Nozick's Entitlement Theory - Youngstown State University

Nozicks Entitlement Theory Libertarian approach to justice Based on a Lockean conception of property 3 Principles

Principle of Transfer whatever is justly acquired can be freely transferred. Principle of Just Initial Acquisition an account of how people come initially to own the things that can be transferred in accordance with principle (1) Principle of Rectification of Injustice how to deal with holdings if they were unjustly acquired or transferred. Historical vs. End-Result Principles Historical Principles: distributive

principles that depends upon how a distribution came about. Current Time-Slice Principles (EndResult Principles): justice of a distribution is determined by how things are distributed, based on structural principles. Entitlement Theory results in a non-patterned distribution. Ambition vs. Endowment

Unlike Rawlss theory, Nozicks theory is not endowment-sensitive but is ambition-sensitive According to Nozick, only the minimalist state is the only morally justified state Enforcement of contracts Protection against force and fraud Intuitive argument for the entitlement theory

D1: Just distribution of goods is provided by some rule R1 D2: State which results from the movement from D1 according to principle(s) P. If D1 is a just distribution, and the exchange of goods that results in D2 is not forced, then D2 is just.

Wilt Chamberlain Example Wilt Chamberlain negotiates a contract such that people place .25 cents in a separate box in order to watch him play. At the end of the year Chamberlain receives $250,000, more than any other player in the league. According to Nozick, Chamberlain deserves the money voluntarily

paid to him. Problem with the intuitive argument Nozick stacks the deck by assuming that the rules and principles supporting D1 call for an absolute right to property. It may be that our initial just distribution would look Rawlsian

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