Anarchy state and utopia book

8.15  ·  6,497 ratings  ·  933 reviews
anarchy state and utopia book

Anarchy, State, and Utopia by Robert Nozick | Basic Books

It should be known that Mr. By Robert Nozick. Basic Books. So why bring up Professor Nozick's book at this late date, especially if its thesis has been so widely and so well acknowledged? Because it is not enough just to know of the author and the ideas he advances. This is a book that simply must be read, perhaps more than any other nonfiction work that has been published in the last few years. So if this review amounts to nothing else, it is a plea that everyone do so.
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Rawls vs Nozick

Anarchy, State, and Utopia

It hasn't even really produced very many people who consider themselves to be working in a broadly Nozickian tradition. It is also a book that virtually cries out for a companion. One cannot read too far in it without coming across an idea that is brilliant, fecund, intriguing. Whole books, if not whole academic careers, could be devoted to working out in detail the ideas that Nozick relegates to mere footnotes and asides. The essays are a good mix of critique and appreciation.

Academic Tools

It won the US National Book Award in category Philosophy and Religion , [1] has been translated into 11 languages, and was named one of the " most influential books since the war" — by the UK Times Literary Supplement. In opposition to A Theory of Justice by John Rawls , and in debate with Michael Walzer , [3] Nozick argues in favor of a minimal state , "limited to the narrow functions of protection against force, theft, fraud, enforcement of contracts, and so on. To support the idea of the minimal state, Nozick presents an argument that illustrates how the minimalist state arises naturally from anarchy and how any expansion of state power past this minimalist threshold is unjustified. Nozick's entitlement theory , which sees humans as ends in themselves and justifies redistribution of goods only on condition of consent, is a key aspect of Anarchy, State, and Utopia. The book also contains a vigorous defense of minarchist libertarianism against more extreme views, such as anarcho-capitalism in which there is no state and individuals must contract with private companies for all social services. Nozick argues that anarcho-capitalism would inevitably transform into a minarchist state, even without violating any of its own non-aggression principles , through the eventual emergence of a single locally dominant private defense and judicial agency that it is in everyone's interests to align with, because other agencies are unable to effectively compete against the advantages of the agency with majority coverage. Therefore, even to the extent that the anarcho-capitalist theory is correct, it results in a single, private, protective agency which is itself a de facto "state".


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