Volume 11 of the "Conservative and Libertarian Thinkers" series focuses on Robert Nozick and his work on libertarianism. In 1974, Robert Nozick's book "Anarchy, State, and Utopia" moved libertarianism from a relatively neglected subset of political philosophy to the center of the discipline, as one of the most cogent critiques of social democracy and egalitarian liberalism. Nozick developed a rights-based account of libertarianism to show that a minimal state can legitimately arise, that nothing more than a minimal state is justified, and that the minimal state is not only morally right, but can also be an inspiring 'meta-utopia'. This volume presents Nozick's contributions to political philosophy in the context of his work in analytical philosophy. It also provides a biography of Nozick and considers the initial reception and long-term influence of his work. "Major Conservative and Libertarian Thinkers" provides comprehensive accounts of the works of seminal conservative thinkers from a variety of periods, disciplines, and traditions - the first series of its kind.
Even the selection of thinkers adds another aspect to conservative thinking, including not only theorists but also writers and practitioners. The series comprises twenty volumes, each including an intellectual biography, historical context, critical exposition of the thinker's work, reception and influence, contemporary relevance, bibliography including references to electronic resources, and an index.
Ralf M. Bader read Philosophy, Politics and Economics at the University of Oxford (St Edmund Hall), gaining a First Class degree. Having completed an MLitt in Philosophy with Distinction at the University of St Andrews, he is now working on his PhD at St Andrews and is currently a visiting researcher in the Philosophy Department at Stanford University. Dr Meadowcroft is Lecturer in Public Policy at King's College London and the author of The Ethics of the Market (Palgrave, 2005) and co-author of Rescuing Social Capital from Social Democracy (Institute of Economic Affairs, 2007).
Chapter 1: Biography; Nozick's life; Nozick's approach to philosophy; Chapter 2: Critical Exposition; The Moral Foundation; Rights considered as side constraints; The basis of libertarian side constraints; Against Anarchy; State of nature theorizing; From anarchy to the minimal state; Nothing More Than the Minimal State; Theories of justice; Against patterns; Moral luck, equality and entitlements; The Minimal State as an Inspiring Utopia; The best possible world; Individuality, diversity and the minimal state; Beyond Anarchy, State, and Utopia; Chapter 3: Reception and Influence; Critique of rights-based libertarianism; Against the legitimate state; More than the minimal state?; Problems with the meta-utopia; Chapter 4: Relevance; Rights-based libertarianism; Taking anarchism seriously; Justice and entitlements; The meta-utopia; Bibliography; Index.