Nozick's minimal state?

In his book, Anarchy , State, and Utopia, Robert Nozick argues that the only state that can be justified is the minimal state, a state limited to providing protection for all its citizens. Nozick explains how a minimal state could naturally develop from a state of nature without violating any person's rights, allowing for its justification. Whereas, any more extensive state would violate people's rights in performing its various roles, causing such a state to be unjustified. In this thesis, I demonstrate that Nozick's claims about the justification of states may be false. I argue that in order for Nozick's claims to be sustained one must accept some critical assumptions he has made concerning the minimal and more extensive states. Yet, I argue, even if one accepts such assumptions, Nozick's claims may still be false. For, depending upon how one chooses to identify a state, the state that Nozick believes he has justified may actually be considered a more extensive state. In his book, Nozick does not examine how a state, limited to protection, will try to fulfill its single function of protection. I argue that how a state fulfills that single function may cause it to be considered a more extensive state. Therefore, Nozick's claim that no more extensive state than the minimal state is justified would be false
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
Download options
PhilPapers Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 24,433
External links
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles
Helga Varden (2009). Nozick's Reply to the Anarchist. Law and Philosophy 28 (6):585 - 616.
Nicolas Maloberti (2010). The Squirrel and the State. The Independent Review 14 (3):377-387.
Robert Nozick (1988). Side Constraints. In Samuel Scheffler (ed.), Consequentialism and its Critics. Oxford University Press.
John Hasnas (2003). Reflections on the Minimal State. Politics, Philosophy and Economics 2 (1):115-128.

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

35 ( #137,385 of 1,925,064 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

14 ( #57,865 of 1,925,064 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature

Start a new thread
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.