Robert Nozick On John Rawls: A Theory Of Justice

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3.3. Robert Nozick on John Rawls. In his A Theory of Justice is widely recognized as an essential contribution to the nature of justice. However, his work raises many questions. One of the major responses to the book came from Robert Nozick in his book, Anarchy, State, and Utopia. Nozick offers a libertarian response to Rawls. Libertarian notion of politics implies that there is a recognition of natural human rights and if these rights are deprived would be an immoral act. The examples of this natural rights are the rights to personal autonomy and the right to properties. The assumptions behind A Theory of Justice are essentially redistributive: That is, Rawls posits equal distribution of resources as the desirable state and then argues that inequality can be justified only by benefits for the least advantaged. Nozick points out “that resources are produced by people and that people have rights to the things they produce. Thus, attempts to improve the condition of the least advantaged through redistribution are unjust because they make some people work involuntarily for others and deprive people of the goods and opportunities they have created through time and effort.” The rational human individuals might be able to choose a social structure with greater rewards for the majority of people and small rewards for the minority on the grounds that one is more likely to end up as part of a majority than a minority. Legal justice is generally considered a matter of appropriate
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