Nozick on natural rights and knowledge

I am reblogging Part 28 of my extended review of “Anarchy, State, and Utopia”! The post below covers the fourth subsection of Chapter 5 (pp. 101-108), where Nozick further reflects on the uncertain status of procedural rights in the state of nature. In brief, although Nozick’s basic premise is that “individuals have rights”, he is ambivalent about the moral status of procedural rights in the state of nature.

prior probability

Do individuals have procedural rights in the state of nature? (Or conversely, do victims of harms or their allies have a moral duty to use only “fair and reliable” guilt-finding procedures before imposing any punishment on wrongdoers? Aren’t both formulations of this question the same?) Surprisingly (to us), although Nozick is prepared to announce that “individuals have rights”, he is ambivalent about the moral status of procedural rights in the state of nature! Nozick is considering interactions between “independents” and private protection agencies in the fourth subsection of Chapter 5 (pp. 101-108). More precisely, what if a due-paying member of a protection agency has committed a wrongful act against an independent? May the protection agency prohibit the independent from enforcing his rights? Suffice it to say that Nozick has trouble answering this question because of the uncertain status of procedural rights in the state of nature.

Nevertheless, in the course…

View original post 207 more words

About F. E. Guerra-Pujol

When I’m not blogging, I am a business law professor at the University of Central Florida.
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