Robert Nozick

Robert Nozick

American philosopher
Date of Birth: 16.11.1938
Country: USA

  1. Biography of Robert Nozick
  2. Philosophical Contributions

Biography of Robert Nozick

Robert Nozick was born on November 16, 1938, in New York. He studied at Columbia University and Princeton University. In 1969, he began teaching at Harvard University, where he continued his career as a philosopher.

Philosophical Contributions

Robert Nozick was a highly versatile philosopher, exploring various topics ranging from political philosophy and ethics to the theory of rationality and decision-making, and from theory of knowledge to metaphysics and philosophy of language.

His most renowned work, "Anarchy, State, and Utopia" published in 1974, brought him fame as a leading figure in liberal philosophy. The central point of his arguments in this book revolved around the sacred rights of the individual. Unlike classical anarchists who reject the existence of a state, Nozick recognized the necessity of a "minimal" state that would strip individuals of their right to use violence, while simultaneously providing protection against abuse of power.

Regarding property rights, Nozick believed that the transfer of ownership is only justifiable when it occurs voluntarily. He argued that any attempt to regulate this process is bound to fail. He vehemently opposed any form of wealth redistribution imposed by the state, such as taxation, as he viewed it as an unjust restriction on individual rights. Consequently, he strongly rejected the idea of a "welfare state."

In the field of epistemology, Nozick gained recognition for his new approach to defining knowledge and refuting skepticism. His perspectives on the nature of knowledge, including philosophical knowledge, are elaborated in his books "Philosophical Explanations" published in 1981 and "The Nature of Rationality" published in 1993.