Rights (Central Problems of Philosophy) by Duncan Ivison

By Duncan Ivison

The language of "rights" pervades glossy social and political discourse - from prisoners' to unborn infants' - but there's deep war of words among voters, politicians and philosophers approximately simply what they suggest. Who has them? Who must have them? Who can declare them? What are the grounds upon which they are often claimed? How are they regarding different very important ethical and political values resembling group, advantage, autonomy, democracy and social justice? during this ebook, Duncan Ivison deals a special and obtainable integration of, and advent to, the heritage and philosophy of rights. He focuses specifically at the politics of rights: the truth that rights have constantly been, and may stay, deeply contested. He discusses not just the historic contexts during which a few of the prime philosophers of rights shaped their arguments, but additionally the ethical and logical matters they bring up for pondering the character of rights extra quite often. At every one step, Ivison additionally considers numerous deep criticisms of rights, together with these made through communitarian, feminist, Marxist and postmodern critics. The e-book is geared toward scholars and readers coming to those concerns for the 1st time, but additionally at extra a professional readers searching for a particular integration of heritage and concept as utilized to questions on the character of rights this day.

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Gewirth argues that the rights-bearing feature is the human capacity to act in pursuit of our chosen ends. This leads him to conclude that all human beings have a right to freedom and well-being since these are necessary conditions of such agency (Gewirth 1982: 6–7, 41–67). For Gewirth, the existence of human rights depends mainly on the existence of certain moral justificatory reasons. This means that even if human beings in the past did not claim human rights or even know whether they had them, they still had them.

2). 18). Once again he thinks that this means sometimes that extra-moral acts will be required to secure the republic, since sometimes they will be faced with extraordinary threats or circumstances, and virtu will have to be mixed with prudence. And here Machiavelli means that the people will have to possess virtu, not just their rulers. But the people, taken as a whole and individually, are not inherently good. They are not moved naturally by love of the good, or by reason. In fact, most people are selfish and narrow-minded.

The idea is that natural rights refer to certain moral relations that hold independently of the existence of any legal system, or perhaps any social or political system at all. Sometimes this is also used to restrict the class of basic rights that human beings have to a fairly narrow set, given that if they really do refer to basic capacities then the kinds of rights at issue will be relatively few and primarily “negative”. But this does not follow automatically. It all depends on how the grounds are spelled out.

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