Analysis Of Nozick's Entitlement Theory

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Nozick proposes a definition of justice surrounding liberty. An entitlement theory comprising of three principles which result in freedom to be absolutely entitled to property and the self. His argument maintains that patterned principles of just distribution depart from this historical scheme and, in doing so, involve unacceptable infringements of liberty. Nozick defends his entitlement theory with a Wilt Chamberlain illustration. The difficult aspect of this is that Nozick does not clearly tell us how to properly satisfy what those three principles require under the perception that his argument could clear the field of patterned theory competitors. There are three main principles of Nozick’s entitlement theory: justice in acquisition, which…show more content…
We must allow people to have the freedom to decide what they want to do with what they own. No individual is the same, and we must respect their autonomy. According to Nozick, Rawls’ demand that goods produced by the talented to be used to improve the well-being of the disadvantaged goes against self-ownership (Kymlicka: 109). We should never restrict a person’s freedom in order to enhance the welfare of freedom of many others. ‘if children are undernourished we are not allowed to tax millionaires in order to finance a subsidy on the price of milk to poor families as that would result in a violation of the rights and dignity of the millionaires’. Similarly, Wilt is a talented athlete, he uses that talent to generate that income, and therefore it is solely his and thus ‘We cannot tax Wilt Chamberlain to pay for the cost of being handicapped because he has absolute rights over his income’ (Kymlicka: 107). People are ‘ends-in-themselves’, and we cannot use them in ways they do not agree to, even if that would lead to some supposed ‘greater good’ (e.g. other people getting what they need). To take property away from people in order to redistribute it according to some pattern violates their rights. But this is exactly what redistributive taxation from the well-off in society to the disadvantaged does and this has a drastic conclusion Nozick
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