Robert Nozick, Libertarian?

  • P Boaheng
  • W Cooper


We set out a variety of material from Nozick’s work after -Anarchy, State, and Utopia- that tends to show that, despite his protestations of fidelity to libertarianism in-Invariances- and interviews before his death, his thought took directions inconsistent with the version of libertarianism in that book, in which only negative rights (or the ‘ethic of respect’ as he called it later) can be coercively enforced by the State. We explore one interpretive possibility, taking a second look at a footnote in ASU that acknowledges a moral permission to violate the ethic of respect under circumstances of ‘catastrophic moral horror.’

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eISSN: 0258-0136