PHIL: Robert Nozick new book; reaffirmation of general libertarian view

From: Max More (
Date: Mon Dec 03 2001 - 23:15:33 MST

Those who have been stimulated by Harvard philosopher Robert Nozick will
enjoy this interview at Liberty Books. His latest book, Invariances, sounds
like his usual wide-ranging brain tonic.

Some of use were disappointed by his apparent complete abandonment of the
libertarian views that he was so academically famous for, from Anarchy,
State, and Utopia. It's therefore good to read in this interview that he
was misunderstood and never actually become a libertarian "apostate". In
fact, he seems to take a stance much like my own, which is that he strongly
resonates and agrees with a libertarian approach, without necessarily
wanting to be totally committed to any particular view of libertarianism.
Here's an excerpt:


Laissez Faire Books: In The Examined Life (1989), you reported that you had
come to see the libertarian position that you'd advanced in Anarchy, State
and Utopia (1974) as "seriously inadequate." But there are several places
in Invariances where you seem to suggest that you consider the view
advanced there, broadly speaking, at least, a libertarian one. Would you
now, again, self-apply the L-word?

Robert Nozick: Yes. But I never stopped self-applying it. What I was really
saying in The Examined Life was that I was no longer as hardcore a
libertarian as I had been before. But the rumors of my deviation (or
apostasy!) from libertarianism were much exaggerated. I think this book
makes clear the extent to which I still am within the general framework of
libertarianism, especially the ethics chapter and its section on the "Core
Principle of Ethics." One thing that I think reinforced the view that I had
rejected libertarianism was a story about an apartment of [Love Story
author] Erich Segal's that I had been renting. Do you know about that?

Part 1:

Max More, Ph.D. or
Strategic Philosopher
President, Extropy Institute. <>

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