Nozick's Real Argument for the Minimal State

DSpace/Manakin Repository

Open Research Exeter (ORE)

Nozick's Real Argument for the Minimal State

Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item:


Title: Nozick's Real Argument for the Minimal State
Author: Hyams, Keith
Citation: The Journal of Political Philosophy, Vol. 12, Issue 3, pp. 353-364, Sept 2004
Publisher: Blackwell Publishing
Journal: The Journal of Political Philosophy
Date Issued: 2004-09
Abstract: Nozick is often interpreted as arguing that independents are entitled to protection by the Dominant Protective Agency (DPA) because the DPA infringes their right to punish those who violate their rights. Yet a closer look at Anarchy, State and Utopia reveals that Nozick actually rejects the very argument which is commonly attributed to him, and that he does so for good reason. However, I argue that Nozick’s replacement principle of compensation for disadvantage, meant to ground his real argument for independents’ entitlement to protection by the DPA, ought to be unacceptable to a libertarian. I end by suggesting an alternative to it, which I think remains faithful to basic libertarian principles.
Type: Article
Description: First submitted to the University of Oxford for the BPhil in philosophy examination 2002. The definitive version is available at
Keywords: NozickMinimal StatePolitical AuthorityPolitical JustificationAnarchyDominant Protective AgencyCompensationProhibition

Please note: Before reusing this item please check the rights under which it has been made available. Some items are restricted to non-commercial use. Please cite the published version where applicable.

Files in this item

Files Size Format View
Nozick's Real Argument for the Minimal State.pdf 110.8Kb PDF Thumbnail

This item appears in the following Collection(s)


My Account

Local Links