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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.
PHILOSOPHY/EASTERN RELIGIONS
Winner of the 1975 National Book Award, this brilliant and widely acclaimed book is a powerful philosophical challenge to the most widely held political and social positions of our age--liberal, socialist, and conservative.
Nozick analyzes fundamental issues, such as the identity of the self, knowledge and skepticism, free will, the foundations of ethics, and the meaning of life
One of the foremost philosophers of our time, Robert Nozick continues the Socratic tradition of investigation. This volume, which illustrates the originality, force, and scope of his work, also displays Nozick's trademark blending of extraordinary analytical rigor with intellectual playfulness. As such, Socratic Puzzles testifies to the great pleasure that both doing and reading philosophy can be. Comprising essays and philosophical fictions, classics and new work, the book ranges from Socrates to W. V. Quine, from the implications of an Israeli kibbutz to the flawed arguments of Ayn Rand. Nozick considers the figure of Socrates himself as well as the Socratic method (why is it a "method" of getting at the truth?). Many of these essays bring classic methods to bear on new questions about choice. How should you choose in a disconcerting situation ("Newcomb's Problem") when your decisions are completely predictable? Why do threats and not offers typically coerce our choices? How do we make moral judgments when we realize that our moral principles have exceptions? Other essays present new approaches to familiar intellectual puzzles, from the stress on simplicity in scientific hypotheses to the tendency of intellectuals to oppose capitalism. As up to date as the latest reflections on animal rights; as perennial as the essentials of aesthetic merit (doggerel by Isaac Newton goes to prove that changing our view of the world won't suffice); as whimsical as a look at how some philosophical problems might appear from God's point of view: these essays attest to the timeliness and timelessness of Nozick's thinking. With a personal introduction, in which Nozick discusses the origins, tools, and themes of his work, Socratic Puzzles demonstrates how philosophy can constitute a way of life.
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.

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