Introduction to Political Theory

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ownership, but uses it against Nozick’s initial acquisition argument; he also rejects
Rawls’s motivational assumptions, arguing that we need to change our attitudes
and become less acquisitive.


  1. Do people deserveto keep the fruits of their labour?

  2. If you are as well off as you could possibly be, can you have any grounds for
    objecting that other people are better off than you?

  3. Is taxation ‘forced labour’?

  4. Should the state reward men and women for bringing up children, and doing


Cohen, G.A. (1979) ‘Capitalism, Freedom, and the Proletariat’ in A. Ryan (ed.) The Idea of
FreedomOxford: Oxford University Press.
Cohen, G.A. (2000) If You’re An Egalitarian, How Come You’re So Rich?Cambridge, MA:
Harvard University Press.
Locke, J. (1988) Two Treatises of Government(ed. P. Laslett), student edn, Cambridge:
Cambridge University Press.
Nagel, T. (1991) Equality and PartialityNew York: Oxford University Press.
Nozick, R. (1974) Anarchy, State, and UtopiaNew York: Basic Books.
Rawls, J. (1972) A Theory of JusticeOxford: Oxford University Press.
Rawls, J. (2001) Justice as Fairness: A RestatementCambridge, MA: Harvard University
Steiner, H. (1974) ‘The Natural Right to Equal Freedom’ Mind83(330), 41–9.
Wolff, J. (1991) Robert Nozick: Property, Justice and the Minimal StateOxford: Polity Press.

Further reading

The primary texts are Rawls (1972), Part One; Nozick (1974), Chapter 7; Cohen (1979);
Cohen (2000). There are several commentaries on Rawls, the first of which was Brian Barry,
The Liberal Theory of Justice(Oxford: Clarendon, 1973), but more recent ones are: Samuel
Freeman, Rawls(London: Routledge, 2007); Thomas Pogge, Rawls(Oxford: Oxford
University Press, 2007); Catherine Audard, John Rawls(Montreal: McGill–Queen’s University
Press, 2007); Paul Graham, Rawls(Oxford: Oneworld, 2007). A collection of early essays
on Rawls can be found in Norman Daniels (ed.) Reading Rawls: Critical Studies on Rawls’s
A Theory of Justice(Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 1989, first published 1973);
slightly more recent works on Rawls are: Chandran Kukathas and Philip Pettit, Rawls: A
Theory of Justice and its Critics(Cambridge: Polity Press, 1990); and Thomas Pogge,
Realizing Rawls(Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 1989). There are fewer works on
Nozick. The best is Wolff (1991). Others – both collections of essays – are: Jeffrey Paul (ed.)
Reading Nozick: Essays on Anarchy, State and Utopia(Totowa, NJ: Rowman & Littlefield,
1981); and David Schmidtz (ed.) Robert Nozick(Cambridge: Cambridge University Press,

Chapter 4 Justice 97
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