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Robert Nozick's Anarchy, State and Utopia is one of the works which dominates contemporary debate in political philosophy. Drawing on traditional assumptions associated with individualism and libertarianism, Nozick mounts a powerful argument for a minimal `nightwatchman' state and challenges the views of many contemporary philosophers, most notably John Rawls. Jonathan Wolff's new book is the first full-length study of Nozick's work and of the debates to which it has given rise. He situates Nozick's work in the context of current debates and examines the traditions which have influenced his thought. He then critically reconstructs the key arguments of Anarchy, State and Utopia, focusing on Nozick's Doctrine of Rights, his Derivation of the Minimal State, and his Entitlement Theory of Justice. The book concludes by assessing Nozick's place in contemporary political philosophy.
In 1974, Robert Nozick's book Anarchy, State, and Utopia moved libertarianism from a relatively neglected subset of political philosophy to the center of the discipline, as one of the most cogent critiques of social democracy and egalitarian liberalism. Nozick developed a rights-based account of libertarianism to show that a minimal state can legitimately arise, that nothing more than a minimal state is justified, and that the minimal state is not only morally right, but can also be an inspiring 'meta-utopia'. This volume presents Nozick's contributions to political philosophy in the context of his work in analytical philosophy. It also provides a biography of Nozick and considers the initial reception and long-term influence of his work.
This collection of essays is dedicated to the memory of the late Harvard philosopher Robert Nozick, who died in 2002. The publication of Nozick's Anarchy, State, and Utopia in 1974 revived serious interest in natural rights liberalism, which, beginning in the latter half of the eighteenth century, had been eclipsed by a succession of antithetical political theories including utilitarianism, progressivism, and various egalitarian and collectivist ideologies. Some of our contributors critique Nozick's political philosophy. Other contributors examine earlier figures in the liberal tradition, most notably John Locke, whose Second Treatise of Government, published in the late seventeenth century, profoundly influenced the American founders. The remaining authors analyze natural rights liberalism's central doctrines.
Although best known for the hugely influential Anarchy, State and Utopia, Robert Nozick (1938-2002) eschewed the label 'political philosopher' because the vast majority of his writings and attention have focused on other areas. Indeed the breadth of Nozick's work is perhaps greater than that of any other contemporary philosopher. This book is the first to give full and proper discussion of Nozick's philosophy as a whole, including his influential work on the theory of knowledge, his notion of 'tracking the truth', his metaphysical writings on personal identity and free will, his evolutionary account of rationality, his varying treatments of Newcomb's paradox and his ideas on the meaning of life. Illuminating and informative, the book will be welcomed as an authoritative guide to Nozick's philosophical thinking.
Roger Scruton is one of the most widely respected philosophers of our time, whose often provocative views never fail to simulate debate. In Modern Philosophy he turns his attention to the whole of the field, from the philosophy of logic to aesthetics, and in so doing provides us with an essential and comprehensive guide to modern thinking.
Fifty Major Political Thinkers introduces the lives and ideas of some of the most influential figures in Western political thought, from ancient Greece to the present day. The entries provide a fascinating introduction to the major figures and schools of thought that have shaped contemporary politics, including: Aristotle Simone de Beauvoir Michel Foucault Mohandas Gandhi Jurgen Habermas Machiavelli Karl Marx Thomas Paine Jean-Jacques Rousseau Mary Wollstonecraft. Fully cross-referenced and including a glossary of theoretical terms, this wide-ranging and accessible book is essential reading for anyone with an interest in the evolution and history of contemporary political thought.

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