A Comparative Analysis of the Philosophical Works of Robert Nozick and John Rawls

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Liberty and equality have been principles of the Western world in one form or another almost as long as its existence. Today, particularly, these values are held in high regard by those living in this part of the world. It is, therefore, little wonder that these principles have often formed the central line of reasoning in philosophical works. Two examples of these are works by Robert Nozick and John Rawls, both of whom value liberty as the first principle of justice. In their specific arguments for this viewpoint, however the two philosophers diverge significantly, with Rawls focusing on the collective principle in terms of equality and justice, while Nozick focuses on the individual right and historical principle and its role in this right. Specifically, Nozick's argument is that there cannot be patterned formulations of distributive justice in a world where true liberty exists. To understand this principle, it is necessary to investigate Nozick's specific substance for this argument. Nozick offers as his basic argument that entitlement theory of justice in distribution necessarily denies the possibility of patterns of distributive justice (Nozick, p. 135). He focuses on a sense of historical justice to illuminate this principle. According to Nozick, there can be no structural principle of just distribution in a society that is free, since there can be no central entity that holds ownership of all the assets available to such a society. The existence of such an entity

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