David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Ezio Di Nucci
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Journal of Religious Ethics 37 (2):193-207 (2009)
The historical problem about the origins of the language of rights derives its importance from the conceptual problem: of "two fundamentally different ways of thinking about justice," which is basic? Is justice unitary or plural? This in turn opens up a problem about the moral status of human nature. A narrative of the origins of "rights" is an account of how and when a plural concept of justice comes to the fore, and will be based on the occurrence of definite speech-forms—the occurrence of the plural noun in the sense of "legal properties." The history of this development is currently held to begin with the twelfth-century canonists. Later significant thresholds may be found in the fourteenth, sixteenth, and eighteenth centuries. Wolterstorff's attempt to find the implicit recognition of rights in the Scriptures depends very heavily on what he takes to be implied rather than on what is stated, and at best can establish a pre- history of rights-language
|Keywords||moral ontology conceptual history singular rights multiple rights modernity justice|
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References found in this work BETA
Nicholas Wolterstorff (2010). Justice: Rights and Wrongs. Princeton University Press.
Boethius (2008). The Consolation of Philosophy. Oxford University Press.
Richard Tuck (1999). The Rights of War and Peace: Political Thought and the International Order From Grotius to Kant. Clarendon Press.
Leo Strauss (1979). Natural Right and History (Chicago, 1953). The Correspondence Between Ethical Egoists and Natural Rights Theorists is Considerable Today, as Suggested by a Comparison of My" Recent Work in Ethical Egoism," American Philosophical Quarterly 16 (2):1-15.
Citations of this work BETA
Nicholas Wolterstorff (2009). Justice as Inherent Rights: A Response to My Commentators. Journal of Religious Ethics 37 (2):261-279.
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