By Attracta Ingram
Rights are simple development blocks of the modern kingdom, but their rigorous justification is hard. This publication presents an intensive research of this critical subject, and demanding situations the orthodox view that rights are a kind of estate declare in one's physique. Drawing at the culture of the social agreement in addition to the wealth of contemporary paintings in political idea, Ingram conceives of rights as a kind of political declare, and exhibits how they are often justified in a fashion rather fitted to the pluralistic nature of latest liberal society.
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Summary The orthodox belief that a right is a property is afﬁrmed in the idea of self-ownership, which is standardly interpreted as a libertarian principle. I have tried to show that this standard interpretation is the right one to adopt if selfownership is to be our response to the practice or the threat of proprietary political power. Thus we have a reasonably clear view of what it is we are disagreeing about when we dispute about belief in rights, or the uniqueness of selfownership as a conception of their sense.
But it seems inadequate to represent the wrong of absolute power as merely the absence of any consent by those subject to it. The reason the libertarian response to slavery and political absolutism seems too weak here is that it treats them, in the absence of consent, as offences against the right to be free when the more fundamental evil is that the master-slave relationship they illustrate makes one person the living ‘tool’ of another, a mere instrument of the master's ends. Of course slavery and political absolutism violate the right to be free (on the minimal 75 Nozick, Anarchy, State, and Utopia, 331.
It follows that the usual conception of self-ownership is but one of a number of possible interpretations of what is involved in having a property in oneself. To get a better grip on how 58 Ibid. 115. 59 The distinction between concept and conception is employed by John Rawls, A Theory of Justice, 5–11. See also Ronald Dworkin, Taking Rights Seriously, 103, 134–6, and 226. The distinction comes from H. L. A. Hart's Concept of Law, 155–9. 30 SELF-OWNERSHIP these different interpretations might be constructed we need to open up the notion of a private property right.
A Political Theory of Rights by Attracta Ingram