David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
The Declaration of Independence asserts that human beings are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, including Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness. But human beings often do alienate life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Recruits serving in the armed forces, for example, have given up both liberty and the pursuit of happiness, and have placed themselves in a position also apt to call for giving up their lives. And if the Declaration charged the Crown with taking unalienable rights, how is it that the Fifth Amendment explicitly contemplates that the federal government may properly take life and liberty? Perhaps even more puzzling, if "[a]t the heart of liberty is the right to define one's own concept of existence, of meaning, of the universe, and of the mystery of human life," Planned Parenthood v. Casey, 505 U.S.833, 851 (1992), what supports the notion of natural inalienable rights at all, rights the right holder cannot alienate, however much that may be the holder's well considered desire in exercising this liberty? The present article answers these questions. Ultimately, natural inalienable rights presuppose a transcendent legal order. They presuppose this order formally, because natural inalienable rights are rights against lawless takings of the objects of those rights. More fundamentally, they presuppose a transcendent legal order materially, because they spring from theories resting upon transcendent law. Natural inalienable rights are coherent only when such a legal order is presupposed.
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library||
References found in this work BETA
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
Nedim Nomer (2010). Fichte and the Relationship Between Self-Positing and Rights. Journal of the History of Philosophy 48 (4):469-490.
Gary B. Herbert (2005). On the Misconceived Genealogy of Human Rights. Social Philosophy Today 21:17-32.
Richard Volkman (2003). Privacy as Life, Liberty, Property. Ethics and Information Technology 5 (4):199-210.
Carlos Santiago Nino (ed.) (1992). Rights. New York University Press.
Hugh V. McLachlan (2010). Moral Rights to Life, Both Natural and Non-Natural: Reflections on James Griffin's Account of Human Rights. Diametros 26:58-76.
W. J. Talbott (2010). Human Rights and Human Well-Being. Oxford University Press.
John Hasnas (2005). Toward a Theory of Empirical Natural Rights. Social Philosophy and Policy 22 (1):111-147.
Siegfried van Duffel (2013). Natural Rights to Welfare. European Journal of Philosophy 21 (4):641-664.
Terrance McConnell (1984). The Nature and Basis of Inalienable Rights. Law and Philosophy 3 (1):25 - 59.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads7 ( #185,446 of 1,101,158 )
Recent downloads (6 months)1 ( #290,630 of 1,101,158 )
How can I increase my downloads?