Quote: Robert Nozick

From the Preface of Anarchy, State, and Utopia, with elisions.

Many persons will reject our conclusions instantly, knowing they don’t want to believe anything so apparently callous toward the needs and suffering of others.  I know that reaction; it was mine when I first began to consider such views.  With reluctance, I found myself becoming convinced….  I run the risk of offending doubly: for the position expounded, and for the fact that I produce reasons to support this position.

My earlier reluctance is not present in this volume, because it has disappeared.  Over time, I have grown accustomed to the views and their consequences….

It is thought to be an objection to other views merely to point out that they conflict with the view which readers wish anyway to accept.  But a view which differs from the readers’ cannot argue for itself merely by pointing out that the received view conflicts with it!  Instead it will have to subject the received view to the greatest intellectual testing and strain, via counterarguments, scrutiny of its presuppositions, and presentation of a range of possible situations where even its proponents are uncomfortable with its consequences.

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