Brian Leiter points out an interview with Robert Nozick from 2001. Some of Nozick’s comments in this very late interview suggest that he didn’t turn away from the libertarianism of 1974’s Anarchy, State and Utopia as sharply as the recent Slate writeup claims. However, it does illustrate a difference between Nozick, a respectable philosopher with whom I disagree, and Ayn Rand, who has intellectual rabies:
JS: You outline a series of different “levels of ethics,” as you call them, the most basic being characterized by, as you said, “voluntary cooperation for mutual benefit,” and the higher levels involving more responsiveness and caring for others and positive aid. Yet you say, and this is what seems particularly libertarian, that no society should go further than enforcing that most basic requirement of peaceful cooperation.
RN: Yes, and libertarianism never really claimed that all of ethics was exhausted by what could be enforced, by what one could legitimately be coerced to do or not do. That’s the political, interpersonal realm that libertarian principles were about, not what might be the highest ethical aspiration.
You mean the highest ethical aspiration might not be to make as much money as possible?