The two major Austrian defences of absolute rights to property are Rothbard’s natural rights theory (which I have criticised here) and argumentation ethics.
It is Hans-Hermann Hoppe who defends libertarianism by using argumentation ethics, or what is sometimes called discourse ethics. What is rather peculiar to my mind is that discourse ethics was originally developed by the Marxists Jürgen Habermas and Karl-Otto Apel, the Second Generation Critical Theorists of the Frankfurt School, a trendy Marxist cult whose babblings in cultural “criticism” and “philosophy” are on a par with the nonsense of Postmodernism and Post-structuralism (but formally the Frankfurt School and Post-structuralism should be distinguished as different intellectual traditions, even though the former has had an influence on the latter).
In the video below, Hoppe gives us a brief spiel on his argumentation ethical theory, which is laid out at length in his book The Economics and Ethics of Private Property: Studies in Political Economy and Philosophy (Boston and London, 1993).
The obvious and major problem with argumentation ethics is that it cannot even overcome the “ought” from “is” dilemma of David Hume. In the case of Hoppe, one can note that, just because you require the use of certain body parts in debate, it simply does not follow from this that you have any absolute moral right to the use of your body, and certainly not of any external property. Another absurd statement in this video is Hoppe’s view (from 5.04 minutes) that without the right to exclusive control over and ownership of previously un-owned resources society would die out! In fact, a society with communal ownership of resources is not only a theoretical possibility, but also there are many real world examples of such viable societies with communal ownership of property.
Hoppe, Hans-Hermann, 1989. A Theory of Socialism and Capitalism: Economics, Politics, and Ethics, Kluwer, Boston and London.
Hoppe, Hans-Hermann, 1993. The Economics and Ethics of Private Property: Studies in Political Economy and Philosophy, Kluwer Academic Publishers, Boston and London.
Kinsella, Stephan, “Defending Argumentation Ethics: Reply to Murphy & Callahan,” Anti-State.com, 9/19/2002
Murphy, Robert P. and Gene Callahan, 2006. “Hans-Hermann Hoppe’s Argumentation Ethic: A Critique,” Journal of Libertarian Studies 20.2: 53–64.
Tucker, Jeffrey, “Hoppe’s Argumentation Ethics, Again,” Mises.org, August 13, 2010