out of ideological activism altogether than to drag others into error.
-Never underestimate the power of bad ideas. They must be refuted again and again. What sounds obviously ridiculous to you ... is right now drawing someone into intractable fallacy. Error must be confronted head on, even when advanced by erstwhile allies. To believe in freedom, and to apply the principle consistently, means more than merely having a bias. It requires hard intellectual work, enormous amounts of reading, and systematic training. There are no short cuts.
-The primary goal of intellectual outreach to other camps cannot be to convince others (to be convinced of another point of view is a trait of the young, not established writers and scholars), but rather to learn from others and improve your own understanding. The movement grows not by leaps-and-bounds, but step-by-step.
-Always focus on the long-term, while doing what’s right day-to-day. Someday you will see, and maybe sooner than we think, that all your efforts on behalf of liberty have helped reap huge rewards for civilization. When that day comes, however, you will not receive any credit, and that is fine because the point is not institutional or personal aggrandizement. Others will jump in to grab the spotlight and attempt to subvert the movement, and our job will begin all over again.

May 2, 2002,