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The Supreme Individual Rights-A Analysis of Nozick’s Conception of Rights

Author: YinHuiFeng
Tutor: YaoDaZhi
School: Jilin University
Course: Foreign Philosophy
Keywords: State Individual rights Side constraints Entitlement theory Utopia
CLC: D09
Type: Master's thesis
Year: 2009
Downloads: 92
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Nozick’s "Anarchy, State and Utopia" is the works adjust to times. 1974 was the year of the western economic crisis , the state intervention in the economy has been unable to resolve the thorny problem. State power and individual rights become the inevitable focus of people’s attention on .Nozick strongly defend the rights of the individual, advocates of the minimal state is the most moral country, he refutes Rawls’s the welfare state. Since then Nozick in the field of neo-liberalism have had a lasting and far-reaching consequences.First of all, Nozick answered the criticism of anarchism that the country and the existence of reasonable necessity. His departure from the natural state to the rights of the individual performances for the logical starting point for pushing the minimal state. Obviously the powers of the state from the individual’s rights, individual rights become a moral side constraits, with a negative right. Nozick’s theory foundation based on the obligations of Kant’s ethics, "people are the purpose, not just means."Nozick refute the significance of the welfare state that is on the functions of the more-than-minimal countries eligible for the theory put forward three principles: acquisition of holdings, transfer of holdings, the principle of correction. People’s acquisition to rely on their own labor or other people’s transfer, transfer of holdings are voluntary on both sides, to correct the the principle of correction guaranteed history of innocence. The holdings of meeting the needs of three principles is just . He was opposed to the redistribution of people, he thinks that the holdings be able to have justice, there is no reason for country to meet the needs of the most disadvantaged of the society to force others to work. Redistribution itself belong to the model of the distribution, such distribution doesn’t consider the history as if goods come out of thin air, bound to the unauthorized use of personal possession, violation of the rights of individuals. The problem is how are disadvantaged people in society given equal opportunities? Rawls’s theory premise of equality are individuals talented shoudn’t belong to themselves, and it should be a collective property. Nozick think individuals have absolute right on own property, unless it is voluntary. There is no reason to be able to make better opportunities become worse,make even worse opportunities become better.Narrowing the gap is a violation of individual rights. Therefore more-than-miniaml-state is more unreasonable, and only a minimal state most conducive to the realization of individual rights.Finally, consider the minimum Nozick country should further meet the aspirations of individuals, it should be dynamic so that the whole society. Country and put him at home two individuals in the country at least the framework of the Community can accommodate more. More Community society is the logical premise that there should be no common good, and between individuals are different. Community highlights the diversity of individual rights, utopian society the rights of individuals to put extreme.Nozick has always been committed to maintaining the rights of the individual country put a minimum limit for state. However, the theory of Nozick existed contradictions, utopian society is indeed in the defense of individual rights, can it become realistic? Both Communitarianism and Feminism criticize theory of Nozick, the former considers that the rights of individuals should be replaced by common interest, at least the rights of individuals subject to the supplement of the common interests. They think society should have the relation and should not be the existence of individual.individual can not be divorced from society. Feminism give a more fundamental criticism to Nozick. Holding theory of Nozick through the labor in order to mark the imprint of the individual, and women are the only producers of population, should not be the childr en the legal property of women? If so, then of all individuals belong to women, of course, it does not exist for sacred individual rights of Nozick defending. Rights theory of Nozick exist contradictory on logic and reality. Nozick’s logic of the testimony are①individual rights—②minimal state based on the emergence of individual rights—③the minimal state has most fuctions, the most conducive to safeguarding the individual rights—④minimum are utopian country framework, for personal desire to meet allowing the existence of different pluralism communities. It is not difficult to see the maintenance of our individual rights are his aim.Nozick’s logic premise is that individuals have rights, he rejected the traditional theory of contract through the "invisible hand" to explain the process of the country, people seem to join the state from non-government gradually.the state likes the formation of markets was born naturally.Nozick protect the individuals rights through the minimal state. Given absolute priority of individual rights, and the supremacy of individual rights as the evaluation standards of the political structure and political behavior.Nozick treated people as completely self-contained self, in society, it is not interfered by any individual or any country with any purposes. He went on to conclude that individual rights are unconditional and personal obligations to society are conditional.Taylor considered the individual should not be assumed completely self-contained and independent of the social self. Since the existence of a rational person, there is a wide range of moral capabilities, ability to formulate any plan of life and ability to make all kinds of rational decisions, have the capacity to bear rights and obligations. People in these areas are different from other animals, the abilities of these people are trained together in society, people are socialization animals. departuring the reality of social life, people can not have rights.Now that the individual is not self-sufficient, then the individual rights can not be absolute. Even though Nozick started from Kant’s deontology "people is the goal, not just a means of", but he lacks a strong argument, but put the principles of Kant’s thought as a graft to its own philosophy, this is the metaphysical practices.Nozick’s logic as a starting point that the individual rights are neither absolute nor the the foundation of existence, then Nozick own wishful thinking to assume that a starting point, the theory of building castles as if in the air. We look at individuals rights of Nozick about the problem of property rights.Nozick insisted on the rights of individuals including the right to life, property rights,liberty. Obviously the right to life is the most important, is also a prerequisite for the existence of property rights.Nozick starting from the "self possess" , the property of people through labor are free from any interference. Labor acquasition theory become the theoretical premise of the entitlement theory of Nozick, the first principles is most important: the principle of acquasition. It involves the legality of individual property rights. However, the resources of nature, trees, wildlife and so on are limited, how can they ensure each person’s rights non-violation? Nozick transform Locke’s provision as his foundation: another not be made worse off by an appropriation.Nozick’s conditions are too weak, and how to determine the situation of others is not even worse? It is when the initial acquisition may not be left to others the resources to ensure the situation will not even worse, because there is no their own boundaries for acquisition . Even if with the increase in productivity the quantity and quality of goods can improve, but each person has no obligation to provide goods for others. More ability person to hold a continuation of the expansion are bound to affect other people’s normal life. Finally, it will be significantly different for possession of the property. Unequal property limit people’s freedom, let alone live a utopian life.Nozick’s theory inevitably faced with a difficult and a lot of criticism, but his theory still has a lot of places we can learn from.Nozick’s rights theory for today’s society to solve the contradiction between efficiency and fairness, the issue of human rights has inspired meaningless.

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