An Introduction to Rights
- Author: William A. Edmundson, Georgia State University
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Rights come in various types - human, moral, civil, political and legal - and claims about who has a right, and to what, are often contested. What are rights? Are they timeless and universal, or merely conventional? How are they related to other morally significant values, such as well-being, autonomy, and community? Can animals have rights? Or fetuses? Do we have a right to do as we please so long as we do not harm others? This is the only accessible and readable introduction to the history, logic, moral implications, and political tendencies of the idea of rights. It is organized chronologically and discusses important events, such as the French Revolution. As an undergraduate text it is well-suited to introductions to political philosophy, moral philosophy, and ethics. It could also be used in courses on political theory in departments of political science and government, and in courses on legal theory in law schools.Read more
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'The book is also a model text for students. The style is accessible and engaging, the analysis and arguments are sophisticated, and the text itself is clearly written and uncluttered by notes.' Journal of UtilitiesSee more reviews
'This book will be of interest to persons working in legal theory and in political philosophy in universities and colleges.' Journal of Utilities
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- Date Published: May 2006
- format: Adobe eBook Reader
- isbn: 9780511189630
- availability: This ISBN is for an eBook version which is distributed on our behalf by a third party.
Table of Contents
Part I. The First Expansionary Era:
1. The prehistory of rights
2. The rights of man: The Enlightenment
3. 'Mischievous nonsense'?
4. The nineteenth century: Consolidation and retrenchment
5. The conceptual neighborhood of rights: Wesley Newcomb Hohfeld
Part II. The Second Expansionary Era:
6. The universal declaration and a revolt against utilitarianism
7. The nature of rights: 'choice' theory and 'interest' theory
8. A right to do wrong? Two conceptions of moral rights
9. The pressure of consequentialism
10. What is interference?
11. The future of rights
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