Locke, Nozick and the state of nature

Philosophical Studies 177 (3):705-726 (2020)

Justin Bruner
University of California, Irvine (PhD)
Recently, philosophers have drawn on tools from game theory to explore behavior in Hobbes’ state of nature. I take a similar approach and argue the Lockean state of nature is best conceived of as a conflictual coordination game. I also discuss Nozick’s famous claim regarding the emergence of the state and argue the path to the minimal state is blocked by a hitherto unnoticed free-rider problem. Finally, I argue that on my representation of the Lockean state of nature both widespread conflict and lasting peace are possible. This, I contend, is in line with one popular interpretation of Locke.
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DOI 10.1007/s11098-018-1201-9
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Hobbesian Moral and Political Theory.A. John Simmons - 1989 - Philosophical Review 98 (3):404.
Diversity, Tolerance, and the Social Contract.Justin P. Bruner - 2015 - Politics, Philosophy and Economics 14 (4):429-448.
Hobbes’s State of Nature: A Modern Bayesian Game-Theoretic Analysis.hun CHung - 2015 - Journal of the American Philosophical Association 1 (3):485--508.

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