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Sustenance, opportunity, and the minimal state: Learning from Nozick's libertarianism.

O'Hanlon, Stephen (2006) Sustenance, opportunity, and the minimal state: Learning from Nozick's libertarianism. MPhil thesis, London School of Economics and Political Science.

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This thesis will argue that sustenance, opportunity, and substantive civil equality can, for the most part, be achieved through a correct interpretation of Robert Nozick's libertarian entitlement theory. Where sustenance, opportunity, and civil equality cannot be derived from Nozick, supplemental considerations will be put forward. Chapter 1, Sustenance, will consider Nozick's interpretation of the Lockean proviso, his Wilt Chamberlain argument, and his conception of the Kantian injunction. It will be argued that Nozick's underlying principles, properly interpreted, may not rule out the universal provision of sustenance and may not establish the libertarian property rights that Nozick generally wishes to establish. Chapter 2, Opportunity, will assess Nozick's refusal to endorse state mechanisms to provide universal opportunity in the form of education and his failure to be able to counter discrimination. Equality of opportunity will be prescribed as a policy goal. Chapter 3, Civil Equality, will consider the legal and political bodies of the minimal state. It will be argued that Nozick must address complexities associated with his principles of rectification and compensation. In addition, Nozick must safeguard his legal process from the effects of flows of money. With regard to the state, it must be justified by its actions. It must also safeguard against the effects of flows of money. The concluding chapter will assess charity as a means of providing for the provisions advocated. The role of the liberal state that I develop in this thesis will be assessed. It will be argued that the provisions and safeguards espoused in this thesis provide a framework for utopia. Following the implementation of a system that ensures sustenance, opportunity, and civil equality, there will be a political system that considers bargaining by citizens for other roles of the state. The thesis will end with some brief considerations regarding paths for future study.

Item Type: Thesis (MPhil)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Political Science, General
Sets: Collections > ProQuest Etheses

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