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Note on Anarchy, State, and Utopia

The Journal of Libertarian Studies

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07/30/2014James Dale Davidson

Robert Nozick's widely hailed Anarchy, State, and Utopia has been analyzed primarily in terms of the arguments he engages in with his fellow "public philosopher", John Rawls. Yet perhaps the most unusual line of thinking introduced by Nozick is his "invisible hand" explanation for the origin of the state (pp. 78 ff.). This is not meant to be a genuinely historical account. It is clear that no state ever emerged in the way described by Professor Nozick. Yet he finds this satisfying because it attempts to explain the single most important step in the political evolution of mankind in terms largely divorced from the political realm. He feels that he has been able to demonstrate that it is possible for the state to emerge from the Lockean state of nature without violating anyone's rights and without anyone having planned to create a state (p. 113).

Volume 1, Number 4 (1977)

Cite This Article

Davidson, James D. "Note on Anarchy, State, and Utopia." Journal of Libertarian Studies 1, No.4 (1977): 341-348.