What is Liberty University's relationship with libertarianism

Robert Nozick's criticism as a libertarian response to John Rawl's theory of justice

content

1 Freedom in the Change of Liberalism
1.1 Thematic introduction
1.2 Problem definition, knowledge-guiding interest and question
1.3 Methodological approach and state of research

2 The liberal concept of justice in the area of ​​tension between freedom and equality
2.1 The pursuit of equality: egalitarian liberalism
2.2 Defending Freedom: Libertarianism

3.1 The question of justice
3.2 The legitimation of the principles of justice through the original state
3.3 The justice criteria for overcoming the original state

4 Robert Nozick's criticism of John Rawls' notion of justice: property absolutism as the highest premise of justice
4.2 The principles of justice within the Claims theory and the resulting Minimal state as an alternative to Rawls' distribution of justice

5 conclusion

6 Bibliography

Web sources

1 Freedom in the Change of Liberalism

1.1 Thematic introduction

The path to a modern understanding of the state within the political-philosophical discourse seems to be truly limitless.[1] Along with the French Revolution and the ideas of the Enlightenment, the constitutive connection between freedom and equality established itself as a premise for political modernity and European democracy.[2]

In contrast to the absolutist view of the state of Thomas Hobbes in the 17th century[3]in which individual freedom had to give way in favor of self-preservation and a contented life as well as the ability of the state to act against its enemies,[4] correlated with the rising emancipation of the bourgeoisie a progressive change. An idea prevailed which was based on an original as well as fundamental freedom and equality of all people.[5] Freedom was understood here as equality in law and as inalienable rights vis-à-vis the state. Thus, in comparison to Hobbes' constituted form of rule, in addition to freedom as a quality of the sovereign ruler, a free subject was also established, who by nature acts peaceably and as a rational being.[6]

In this understanding of freedom, which can be assigned to the political complex of ideas of classical liberalism, one of the individual's decisive rights is above all the right to property. Here is a Possession Individualism [7] postulates which, on the one hand, is directed against the interventions of the absolutist state and, on the other hand, goes hand in hand with the basis of economic independence.[8] The liberal idea of ​​the rule of law consequently saw the guarantee of protection and self-development of the citizens as the normative basis of the social and economic order.

In this political philosophy of freedom, however, with the equivalence of freedom and equality, an ambivalent relationship arose between these principles:

If all people have the right to the same freedom, respect and dignity, and if they enjoy the same political freedoms as citizens, shouldn't they also have the same economic power to exercise these rights? [9]

A lasting conflict between liberal freedom and social equality is inevitably the result: In the event of an unequal distribution of property, is ipso facto the potential of each individual to be realized is equally unevenly distributed, consequently the demand for equal autonomy and freedom. The equivalent distribution of equality must therefore go hand in hand with drastic measures in property rights and in the free economy on the part of a higher authority, which inevitably correlates with a restriction and curtailment of the individual's claims to freedom.[10] Referring to this fact, the German social philosopher and once the leading head of the Frankfurt School Max Horkheimer comes to the conclusion: "The more freedom, the less equality, the more equality, the less freedom."[11]

1.2 Problem definition, knowledge-guiding interest and question

Based on this liberal conception of a social structure and taking into account the dilemma of the equally valued premises of freedom and equality, the question of the basic political order now seems to be ambivalent. The main question to be asked is the state's priority tasks: Must the main focus be on guaranteeing the rights of its citizens, internal and external security, or equal opportunities and social justice within its society? How do the institutional structures have to be created in order to create a liberal economic order? What role does the constitution, a power-restricting separation of powers and the rule of law play at this point?[12]

One of the main guiding principles of political philosophy is the legitimation of the rule and basic political order as well as socio-economic distribution structures.[13] In contrast to utilitarianism with its guiding principle of a common useful[14] the legitimation-theoretical construction of contractualism deals with a normative theory that deals with the tension between individual freedom and the political order of a society. Above all, the competency limits of the exercise of state rule as well as the justification of individual freedom-restricting measures by means of a basic political order form the decisive factors at this point.[15] The American philosophers John Rawls and Robert Nozick are at the center of these considerations within the liberal discourse.

With the work published in 1971 A theory of justice[16] Rawls formulated the decisive concept of justice of a modern liberalism, in which he tried to specify the criteria for the basic structure of a fair and just society. In emphasizing equality as the basic norm, Rawls placed the principle of the social and economic in the liberal constitutional state

Justice aside,[17] whereby its contractualistic objective went hand in hand with a justification of the social state.[18] Nozick, on the other hand, had criticized Rawls' theoretical conception three years later and with his work Anarchy, the state and utopia[19] developed a contract-theoretical counter-draft, whereby the absolute concept of property forbids any kind of state intervention in the form of welfare state redistribution and represents a violation of individual rights and thus declares a contradiction between individual freedom and structured principles of justice.[20]

Against the background of these divergent perspectives on just and fair principles of a liberal constitutional state, the present work tries to analyze the elementary differences between the contrary goals based on Nozick's libertarian criticism of Rawls' theory and his principles of justice - which are represented by both philosophers within the liberal discourse. The focus here is on the ambivalence between the two premises freedom and equality and the question of which of these two norms should be given preference in the sense of justice for a liberal basic social structure.

1.3 Methodological approach and state of research

In order to now deal with the question of a legitimate draft for the basic structure of a just order and the inherent tension between freedom and equality, the present analysis first requires a conceptual concretization of the respective positions of Rawls and Nozick - half of the political-philosophical constructs of ideas. Because of this, the theoretical contexts of the egalitarian liberalism and des Libertarianism separated from each other in terms of content. Accordingly, the divergent understandings of the balance between freedom and equality with regard to the postulate of justice can be ascertained in the course of the controversial controversy of a form of political rule.

Then the descriptive part looks at what is probably the most influential work of the 20th century[21] received on this subject, John Rawls' A theory of justice. Here, above all, his three-step argumentation, i.e. the logic from which a society is constructed with a binding contract, is reproduced and which two postulated principles are to be adhered to as criteria of justice. With reference to this, the analysis compares Nozick's criticism to Rawls' contractualism, which is based on the principles of justice. On the one hand, the contrary principles of justice within Nozick's claim theory and on the other hand his justification of a freedom-maximizing minimal state as an alternative to Rawls' distributive justice are to be analyzed.

This topic has been dealt with in great detail in the scientific discourse, so that a complex state of specialist literature is available for this analytical procedure. In addition to the primary literature A theory of justice and Anarchy, the state and utopia numerous essays and works by the authors Rawls and Nozick have been published themselves,[22] than that they and their contractual drafts were also dealt with intensively and extensively within the controversy.[23]

The debate on the liberal currents of justice theory between egalitarianism and libertarianism, which is taken up in this work, is particularly well documented in political philosophy. With regard to the egalitarian maxim, the present descriptive analysis refers primarily to the intellectual debate of the Equality of What? Debate[24], in which the prevailing divergent approaches are discussed. With regard to libertarianism, the study mainly uses the works of Angelika Krebs,[25] Bodo Knoll[26] and by Julian Nida-Rümelin[27], with a precise delimitation of the content to the egalitarian movement.

2 The liberal concept of justice in the area of ​​tension between freedom and equality

Since political philosophy is essentially concerned with the legitimation of a basic political order, the question that arises below is which basic principles must be adhered to. The theories within the discourse make the normative claim that this order or the "arrangement of common social coexistence"[28] must be fair. Accordingly, justice seems to be the central guiding principle for a moral category in the political and social area[29] however, to contain an internal conflict, as Nozick's criticism of Rawls' theory of justice illustrates: the incompatibility of freedom and equality.

For this reason, the following chapter deals with the controversial positions of egalitarianism and libertarianism, to which different views of this balance can be assigned. These disparate views in the liberal movement thus form the theoretical context on which Nocick's libertarian criticism of Rawls' theory of justice is based.

2.1 The pursuit of equality: egalitarian liberalism

Since the political philosophy of liberalism is fundamentally linked to the free self-determination and development of the individual, it must therefore be guided by the claim to give every person as much as possible the chance of autonomy. However, the liberal conception of justice is characterized by divergent understandings, with a substantial discrepancy between the egalitarian ones[30] and non-egalitarian interpretation.[31]

In this controversy, Stefan Gosepath understands a conception of justice as egalitarian if it contains justice per se as equality[32] values ​​and thus regards equality as the elementary objective of justice.[33] What is meant here is equality among people, in their living conditions and in their position in social coexistence, with this premise being one more intrinsic Value, i.e. an absolute intrinsic value, is assigned.[34] The mutual relationship to one another, i.e. the level at which each person is compared to another, is the essential yardstick for egalitarians.[35] Accordingly, equality can only be achieved in relation to others, whereby it results exclusively from the mutual moral obligation in human action.[36] Therefore, for moral reasons, it is reprehensible, unfair and bad that some are in a worse position than others through no fault of their own.[37]

As the core of this egalitarian movement, Wofgang Kersting sees above all the ideal of "deep equal opportunities"[38] within social conditions, whereby socio-economic inequalities that are not at fault must be compensated for by direct redistribution. For the realization of equality, the maximization of life prospects, that is, to be able to lead a good life, is the top priority of the egalitarians. For the generation of this desirable state, however, prevail in the Equality of What? Debate[39] different position

before: On the one hand, this is understood to mean the equality of life prospects in the opportunity to gain well-being,[40] on the other hand, as equality in functionality.[41] John Rawls, as one of the most important representatives of the egalitarian understanding, sees the guarantee of equality in the availability of the same number of resources[42] and from a social minimum.[43] All members of society should be provided with the same basic goods, so that the inequality of the social starting conditions can be corrected. Above all, rights, freedoms, opportunities, income and assets as well as the social conditions of self-respect are to be classified, "without which people cannot lead their lives according to their own ideas and cannot have a say in shaping their society."[44] In this sense, institutions have the necessary task of distributing these basic goods equally and fairly.[45] Rawls' idea of ​​a conception of justice is thus a distributive element[46] subordinate to which the focus is on the Principle of fair equality of opportunity[47] and consequently goes hand in hand with a justified political redistribution in the sense of guaranteeing the best possible basic conditions.[48]

[...]



[1] “We have been talking about 'state' in a sense that no longer just means 'status' = condition,” Luhmann, Niklas: “Metamorphoses of the state”, in: Luhmann, Niklas (ed.): Gesell- structure and semantics. Studies on the sociology of knowledge in modern society, Frankfurt / Main 4/1995, p. 102.

[2] Nida-Rümelin, Julian: A defense of freedom and Equality, in: Langbehn, Claus (Ed.): Law, Justice and Freedom. Paderborn 2006, p. 17.

[3] “This is the creation of that great one Leviathan or rather, to put it more deferentially, that mortal godto whom we owe our peace and protection under the immortal God. Because through this authority, which is given to him by each individual in the state, so much power and strength is at his disposal, which has been transferred to him, that the horror it creates enables him to exercise the will of all for peace within the state and to steer towards mutual aid against foreign enemies. Herein lies the essence of the state […]. Who embodies this person becomes sovereign called and owns, as they say, supreme power, and everyone else next to it is his subservient. ", Hobbes, Thomas: Leviathan or matter, form and power of an ecclesiastical and civil state. 7th edition, Frankfurt / Main 1996, pp. 134-135.

[4] See ibid., P. 131.

[5] “There is only equal freedom or no freedom.”, Nida-Rümelin, Julian: A defense of freedom and Equality, Paderborn 2006, p. 18.

[6] Greven, Michael Th .: Freedom, in: Nohlen, Dieter / Schultze, Rainer-Olaf (Ed.): Lexicon of Political Science. Theories, Methods, Terms, Volume 1: A - M, Munich 2010, p. 278.

[7] See Macpherson, Crawford Brough: The Political Theory of Possession Individualism. From Hobbes to Locke, Frankfurt / Main 1973, p. 295 ff.

[8] Hoffmann, André: Liberalism: the dilemma of freedom and equality, December 2006, http://www.forum.lu/pdf/artikel/5950_262_Hoffmann.pdf, 17.09.2013.

[9] Esser, Andrea: Fair distribution or absolute protection of property? A classic alternative in the more recent discussion: John Rawls and Robert Nozick, in: Eckl.Andreas / Beck, Ludwig (ed.): What is property? Philosophical theories of property from Plato to Habermas, Munich 2005, p. 217.

[10] Hoffmann, André: Liberalism: the dilemma of freedom and equality, December 2006, http://www.forum.lu/pdf/artikel/5950_262_Hoffmann.pdf, 17.09.2013.

[11] Hassmann, Friedrich: Steering and freedom in decentralized systems, in: Framer, Karl / Haupt, Reinhard / Lachmann, Werner (ed.): Individual freedom or state steering ?, Münster 2000, p. 166.

[12] Esser, Andrea: Fair distribution or absolute protection of property? A classic alternative in the more recent discussion: John Rawls and Robert Nozick, Munich 2005, p. 217.

[13] “The political philosophy of the social contract is of course not about problems of an appropriate description of social reality and the explanation of social coherence, but rather about problems of the legitimation of state rule, the establishment of political obligations and the justification of social norms and political forms of organization , Wolfgang: The political philosophy of the social contract, Darmstadt 1994, p. 41.

[14] “As is well known, this describes those social institutions and regulations as fair that maximize the well-being of the population as a whole. […] Utilitarianism, however, accepts the violation of the rights of individuals if they contribute to the collective maximization of utility. ", Kley, Roland: Contract theories of justice. A philosophical critique of the theories of John Rawls, Robert Nozick and James Buchanan, Bern 1989, p. XIII.

[15] Cf. Kersting, Wolfgang: Contract Theories, in: Nohlen, Dieter / Schultze, Rainer-Olaf (Ed.): Lexicon of Political Science. Theories, Methods, Terms, Volume 2: N - Z, Munich 2010, p. 1175.

[16] Rawls, John: A Theory of Justice, Cambridge / Massachusetts 1971; German translation: A theory of justice, translated by Hermann Vetter, Frankfurt / Main 1975.

[17] Esser, Andrea: Fair distribution or absolute protection of property ?, Munich 2005, pp. 217-218.

[18] Kersting, Wolfgang: Contract Theories, in: Nohlen, Dieter / Schultze, Rainer-Olaf (Ed.): Lexicon of Political Science. Theories, Methods, Terms, Volume 2: N - Z, Munich 2010, p. 1177.

[19] Nozick, Robert: Anarchy, State and Utopia, Oxford 1974; German translation: Anarchy, State and Utopia, translated by Hermann Vetter, Munich 1976.

[20] Kersting, Wolfgang: Contract Theories, in: Nohlen, Dieter / Schultze, Rainer-Olaf (Ed.): Lexicon of Political Science. Theories, Methods, Terms, Volume 2: N - Z, Munich 2010, p. 1178.

[21] "Rawls'" A Theory of Justice "is probably the best-known attempt at a liberal political philosophy of the 20th century with a great reception across the specialist boundaries of philosophy.", Knoll, Bodo: Minimalstaat. An examination of Robert Nozick's arguments, Tübingen 2008, p. 95.

[22] To be mentioned in particular: Rawls, John / Kelly, Erin: Justice as Fairness: A Restatement, Cambridge / Massachusetts 2001; Rawls, John: Political Liberalism, translated by Wilfried Hinsch, Frankfurt / Main 1998; Hinsch, Wilfried (Ed.): John Rawls. The idea of ​​political liberalism. Articles 1978 - 1989, Frankfurt / Main 1994 .; Nozick, Robert: The Nature of Rationality, New York 1993;

[23] See Daniels, Norman: Reading Rawls. Critical Studies on Rawls' "A Theory of Justice," New York 1975; Höffe, Otfried: About John Rawls' Theory of Justice, Frankfurt / Main 1977; Kley, Roland: Contract Theories of Justice. A philosophical critique of the theories of John Rawls, Robert Nozick, and James Buchanan, Bern 1989; Corlett, J. Angelo: Equality and Liberty. Analyzing Rawls and Nozick, London 1991; Pogge, Thomas W .: John Rawls, Munich 1994; Esser, Andrea: Fair distribution or absolute protection of property? A classic alternative in the more recent discussion: John Rawls and Robert Nozick, Munich 2005; Wolff, Jonathan: Robert Nozick. Property, Justice and the Minimal State, Stanfort University Press 1991; Hinsch, Wilfried: Justified inequalities. Principles of Social Justice, Berlin / New York 2002.

[24] See Cohen, Gerald: Equality of What? On Welfare, Goods, and Capabilities, in: Nussbaum, Martha / Sen, Amartya (eds.): The Quality of Life. Oxford 1993.

[25] Cancer, Angelica: Equality or Justice. The criticism of egalitarianism, o.O, o.J, http: //www.- gap-im-netz.de/gap4Konf/Proceedings4/pdf/6%20Pol1%20Krebs.pdf, 27.09.2013.

[26] Knoll, Bodo: Minimal State. An examination of Robert Nozick's arguments, Tübingen 2008.

[27] Nida-Rümelin, Julian: A defense of freedom and Equality, Paderborn 2006.

[28] Gosepath, Stefan: Equal justice. Basics of a liberal egalitarianism, Frankfurt / Main 2004, p. 29.

[29] Ibid., P. 12.

[30] Etymologically, the word “egalitarianism” comes from the Latin and derives from the terminus aequalitas "The equality" from, definition according to encyclopaedia, online encyclopedia: Eagiltarismus, o.O, o.J., http://www.enzyklo.de/suche.php?woord=egalitarismus, 27.09.2013.

[31] Cf. Krebs, Angelika: Equality or Justice. The criticism of egalitarianism, o.O, o.J, http: // ww - w.gap-im-netz.de/gap4Konf/Proceedings4/pdf/6%20Pol1%20Krebs.pdf, 27.09.2013.

[32] “Equality means agreement of a plurality of objects, people or facts in a certain characteristic, with differences in other characteristics.”, Dann, Otto: “Equality”, in: Brunner, Otto / Conze, Werner / Kosselleck, Reinhard (Ed.): Sprache in Deutsc-hland, Vol. 2, Stuttgart 1979, p. 997ff.

[33] Gosepath, Stefan: Equal justice. Basics of a liberal egalitarianism, Frankfurt / Main 2004, p. 447.

[34] “That is, egalitarians value equality because they take it to be good in itself,” Holtug, Nils: “Prioritarianism”, in: Holtug, Nils / Lippert-Rasmussen, Kasper (ed.): Egalitarianism. New Essays on the Nature and Value of Equality, Oxford 2007, p. 127.

[35] Cf. Parfit, Derek: Equality and Priority, in: Krebs, Angelika (Ed.): Equality or Justice. Frankfurt 2000, p. 86.

[36] “Equalitarian is any position that asserts equality itself as an ideal of human action that can be realized for moral reasons.”, Gosepath, Stefan: Equal Justice. Basics of a liberal egalitarianism, Frankfurt / Main 2004, pp. 447 - 448.

[37] Temkin, Larry: Inequality, in: Pojman, Louis. P./Westmoreland, Robert (Eds.): Equality: Selected Readings, Oxford 1993, p. 100.

[38] Kersting, Wolfgang; The importance of justice. Munich 2010, p. 24.

[39] See Cohen, Gerald: Equality of What? On Welfare, Goods, and Capabilities, Oxford 1993, pp. 9-29.

[40] "Roughly put, my suggestion was that equality of opportunity for welfare obtains among a group of people when all would have the same expected welfare over the course of their lives if each behaved as prudently as it would be reasonable to expect her to behave." , Arneson, Richard J .: Equality and Equal Opportunity for Welfare Defendend and Recanted, in: The Journal of Political Philosophy 7/1999, p. 488.

[41] "The Capability Approach focuses directly on the quality of life that individuals are actually able to achieve. This quality of life is analyzed in terms of the core concepts of functionings ’and capability’. […] Capability refers to the set of valuable functions that a person has effective access to. Thus, a person’s capability represents the effective freedom of an individual to choose between different functioning combinations - between different kinds of life - that she has reason to value. ", Wells, Thomas: Sen's Capability Approach, o.O. 2012, http://www.iep.utm.edu/sen-cap/, 09/28/2013.

[42] "But it is not easy to decide what measure of the" standard of living "it is appropriate to employ to give content to the idel of distrubutive equality. Recent discussions by John Rawls and Ronald Dwor - kin have debated the merits of versions of equality of welfare and equality of resources taken as interpretations of the eqalitarian ideal. ", Arneson, Richard J .: Equality and Equal Opportunity For Welfare, in : Philosophical Studies 56/1989, p 77.

[43] "Matters of basic justice include mainly matters relating to social and economic inequalities, and concern measures bearing upon equal opportunities, economic justice, and setting the social minimum.", Freeman, Samuel: Rawls, Routledge 2007, p. 399.

[44] Kley Roland: Justice, in: Enderle, Georges / Hohmann, Karl / Honecker, Martin / Kerber, Walter / Steinmann, Horst: Wirtschaftsethik, Freiburg 1993, p. 355.

[45] Merkel, Wolfgang: Social Justice: Theories and Reality, Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung Online- Akademie 2007, http://library.fes.de/pdf-files/akademie/online/06078.pdf, 28.09.2013.

[46] "For them, the question of the principles of justice can only arise as a question of the just distribution of basic goods.", Habermas, Jürgen: The inclusion of the other. Studies on Political Theory, Frankfurt / Main 1997, p. 71.

[47] Cf. Rawls, John: A theory of justice, Frankfurt / Main 1975, p. 93 f.

[48] “The purpose of equal opportunities in this sense is not equal likelihood of success. It can relate to power, positions, rights, wealth, etc. The chances of achieving [...] should be the same, otherwise there would be injustice and discrimination against those with worse (starting) chances. The chances should be the same, but not the results. ”, Gosepath, Stefan: Equal justice. Basics of a liberal egalitarianism, Frankfurt / Main 2004, p. 436.

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