Criticisms of Robert Nozick and "Anarchy, State, and Utopia".
Part of the "Critiques of Libertarianism" site.
Last updated 04/27/09.
Robert Nozick is perhaps the best known for libertarian philosophy.
His work roiled political philosophy for years.
What is less known is that his libertarian philosophy has been so
thoroughly refuted that he no longer defends it.
Robert Nozick, Libertarianism, And Utopia
A distillation of a few of
arguments showing a
few invalid criticisms of Nozick, and concluding with how Nozick
would reinvent the past.
A Critique Of Libertarianism.
James Hammerton's criticisms of Nozick and Hayek's ideas.
Excellent philosophical rebuttals of some libertarian axioms.
Contemporary Political Philosophy
By Will Kymlicka. Specifically dissects many libertarian claims (mostly
those of Nozick) for 65 pages.
Why Libertarianism Is Mistaken
by Hugh LaFollette. A published academic examination of the incoherence of
founding libertarianism on negative rights and liberty.
Robert Nozick And The Immaculate Conception Of The State
Murray Rothbard criticizes "Anarchy, State, And Utopia" from a
natural rights perspective. He swallowed the cow to catch the goat...
he's dead, of course.
Liz Wang analyzes Susan Moller Okin's demonstration that Nozick's
origin of rights and rule of acquisition results in children being
non-persons owned by their mother.
The links here are to
Amazon.com, through their associates program, primarily because of the
review information. Books without links are generally out of print,
and can often be easily found at
AddAll Used and Out Of Print Search.
Good sites for bargain shopping for sometimes expensive new books are
Online Bookstore Price Comparison
AddAll Book Search and Price Comparison.
Both of those list applicable coupons. Another is
"Justice (Key Concepts)"
Contains 20 pages of criticism of Friedman and Nozick's ideas of justice.
G. A. Cohen
"Self-Ownership, Freedom, and Equality (Studies in Marxism and Social Theory)"
Cambridge Univ Press, 1995.
William A Edmundson
"Three Anarchical Fallacies : An Essay on Political Authority"
Cambridge University Press 1998. Exposes fallacies inspired by the ideas of
obedience, coercion, and intrusion. Challenges many assumptions of
libertarians and others.
"Anti-Libertarianism: Markets, Philosophy, and Myth"
"Contemporary Political Philosophy: An Introduction"
Oxford University Press, 1991.
Now the standard text in the field; very highly
regarded. Has a long chapter on libertarianism. Not at all kind to it.
"The Possibility of Knowledge: Nozick and His Critics"
Jeffrey Paul, editor
(anthology of essays about "Anarchy, State, And Utopia")
James P. Sterba
"Contemporary Social and Political Philosophy"
His chapter on libertarianism makes the argument that, "... the right to
a social minimum endorsed by welfare liberals is
also required by the libertarian's own ideal of liberty."
James P. Sterba
"Morality in Practice"
Fifth edition, Wadsworth, 1997.
Another statement of the above argument. A longer version of this article
will appear as "Reconciling Liberty and Equality or Why Libertarians must be
Socialists" in Liberty and Equality, edited by Larry May and Jonothan
Schonsheck (MIT, 1996).
"Robert Nozick: Property, Justice and the Minimal State"
Blackwell 1991. Summarizes and invents numerous philosophical refutations of Nozick's
Anarchy, State, and Utopia,
a much parrotted work. Libertarians are generally unaware of the
flaws and incompleteness of their "best" philosophy.
Copyright 2007 by Mike Huben ( firstname.lastname@example.org ).
This document may be freely distributed for non-commercial purposes if it is reproduced in its textual entirety, with this notice intact.