A more recent version of these Nozick Anarchy, State, And Utopia notes – written by Oxford students – is available here.
The following is a more accessble plain text extract of the PDF sample above, taken from our Jurisprudence Notes. Due to the challenges of extracting text from PDFs, it will have odd formatting:
Anarchy, State, and Utopia Nozick Revision Notes "Individual have rights" and "there are things no person or group may do to them (without violating their rights"). Although Nozick's starting point is undeveloped, not as arbitrary as we may think. Background: Many political philosophers placed questions about justifcation of state at heart of endeavor, but mid 20th people began to accept that state is needed when considering justice. Nozick restores this question to to central position, because otherwise every state would be illegitimate. Why can only states claim to use force justifably?
In frst third of Anarchy, State and Utopia, Nozick says that existence of individual rights compatible with existence of state: rights do not require anarchy, for a minimal state could arise without any violation of individual rights. - Essentially a 'nightwatchmen' state. In second part of book Nozick argues that no state is justifed to go further than night-watchmen, must not redistribute wealth or resources, but let market operate freely. Shows opposition to utilitarianism. Individuals hold rights under utilitarian scheme only in attaining utilitarian objective. Nozick seeks rights are side constraints in that sense, so also what other individuals can do to others. Simple Structure of Nozick's argument: 1. Everyone has basic right of self ownership --> 2. Self ownership gives rise to property rights when you mix labour with unowned resources 3. Having acquired such ownership, I can transfer resource to others, who thereby acquire ownership. 4. Justice of distribution of resources depends upon series of transaction by which it acme about: if each step is just, resulting distribution must be just, regardless of where the resources have ended up. Thus, Nozick doesn't see societies entire wealth as cake to be divided, much of wealth is brought into existence by individuals who (Nozick argues) already have rights attaching to it. Chapter 7: Nozick doesn't expressly say "self ownership", but for all intents and purpose that is what he says. Principle of original acquisition, principle of transfer, principle of rectifcation. And if you want to transfer, you must have acquired that justly, and transfer must have been voluntary. Nozick on 151 and 152, he notes analogy and dis-ananlogy between his principles of justice and rules of deductive inference, those rules which prescribe how conclusions have to be drawn from premises and arguments. So what this reveals is that Nozicks principles of justice are historical, they are cocerned with how we arrive to certain states of affairs, rather than what the shape or pattern of those things is. He is concerned with procedural and historical. How things came to be as they are. What are the steps. AN ARBITRAZY STARTING POINT?
Buy the full version of these notes or essay plans and more in our Jurisprudence Notes.