Individualism In Robert Nozick's Anarchy, State And Utopia

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Robert Nozick was a pupil of Rawls and rejected his teacher’s insistence on the need for governmental intervention in order to achieve a redistribution of wealth. In his book, Anarchy, State and Utopia, he said that a just society is the one based on individualism. The natural rights of the individual are to be considered inviolable, and each person may enjoy those rights subject only to certain moral side restraints concerning the rights of others. He proposes a “minimal State” whose functions are limited to the “night-watchman” protection against force, theft, and fraud, the enforcement of contracts, and a few other essentials but it will not become involved in any form of economic redistribution. It has come into existence by morally permissible…show more content…
The theory, from which stems his conception of justice, is a narrow one that is grounded in the non-violation of property rights. The theory is bases on three sets of principles. First is the principles of acquisition, which determine the circumstance under which persons are able to acquire ownership of previously unowned resources. That is, a possession is justly held if it was acquired in a just fashion, without the violation of another’s self-ownership. Second is the principle of transfer. They determine the methods by which the ownership of resources may be transferred between persons, that is , whatever is justly held can be freely transferred. The notion of “free” would seem to mean freedom from force, theft, fraud, and so on. Third is the principles of rectification. They determine how an unjust acquisition or transfer of property should be rectified. The entitlement theory says nothing about the process of initial appropriation. Nozick appeals to a “Lockean provision” such that an individual can legitimately claim possession of the natural world. Kymlicka summarizes the sentiment succinctly, that is, people own themselves; the world is initially unowned; you can acquire absolute rights over a disproportionate share of the world, if you do not worsen the condition of others ; it is relatively easy to acquire absolute rights over a disproportionate share of world and therefore once people have appropriated private property, a free market in capital and labour is morally required
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