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The Garden, the Park and the Meadow

David Runciman: After the Nation State, 6 June 2002

The Shield of Achilles: War, Peace and the Course of History 
by Philip Bobbitt.
Allen Lane, 960 pp., £25, June 2002, 0 7139 9616 1
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Reordering the World: The Long-Term Implications of 11 September 
edited by Mark Leonard.
Foreign Policy Centre, 124 pp., £9.95, March 2002, 1 903558 10 7
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... that have been coming out of one corner of the British Foreign Office for more than five years. Robert Cooper, who has written an essay in Reordering the World, was a senior policy adviser there (he recently left the Cabinet Office for the European Council, where he is senior civil servant for foreign affairs), and has become well-known in policy circles ...

You have £2000, I have a kidney

Glen Newey: Morals and Markets, 21 June 2012

What Money Can’t Buy: The Moral Limits of Markets 
by Michael Sandel.
Allen Lane, 244 pp., £20, April 2012, 978 1 84614 471 4
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How Much Is Enough?: The Love of Money and the Case for the Good Life 
by Robert Skidelsky and Edward Skidelsky.
Allen Lane, 256 pp., £20, June 2012, 978 1 84614 448 6
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... each of us) better off, while making nobody worse off. Everyone’s a winner. It’s here that Robert and Edward Skidelsky’s argument cuts in. Their main target is the pursuit of growth for its own sake which, as they say, has become dogma for politicians across the globe: certainly ‘mainstream’ politicians usually assume that when it comes to ...

Degrees of Not Knowing

Rory Stewart: Does anyone know how to govern Iraq?, 31 March 2005

What We Owe Iraq: War and the Ethics of Nation Building 
by Noah Feldman.
Princeton, 154 pp., £12.95, November 2004, 0 691 12179 6
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Blinded by the Sunlight: Surviving Abu Ghraib and Saddam’s Iraq 
by Matthew McAllester.
Harper Perennial, 304 pp., $13.95, February 2005, 0 06 058820 9
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The Fall of Baghdad 
by Jon Lee Anderson.
Little, Brown, 389 pp., £20, February 2005, 0 316 72990 6
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The Freedom: Shadows and Hallucinations in Occupied Iraq 
by Christian Parenti.
New Press, 211 pp., £12.99, December 2004, 1 56584 948 5
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... when the problem becomes interesting, sets it aside – a bad habit he shares with his mentor Robert Nozick.1 Feldman writes, for example: It is appropriate for us to favour – not to impose – certain substantive constitutional outcomes, particularly those that guarantee equal treatment of all Iraqis, regardless of sex, religion and so forth. But ...

The Sucker, the Sucker!

Amia Srinivasan: What’s it like to be an octopus?, 7 September 2017

Other Minds: The Octopus and the Evolution of Intelligent Life 
by Peter Godfrey-Smith.
Collins, 255 pp., £20, March 2017, 978 0 00 822627 5
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The Soul of an Octopus: A Surprising Exploration into the Wonder of Consciousness 
by Sy Montgomery.
Simon & Schuster, 272 pp., £8.99, April 2016, 978 1 4711 4675 6
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... must sacrifice their freedom so that the species as a whole can be protected. (As the philosopher Robert Nozick put it, ‘utilitarianism for animals, Kantianism for humans.’) The conservationist logic is at its most compelling at an aquarium like Monterey, with its state of the art research centre, environmental policy unit, and public education ...

Competition is for losers

David Runciman: Silicon Valley Vampire, 23 September 2021

The Contrarian: Peter Thiel and Silicon Valley’s Pursuit of Power 
by Max Chafkin.
Bloomsbury, 400 pp., £25, September, 978 1 5266 1955 6
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... possibility is that this is the essence of libertarianism. One book not discussed by Chafkin is Robert Nozick’s Anarchy, State and Utopia, which has been widely influential in Silicon Valley since its publication in 1974. Nozick argues that the powers of the state can’t be justified for anything except the ...

Ruck in the Carpet

Glen Newey: Political Morality, 9 July 2009

Philosophy and Real Politics 
by Raymond Geuss.
Princeton, 116 pp., £11.95, October 2008, 978 0 691 13788 9
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... to utopian socialism, along the way taking in the blither forms of libertarianism such as Robert Nozick’s Anarchy, State and Utopia, on which Geuss does a useful hatchet-job. The much quoted opening sentence of Nozick’s book reads: ‘Individuals have rights and there are things no one can do to them ...

The kind of dog he likes

W.G. Runciman: Realistic Utopias, 18 December 2014

Justice for Earthlings: Essays in Political Philosophy 
by David Miller.
Cambridge, 254 pp., £18.99, January 2013, 978 1 107 61375 1
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... all as Augustinian as one another. If Cohen’s utopia is unrealistic, so at the opposite pole is Robert Nozick’s in his Anarchy, State and Utopia, where overriding priority is given to individual liberty, and social justice is a matter entirely of process rather than outcome. But such a society would easily give rise to inequalities which nobody on ...

Get over it!

Corey Robin: Antonin Scalia, 10 June 2010

American Original: The Life and Constitution of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia 
by Joan Biskupic.
Farrar, Straus, 434 pp., $28, November 2009, 978 0 374 20289 7
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... generation of constitutional scholars looked to philosophy – Rawls, Hart, occasionally Nozick, Marx or Nietzsche – to interpret the constitution, today’s looks to history, to the moment when a word or passage became part of the text and acquired its meaning. Not only on the right. Bruce Ackerman, Akhil Amar and Jack Balkin are just three of the ...

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