Matchmaker, Matchmaker…

Mark of New Jersey

Mark is a Founding Editor of The League of Ordinary Gentlemen, the predecessor of Ordinary Times.

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3 Responses

  1. I do hope to get back to this, but I can’t at the moment. I’ll say for the moment that it was not Nozick’s intention to derive moral justifications for individual rights. He wanted instead to see what was left for the state, if we assume that individual rights (of some sort) should serve as constraints on our actions.

    For arguments about where individual rights come from, I’d recommend David Conway’s Classical Liberalism: The Unvanquished Ideal, which takes a Kantian/deontological perspective on the question, one that I broadly share. There’s also my brief, incomplete explanation in handy blog post format.Report

  2. Lee says:

    Thanks for the link, Mark. I agree that Nozick wasn’t trying to justify rights in AS&U, but it does seem a bit like the elephant in the room as you’re reading it. The anarchist-minarchist debate, while interesting, is probably not a live issue for most people, yet Nozick spends a lot of time trying to justify the minimal state in the face of anarchist objections.

    Interestingly, Nozick’s decision not to provide justification for rights is at least consistent with the general approach to philosophy that he espouses in Philosophical Explanations. He abjures “coercive” argumentation in favor of a more exploratory approach.Report