The Cambridge Companion to Nozick's Anarchy, State, and Utopia (Anglais) Broché – 1 septembre 2011
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John Meadowcroft is Lecturer in Public Policy in the Department of Political Economy, King's College London. He is the author of The Ethics of the Market (2005), James M. Buchanan (2011) and (with Mark Pennington) Rescuing Social Capital from Social Democracy (2007).
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The target of the collection, ASU, is considered a landmark book in libertarianism. In ASU, Nozick argues that the only legitimate political institution is what he calls the minimal state, a government that protects people from harm and violence and enforces contracts among its citizens--and nothing more. He thinks any version of the State will have to be defended against anarchy. And he thinks that his version of the State serves as a model for future utopias.
This Cambridge Companion critically evaluates Nozick's claims about anarchy, State, and utopia and calls into question his ideas about morality and justice, among other matters. Several of the essays find holes in Nozick's project. Take the last essay in the book, for instance. Because I just read it, it's still fresh on my mind. It's titled "E pluribus plurum, or, How to fail to get to utopia in spite of really trying" by Chanran Kukathas. Kukathas argues that the kind of State that Nozick advocates couldn't really help us think about the ideal society because it's never existed. Furthermore, even if the kind of State he advocates could have emerged, it didn't emerge, and so it doesn't make sense to think that a State is necessary for utopia as opposed to a stateless society.
This book makes a great reference and really makes me want to finish reading Nozick's book.