Anarchy, State, and Utopia: An Advanced Guide by Lester H. Hunt

By Lester H. Hunt

Anarchy, country, and Utopia: a complicated Guide offers a accomplished and available advent to the tips expressed in Robert Nozick’s hugely influential 1974 paintings on free-market libertarianism—considered some of the most very important and influential works of political philosophy released within the latter 1/2 the 20th-century.

  • Makes available all of the significant principles and arguments offered in Nozick’s complicated masterpiece
  • Explains, in addition to evaluations, Robert Nozick’s conception of loose industry libertarianism
  • Enables a brand new iteration of readers to attract their very own conclusions concerning the wealth of well timed rules on individualism and libertarian philosophy
  • Indicates the place Nozick’s conception has explanatory strength, the place it really is unbelievable, and the place there are unfastened ends with extra paintings to be done

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There is another element to the argument they have in common, though in Nozick’s presentation it is suggested more by his tone than by anything he explicitly says. As I have explained it so far, the argument sounds like a rather technical objection to utilitarianism (and other end‐state views). There is another aspect of the argument that most people would find to be, intuitively, more clearly ethical in nature. ”14 Rawls’ comment here, about suffering lesser prospects simply for the sake of greater advantages for others – like Nozick’s saying that using one person for the benefit of another actually only harms the one and benefits the other, “[n]othing more” – suggests that they both think that the theories to which they are objecting violate a sort of moral equality that they see as existing between persons.

The formal argument is not a knock‐down proof of Nozick’s position, nor is it meant to be. It is, however, interesting, original, and worth thinking about. It also represents at least a move in the direction of putting foundations under his ethical position. I now turn to a section of Chapter 3 that moves further in this direction. 26 Ethical Bearings 5. What Are Constraints Based On? For me, the section with the above title is probably the most profound in the book. In it, Nozick attacks one of the toughest issues in ethics: In virtue of precisely what characteristics of persons are there moral constraints on how they may treat each other or be treated?

I would not want to lean on this point too hard, but it does suggest something about the kind of value we are attributing to M‐beings. This is not the sort of value that one has as a means to an end. It is not a matter of the uses that the being might serve but rather of what attitudes are appropriate toward it. Traditionally, the attitudes appropriate toward the divine include reverence and worship. The idea of reverencing or worshiping persons, simply as persons, seems crazy (though Auguste Comte did advocate a Religion of Humanity).

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