Monthly Archives: December 2016

particular communities

“The fact that I have not propounded some particular description of a constituent community does not mean that (I think) doing so is unimportant, or less important, or uninteresting. How could that be? We live in particular communities. It is here that one’s nonimperialistic vision of the ideal or good society is to be propounded and realized. Allowing us to do that is what the framework is for. Without such visions impelling and animating the creation of particular communities with particular desired characteristics, the framework will lack life.” (Robert Nozick, Anarchy, State, and Utopia, p.332)

the nonneutral state

“Perhaps the view that the state and its laws are part of a superstructure thrown up by underlying relations of production and property contributes to thinking it is nonneutral. On such a view, the independent variables (substructure) has to be specified without bringing in the dependent variables (superstructure). But, it often has been noted, the “mode of production” includes notions of property, ownership, right to control resources, and so on. The legal order which was supposed to be a superstructure phenomenon explainable by the underlying substructure is itself partially substructure.” (Robert Nozick, Anarchy, State, and Utopia, p.273)

enforcement of the principle of fairness

“You may not decide to give me something, for example a book, and then grab money from me to pay for it, even if I have nothing better to spend the money on. . . . One cannot, whatever one’s purposes, just act so as to give people benefits and then demand (or seize) payment. Nor can a group of persons do this. . . . So the fact that we partially are “social products” in that we benefit from current patterns and forms created by the multitudinous actions of a long string of long-forgotten people, forms which include institutions, ways of doing things, and language (whose social nature may involve our current use depending upon Wittgensteinian matching of the speech of others), does not create in us a general floating debt which the current society can collect and use as it will.” (Robert Nozick, Anarchy, State, and Utopia, p.95)