EVALUATION OF ROBERT NOZICK’S ENTITLEMENT THEORY

EVALUATION OF ROBERT NOZICK’S ENTITLEMENT THEORY

ABSTRACT

Robert Nozick’s Entitlement Theory consists of three principles of justice in Acquisition, in Transfer and in Rectification. The entitlement theory of Nozick entails that a person is entitled to a holding if he followed the principle of acquisition, transfer and rectification. Raising the issue of equitable distribution and individual appropriation, Nozick’s entitlement theory of individual right and private property right defends free market and absolute private property right. This thesis is meant therefore, to solve the problem of individual appropriation of property, problem of how resources  should be distributed and the problem of extent of object with which one mixes one’s labour. Claiming ownership of a property because of the mixing of one’s labour has a limit for which one can mix one’s labour. Equitable distribution is such that is not characterized by ‘the winner takes it all’ type of distribution. This thesis attempts reconciling persistent issues and debates that revolve around entitlemrent and how resources seems to be distributed,  using historical, expository, analytical and critical methods to appraise Nozick’s theory. Contrary to the belief among libertarians and Nozick in particular that justice entails that the state; cannot regulate what citizens eat or drink or acquire, cannot administer mandatory social insurance, cannot regulate economic life in general, etc, property rights cannot exist without the state. Property rights are not only held against the state, as is commonly thought, but are parasitic upon the existence of the state. The determinacy of an entitlement will necessarily rely upon it being recognized and enforced by some kind of political organisation. Without the state, property rights, as rights of exclusion do not exist, since they suffer continually from an indeterminacy problem.