Social Philosophy and Policy



SIDNEY HOOK, ROBERT NOZICK, AND THE PARADOXES OF FREEDOM


John Patrick  Diggins  a1
a1 History, The Graduate Center, City University of New York

Article author query
diggins jp   [Google Scholar] 
 

Abstract

Diggins observes in this essay that, while Nozick and Hook shared a passion for freedom and for understanding liberty in all its complexities, the two philosophers, one a libertarian and the other a democratic socialist, occupied different worlds when it came to how they viewed property and power. Nozick believed that freedom and justice depended upon a minimal state that would be severely restricted in its exercise of power. Sidney Hook never renounced his conviction, born of his early attraction to Marxism, that truly dangerous power is wielded not principally by government but by private individuals of great material wealth: by industrialists. Diggins examines the divergent views of these two seminal thinkers on such issues as human rights, private property, democracy, and judicial review. The differences are profound, yet they shared a common interest in the life of the mind and in exploring such hoary philosophical topics as free will versus determinism and the grounding of moral values.



Metrics