The Agenda

Julian Sanchez’s 2001 Interview with Robert Nozick

I recently had the pleasure of rereading Robert Nozick’s Anarchy, State, and Utopia, a book I recommend. Soon after that, I read Julian Sanchez’s stimulating interview with Nozick, which you can find here.

I’ve read many provocative and intelligent critiques of Nozick over the years. The most entertaining and engaging, to me at least, were by G.A. Cohen, a a brilliant socialist egalitarian who also wrote If You’re an Egalitarian, How Come You’re So Rich?, an excellent, charmingly discursive critique of John Rawls’s difference principle from the left. Among liberal political philosophers, there has been a lively discussion of libertarian and classical liberal ideas in the decade since Nozick’s death. And a number of intellectual historians, like Angus Burgin of Johns Hopkins, author of the forthcoming The Return of Laissez-Faire, have really enriched our understanding of this complex, still-evolving terrain. Though I tend to gravitate towards political philosophers and political theorists informed by the classical-liberal tradition, I’ve learned a great deal from thinkers on the left who’ve engaged these questions.  

Alas, I have just had the distinct displeasure of reading a critique of Nozick that is, I’m sorry to say, neither provocative nor intelligent. I wish I could get those minutes of my life back.

P.S. Hello Slate readers! There has been some regrettable confusion. What I really meant to do with this blog post was not discuss Julian Sanchez or Robert Nozick. Rather, my intention was to provide a link to the video for CD III’s “Get Tough.”

Reihan Salam — Reihan Salam is executive editor of National Review and a National Review Institute policy fellow.

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