Search Results for: nozick

Finnis versus Nozick (partial review of Chapter VII)

We now proceed to Chapter VII of “Natural law and natural rights,” the chapter on justice. Alas, Professor Finnis’s beautiful theory of justice is built on theoretical quicksand, for it is premised on his view of the common good, and … Continue reading

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Paging Professor Nozick: C’mon man!

Thus far, we have reviewed the first eight (of eleven) subsections of Chapter 10 of ASU. Here, we review the ninth subsection (pp. 326-331), where Nozick finally gets around to addressing the elephant in the utopian room: who will resolve … Continue reading

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Nozick’s cavemen

Nozick compares and contrasts “design devices” with “filter devices” in the fourth and fifth subsections of Chapter 10 of ASU (pp. 312-320). (He also appears to take a parting shot at Rawls. More on that below.) Here, Nozick temporarily concedes, … Continue reading

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Nozick on hypothetical histories

Nozick devotes the last subsection of Chapter 9 of ASU (pp. 292-294) to the problem of “hypothetical histories.” Here, he poses a crucial question (p. 293): “How should hypothetical histories affect our current judgment of the institutional structure of society?” … Continue reading

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Nozick’s Lockean digression

As we mentioned at the end of our previous post, smack dab in the middle of one of the most original and mind-blowing thought experiments in the history of political philosophy, Nozick digresses to discuss Locke’s views on parental ownership … Continue reading

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Nozick’s thought experiment

You may have heard the slogan “corporations are people”; but what if people were corporations? The second subsection of Chapter 9 of ASU contains just such a mind-blowing thought experiment. In summary, Nozick borrows the Beckerian concept of “human capital” … Continue reading

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Nozick on externalities

Recall from our previous post that Nozick has asked us to keep an open and uncontaminated mind in the opening subsection of Chapter 9. He will need us to keep an open mind because he is going to present an … Continue reading

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Nozick on analogical reasoning

Nozick devotes the first subsection of Chapter 9 (pp. 277-279) to analogical reasoning and to what I like to call “the mental contamination problem.” According to Nozick, one of the problems with reasoning by analogy is our inability to keep … Continue reading

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Nozick, Tabarrok, and Dominant Assurance Contracts

Nozick begins the eighth section of Chapter 8 of ASU (pp. 265-268) by making a strong case in favor of compulsory redistribution! (Yes, you heard that right. Again, I will summarize Nozick’s argument in my own words.) Let’s assume that … Continue reading

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Nozick on business risk

Nozick accomplishes two tasks in the sixth subsection of Chapter 8 (pp. 253-262). First, he explains why so few business firms are owned or run by workers. But more importantly, he single-handedly demolishes Marxian economic theory. As usual, I will … Continue reading

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