Nozick, Robert,1938–2002, American political philosopher, b. Brooklyn, N.Y.; grad. Columbia Univ. (B.A., 1959), Princeton (M.A., 1961; Ph.D., 1963). After teaching at Princeton and Rockefeller Univ., he became (1969) a philosophy professor at Harvard, where he was named a university professor in 1998. Once a campus radical, Novick soon veered rightward, becoming a staunchly conservative opponent of the kind of liberalism represented by his Harvard colleague, John RawlsRawls, John Bordley,
1921–2002, American philosopher and political theorist, b. Baltimore, grad. Princeton (A.B., 1943; Ph.D., 1950). He taught at Princeton (1950–52), Cornell (1953–59), and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (1960–62) before
..... Click the link for more information. . Nozick's first book, Anarchy, State, and Utopia (1974; National Book Award), a critique of Rawls, has became a key work in contemporary political philosophy. Castigating the paternalism of the welfare state, supporting the primacy of the individual, and defending capitalism, he called for the most minimal of governments, one that would protect its members against violence, theft, and breach of contract and do very little more. Nozick also explored a wide range of other philosophical subjects and their connections to various disciplines. Among his other books are Philosophical Explanations (1981), The Examined Life (1989), The Nature of Rationality (1995), and Invariances: The Structure of the Objective World (2001).
See studies by J. Paul, ed. (1981), S. Luper-Foy (1987), J. S. Corlett, ed. (1991), J. Wolff (1991), S. A. Hailwood (1996), A. Pampathy Rao (1998), and A. R. Lacey (2001).
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia™ Copyright © 2013, Columbia University Press. Licensed from Columbia University Press. All rights reserved. www.cc.columbia.edu/cu/cup/
Nozick, Robert(1938– ) philosopher; born in New York City. After earning a 1963 doctorate from Princeton, where he taught (1962–65), he held posts at Harvard (1965–67) and Rockefeller University (1967–69) before becoming a professor at Harvard in 1969. His seminal study, Anarchy, State and Utopia (1974), which won a National Book Award, stressed the primacy of individual rights, and he was generally associated with a conservative critique of trends in contemporary thought and society.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.