Re: Nozick's 'Non-Coercive' Autism

Sun, 16 Mar 1997 09:21:17 -0500 (EST)

In a message dated 3/16/97 11:03:15 AM, Reilly Jones quoted Stove:

> "...No ideal could be more destructive of human life than the ideal of
>non-coerciveness. [The only way] of producing a non-coercive human being
>is to produce an autistic one. . . ."

This sorely mischaracterizes coercion, human life, and autism. Indeed, the
reverse of what Stove claims holds more true: Coercion destroys human life,
both literally and figuratively. Autism, in the sense of folding in on
oneself, follows from contact with a violent world--not a non-coercive one.

Stove's criticism makes the fatal error of confounding coercion with
intellectual debate. Interestingly, given his apparently conservative take,
he shares this error with many lefties. See, eg, Stanley Fish.

T.0. Morrow