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John Hospers

Election date
November 7, 1972
Running mate Theodora Nathan
Opponent(s) Richard Nixon (R)
George McGovern (D)
John G. Schmitz (AI).
Incumbent Richard Nixon (R)
Preceded by N/A
Succeeded by Roger MacBride

Born June 9, 1918 (age 91)
Political party Libertarian
Profession Academician

John Hospers (born 9 June 1918) was the first presidential candidate of the United States Libertarian Party, running in the 1972 presidential election. He has also been an educator, a magazine editor, and a prolific writer.


Hospers as an educator

Hospers is presently Professor Emeritus of Philosophy at the University of Southern California. Hospers earned advanced degrees from the University of Iowa and Columbia University. He conducted research, wrote, and taught in areas of philosophy, including aesthetics and ethics. Early in his career, he taught philosophy at Brooklyn College and at California State University, Los Angeles.

Literary accomplishments

Hospers' books include: Meaning and Truth in the Arts (1946), Introductory Readings in Aesthetics (1969), Artistic Expression (1971), Law and the Market (1985), Introduction to Philosophical Analysis (now in the 4th edition, 1996), Human Conduct (now in the 3rd edition, 1995), Understanding the Arts (1982), and Libertarianism – A Political Philosophy for Tomorrow (1971). He was editor of three anthologies and has contributed to books edited by others. He has authored about 150 articles in various scholarly and popular journals.

Hospers was editor of The Personalist (1968-1982) and of The Monist (1982-1992). He is an editor of Liberty magazine.[1]

Initiation into libertarianism

He had become friends with Ayn Rand in 1961, and, according to the Daily Objectivist, "Hospers wasn't exactly a libertarian when he met Ayn Rand, but he largely came around to her way of thinking..." [2] Recognizing that Rand's ethical system could also be supported by others who do not subscribe to the Objectivist epistemology and metaphysics, he codified a somewhat broader common principle that opposes the initiation of physical force (see non-aggression principle); this formulation later became the certification statement (or "pledge") required for membership in the United States Libertarian Party.

Hospers' political endeavors

In the 1972 Presidential Election, Hospers and his vice-presidential running mate, Theodora Nathan, received 3,674 votes and one electoral vote from faithless elector Roger MacBride, a Republican elector from Virginia.

He endorsed George W. Bush for president of the United States in 2004.[3]

Biographical video about Hospers

In 2002, an hour-long video about his life, work, and philosophy was released by the Liberty Fund of Indianapolis as part of its Classics of Liberty series.[4]

See also


  1. ^
  2. ^
  3. ^
  4. ^

External links

Electoral history

United States presidential election, 1972

Party political offices
Preceded by
No one (Party not yet created)
Libertarian Party Presidential candidate
1972 (3rd in the electoral college)
Succeeded by
Roger MacBride

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