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According to Nozick there are three sets of rules of justice defining 1 how things not previously possessed by anyone may be acquired 2 how possession may be transferred from one person to another and 3 what must be done to rectify injustices arising from violations of 1 and 2 A distribution is just if it has arisen in accordance with these three sets of rules See pp 151-2 Nozick does not try to specify in detail the rules under the above three headings I shall not attempt that task here p 153 However he does give some further information on rules of acquisition see p 174ff He follows John Locke who as Nozick interprets him held that a person has a right 1 to own what he makes and 2 to appropriate anything not already owned provided he leaves enough and as good for others - ie provided his appropriation leaves them no worse off Nozick calls this the Lockean proviso It is not clear how Nozick would defend 1 against his own criticisms of Locke p 174-5 As for 2 he points out that the proviso cannot reasonably be taken to mean that there can be no worsening of others opportunities to appropriate it must mean that in other respects they are no worse off Nozick raises the question No worse than they would be how What is the baseline In Rawlss theory the representative worst-off person must be no worse off than he would be under any other possible arrangement Nozick rejects this but does not define another baseline This question of fixing a baseline needs more detailed investigation that we are able to give it here p 177 However whether or not Lockes particular theory of appropriation can be spelled out so as to handle various difficulties I assume that any adequate theory of Justice in acquisition will contain a proviso similar
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