To send content items to your account,
please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies.
If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account.
Find out more about sending content to .
To send content items to your Kindle, first ensure email@example.com
is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings
on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part
of your Kindle email address below.
Find out more about sending to your Kindle.
Note you can select to send to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations.
‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi.
‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.
Robert Nozick's Anarchy, State, and Utopia (1974) is recognised as a classic of modern political philosophy. Along with John Rawls's A Theory of Justice (1971), it is widely credited with breathing new life into the discipline in the second half of the twentieth century. This Companion presents a balanced and comprehensive assessment of Nozick's contribution to political philosophy. In engaging and accessible chapters, the contributors analyse Nozick's ideas from a variety of perspectives and explore neglected areas of the work such as his discussion of anarchism and his theory of utopia. Their detailed and illuminating picture of Anarchy, State, and Utopia, its impact and its enduring influence will be invaluable to students and scholars in both political philosophy and political theory.
Having argued in Parts I and II of Anarchy, State, and Utopia (ASU) that a minimal state is justified and that no state more extensive than the minimal state is legitimate, Nozick attempts to establish in Part III that the minimal state is an inspiring meta-utopia which we should strive to realize. Nozick's discussion of utopia and his argument to the effect that the minimal state is a framework for utopia is important for three overarching reasons. First, it constitutes a fascinating and underappreciated investigation into utopian theorizing. Second, it provides us with an account of the features that a Nozickian society is likely to exhibit, thereby enhancing our understanding of the positive vision underlying Nozick's project. Third, it is meant to constitute an independent argument for the minimal state that does not rely on any moral considerations, in particular an argument that does not rely on Nozick's controversial theory of individual rights (see p. 309 fn. and p. 333). The results of the different parts of ASU are meant to converge from different starting points on the same end point, namely a minimal state. This means that even if Nozick’s libertarianism should turn out to be lacking a solid moral foundation, as has frequently been raised as an objection, his argument that the minimal state is a meta-utopia would still have to be reckoned with, which means that it is not possible to circumvent Nozick’s defense of the minimal state by simply rejecting his theory of individual rights.
Robert Nozick's Anarchy, State, and Utopia (1974) is recognized as a classic of modern political philosophy. In tandem with John Rawls's A Theory of Justice (1971), it is widely credited with breathing new life into political philosophy in the second half of the twentieth century. It effectively moved libertarianism from a relatively unimportant subset of political philosophy to the center of the discipline.
Anarchy, State, and Utopia (ASU) was written whilst Nozick was a fellow at the Center for the Advanced Study in Behavioral Sciences in Stanford during the academic year of 1971-972. It constitutes the combination of three separate projects that Nozick was working on at that time. Part I is based on a talk concerned with how a state would arise out of the state of nature that Nozick presented to a student group at Stanford, whilst also incorporating some of the ideas developed in his 1971 paper “On the Randian Argument.” Part II primarily results from his engagement with John Rawls's theory of justice, which led to the formulation of the entitlement theory of justice, much of which Nozick developed whilst co-teaching a course on capitalism and socialism at Harvard with Michael Walzer. Part III , in turn, derives from Nozick's contribution to a panel on utopia at a meeting of the American Philosophical Association. Although Nozick initially wanted to work on the problem of free will whilst at Stanford, he instead ended up combining these three projects, yielding ASU.