In accordance with environmental injustice, sometimes called environmental racism, minority communities are disproportionately subjected to a higher level of environmental risk than other segments of society. Growing concern over unequal environmental risk and mounting evidence of both racial and economic injustices have led to a grass-roots civilrights campaign called the environmental justice movement. The environmental ethics aspects of environmental injustice challenge narrow utilitarian views and promote Kantian rights and obligations. Nevertheless, an environmentaljustice value exists in all (...) ethical world views, although it involves a concept of equitable distribution of environmental protection that has been lacking in environmental ethics discussion. (shrink)
The Supreme Court dismissed the Pornography/CivilRights Ordinance as an unconstitutional restriction of speech. The Court's dismissal itself violates the free speech of the proposers of the Ordinance. It is not possible for both pornographers to perform the speech act of making pornography and feminists to perform the speech act of proposing the Ordinance. I show that the speech act of proposing the Ordinance takes First Amendment precedence over the speech act of making pornography.
The effects of the late civil strife have been to free the slave and make him a citizen. Yet he is not possessed of the civilrights which citizenship should carry with it. This is wrong, and should be corrected. To this correction I stand committed, so far as Executive influence can avail.
The present paper aims at addressing a crucial legal conflict in the information society: i.e., the conflict between security and civilrights, which calls for a “fine and ethical balance”. Our purpose is to understand, from the legal theory viewpoint, how a fine ethical balance can be conceived and what the conditions for this balance to be possible are. This requires us to enter in a four-stage examination, by asking: (1) What types of conflict may be dealt with (...) by means of balancing? (2) What is meant by balancing? Is it a metaphor that hides and dissimulates discretionary powers and subjective decisions or a rational instrument that helps us cope with conflicts between fundamental values and interests? (3) What models of balancing are available to us? Are these models irreducible to each other? What can provide us with a common understanding of different models of balancing? (4) How can the crucial issues of rational controllability, predictability, and homogeneity of legal decisions be dealt with? Our paper will try to answer those questions by trying to reconstruct the act of balancing in terms of a rational legal reasoning, which relies upon information. In fact, every judicial decision contains some information that is delivered to the legal system: that information may serve as the basis for future evaluations, decisions, and actions, and thus influence the way we recognize and hence we protect our values, interests, and rights. In this perspective, our examination will attempt to understand those questions in informational terms. This informational treatment can provide us with a more universalistic understanding of those issues and offer us a novel way to conceptually deal with them. To this aim, we will avail yourself of Luciano Floridi’s philosophy of information: notably, we believe his constructionist conception of epistemology is crucial, based on the Maker’s Knowledge approach and his solution of the upgrading problem (i.e., from information to knowledge) in terms of a network theory of account. The informational approach will help us having a better understanding of the balance between competing interests. (shrink)
Jesus Christ may be regarded as the chief spirit of agitation and innovation. He himself declared, “I come not to bring peace, but a sword.” One cannot delve seriously into the centuries of activism and scholarship against racism, Jim Crowism, and the terrorism of lynching without encountering the legacies of Timothy Thomas Fortune and Ida B. Wells-Barnett. Black scholars from the 19th century to the present have been inspired by the sociological and economic works of Fortune and Wells. Scholars of (...) American philosophy, however, continue to ignore their writings, their theoretical contributions and their ethical aspirations, preferring instead the insipid declarations of white turn of the century .. (shrink)
This comprehensive study of Aristotle's Politics argues that nature, justice, and rights are central to Aristotle's political thought. Miller challenges the widely held view that the concept of rights is alien to Aristotle's thought, and presents evidence for talk of rights in Aristotle's writings. He argues further that Aristotle's theory of justice supports claims of individual rights that are political and based in nature.
Contemporary liberal thinkers commonly suppose that there is something in principle unjust about the legal prohibition of putatively victimless crimes. Here Robert P. George defends the traditional justification of morals legislation against criticisms advanced by leading liberal theorists. He argues that such legislation can play a legitimate role in maintaining a moral environment conducive to virtue and inhospitable to at least some forms of vice. Among the liberal critics of morals legislation whose views George considers are Ronald Dworkin, Jeremy Waldron, (...) David A.J. Richards, and Joseph Raz. He also considers the influential modern justification for morals legislation offered by Patrick Devlin as an alternative to the traditional approach. George closes with a sketch of a "pluralistic perfectionist" theory of civil liberties and public morality, showing that it is fully compatible with a defense of morals legislation. Making Men Moral will interest legal scholars and political theorists as well as theologians and philosophers focusing on questions of social justice and political morality. (shrink)
Rights have become,in recent years, a significant concern of legal theorists, as well as of those involved in moral and political philosophy. This new book seeks to move a number of debates forward by developing the analysis of rights and focusing upon more general theoretical considerations relating to rights. The book is divided into five parts. The first includes an explanation of the part played by conceptual analysis within jurisprudence, while the second conducts a re-examination of Hohfeld’s (...) analysis of rights. This part deals with the arguments advanced by a number of modern theorists including Hart, White and MacCormick. The third part contains the author’s own framework for discussing rights, including examples drawn from tort, constitutional law and international law, together with an analysis of Unger’s theory of rights. Part four centres on the perceived conflict between Dworkin, Rawls and Nozick as the defenders of a rights approach, and Bentham as the champion of utilitarianism and concludes that neither deals with the fundamental concerns of morality on which their theories are based. The fifth part consists of a conclusion which reflects on the key themes and considers the role of rights within general theory. For students, particularly helpful features of the book are the overt consideration of jurisprudential methodology and the opportunity to examine a number of key theorists linked by their divergent views on the subject of rights. (shrink)
This book looks at the civil justice system - the courts and what they do; legal aid and other methods of providing access to justice; lawyers and their conduct; and the role of legal procedure. It also looks at the impact the civil justice system has on wider society, and its relationship with economics and commercial development. The book is largely focussed on Britain, but includes material from the USA, the Indian sub-continent, south-east Asia, and Aboriginal society in (...) Australia. (shrink)
In March 1993, in preparation for the United Nations World Conference on Human Rights, representatives from the states of Asia gathered in Bangkok to formulate their position on this emotive issue. The result of their discussions was the Bangkok declaration. They accepted the concept of universal standards in human rights, but declared that these standards could not overridet he unique Asian regional and cultural differences, the requirements of economic development, nor the privileges of sovereignty. : The difficult and (...) powerful dichotomies raised in Bangkok, and their particular relevance to China, are explored in the ten essays contained in this book. The underlying political, cultural, philosophical, legal and economic issues which cut across the human rights spectrum are also considered. The writiers themselves are Chinese and Hong Kong scholars, or leading political figures who are involved in the current human rights debate. The ultimate goal of the book is not to resolve the issues raised in Bangkok, but to expose some contours of discussion in a way that is fresh and accessible. (shrink)
This collection of essays forms a lively debate over the fundamental characteristics of legal and moral rights. The essays examine whether rights fundamentally protect individuals' interests or whether they instead fundamentally enable individuals to make choices.
This study assesses the extent to which job application forms violate the New Zealand Human Rights Act. The sample for the study includes 229 job application forms, collected from a variety of large and small, public- and private-sector organizations that together employ approximately 200,000 workers. Two hundred and four or 88% of the job application forms contain at least one violation of the Act. One hundred and sixty five or 72% contain two or more and 140 or 61% contain (...) three or more violations. The most common violations concern age, gender, nationality, and disability. The least common concern political opinion, ethical belief, religious belief, and sexual orientation. Despite widespread violations, many forms do have non-discriminatory questions that yield the same kind of useful information as discriminatory questions. Employers could incorporate these into their job application forms to bring themselves into compliance with the law. The same lessons also generally apply to North American employers, given the high degree of comparability between American, Canadian, and New Zealand anti-discrimination laws. (shrink)
In my 1990 work – Marxism, Morality, and Social Justice – I argued for four modifications of Rawls’s principles of social justice and rendered a modified version of his theory in four principles, the first of which is the Basic Rights Principle demanding the protection of people’s security and subsistence rights. In both his Political Liberalism (1993) and Justice as Fairness (2001) Rawls explicitly refers to my version of his theory, clearly accepting three of my four proposed modifications (...) but rejecting the fourth -- the demand for social and economic (in addition to political) democracy – on grounds that it automatically justifies socialism as opposed to capitalism. I argue, contrary to Rawls, that it is not true that this demand automatically picks (democratic) socialism as the preferable socioeconomic/political system and that a Social and Economic Democracy Principle demanding workplace and neighborhood democracy is officially neutral between these two systems … although plausible empirical assumptions may, indeed, favor the former. I then reprise my second version of Rawls’s theory of social justice which is composed of the following principles arranged in a very strong order of priority (if not quite a lexical order): (1) Basic Rights Principle, (2) Equal Basic Liberties Principle, (3) Fair Equality of Opportunity Principle, (4) Modified Difference Principle, and (5) Social and Economic Democracy Principle. (shrink)
Introduction: where do our rights come from? -- Jefferson's masterpiece: the Declaration of Independence -- Get off my land : the right to own property -- Names will never hurt me : the freedom of speech -- I left my rights in San Franscisco : the freedom of association -- You can leave any time you want: the freedom to travel -- You can leave me alone : the right to privacy -- That flesh is mine : you (...) own your body -- Sticks and stones will break my bones : the right to self-defense -- You'll hear from me : the right to petition the government for redress of grievances -- War . . .war . . .what is it good for? : the right to enjoy peace -- When the devil turns round on you : the right to fairness from the government -- A dime isn't worth a penny anymore : the right to sound money -- Theft by any other name : the right to spend your own money -- A ride on Dr. Feinberg's bus : the right to be governed by laws with moral limits -- Disobeying stupidity : the right to ignore the state -- Conclusion. (shrink)
Richard Price (1723-1791) was an eminent Welsh philosopher and Dissenting Minister. His political pamphlets won him considerable fame in the eighteenth century as a supporter of the American rebels in their struggle for independence, and for the enthusiasm with which he greeted the opening events of the French Revolution. It was this enthusiasm that provoked Edmund Burke into writing "Reflections on the Revolution of France." Price is noteworthy as a defender of freedom of thought (especially on religious matters), as a (...) proponent of parliamentary reform, and as an advocate of a minimalist conception of government. He espoused the doctrine of natural rights and the principle of self-government. This book is a collection of Price's most important pamphlets of the period 1759-1789, and is accompanied by a comprehensive introduction putting Price's work in context, complete bibliographical material, a chronology, and bibliographic notes on persons mentioned in the texts. (shrink)
El libro titulado “los avances del Derecho ante los avances de la medicina”, fruto de un Congreso internacional organizado por la Universidad Pontifica Comillas de Madrid en junio de 2008, recoge numerosos trabajos científicos en torno a cuatro grandes ámbitos en los que el legislador y el juzgador español están haciendo avanzar el Derecho al compás del avance en la ciencia médica: avances en la responsabilidad medica tanto civil, como patrimonial y penal; avances en la tutela de los derechos (...) de los pacientes, avances en los desafios jurídicos que plantea la investigación biomédica y avances en la seguridad de los pacientes. (shrink)
The fundamental freedoms of speech, conscience, privacy, and religion are now an essential part of the fabric of contemporary society, set down in our most basic laws and regularly invoked in our political and cultural debates. These freedoms play a vital role in securing the spaces and opportunities within which people are able to pursue their own lives in their own ways. Independence of Mind takes this accepted thought a step further, by exploring the ways in which the fundamental freedoms (...) help us to achieve something even more profound, by enabling us to arrive at beliefs, convictions and voices of our own, so that we truly come to think, believe and speak for ourselves in the rich and various ways that the freedoms then protect. Privacy grants us the distance and refuge from others necessary to develop views of our own; freedom of speech calls on us to imagine ways of expressing ourselves that are both true to the views we have developed and innovative in their own right; freedom of conscience enables each of us to create a distinctive rational personality in which to embed the convictions that we wish to treat as non-negotiable; freedom of religion allows groups of us to endorse certain beliefs as articles of faith, free from the full demands of rational scrutiny. Much has been written about the political and legal implications of the fundamental freedoms and their entrenchment in bills of rights. This is the first book to undertake a comprehensive philosophical examination of their moral bases. It offers a penetrating analysis of what makes these particular freedoms matter to us in the ways that they do, and of the true significance of their entrenchment in law. (shrink)
Cornel West's reputation as a public and celebrity intellectual has overshadowed his important contributions to philosophy. Professor Clarence Shole Johnson provides a rectification of this situation in this benchmark, thought-provoking book. After a brief biographical sketch, Johnson leads us through a comprehensive examination of West's philosophy from his conceptions of pragmatism, existentialism, Marxism, and Prophetic Christianity to his persuasive writings on black-Jewish relations, affirmative action, and the role of black intellectuals. Special focus is given to West's writings on ethics and (...) social justice, and how these inform his entire theoretical framework. Cornel West and Philosophy is a unique and indispensable guide to West's diverse philosophical writings. (shrink)
Linda Morrison brings the voices and issues of a little-known, complex social movement to the attention of sociologists, mental health professionals, and the general public. The members of this social movement work to gain voice for their own experience, to raise consciousness of injustice and inequality, to expose the darker side of psychiatry, and to promote alternatives for people in emotional distress. Talking Back to Psychiatry explores the movement's history, its complex membership, its strategies and goals, and the varied response (...) it has received from psychiatry, policy makers, and the public at large. (shrink)
The Proliferation of Rights explores how the assertion of rights has expanded dramatically since World War II. Carl Wellman illuminates for the reader the historical developments in each of the major categories of rights, including human rights, civilrights, women’s rights, patient rights, and animal rights. He concludes by assessing where this proliferation has been legitimate and helpful, cases where it has been illusory and unproductive, and alternatives to the appeal to (...)rights. (shrink)
This article considers the question of what legal rights should be possessed by those who reside and work in a democratic state without the legal authorization of the state, given the background assumption that the state is morally entitled to exclude such migrants. I argue that irregular migrants are morally entitled to a wide range of legal rights, including basic human and civilrights, but also rights to wages, workplace protections, and even rights to (...) public education for their children. In order for these rights to be realized in practice, I argue, states ought to create a firewall between those charged with protecting and enforcing these rights and those charged with enforcing immigration laws. (shrink)
Tensions exist between the disability rights movement and the work of many bioethicists. These reveal themselves in a major recent book on bioethics and genetics, From Chance to Choice: Genetics and Justice. This book defends certain genetic policies against criticisms from disability rights advocates, in part by arguing that it is possible to accept both the genetic policies and the rights of people with impairments. However, a close reading of the book reveals a series of direct moral (...) criticisms of the disability rights movement. The criticisms go beyond a defense of genetic policies from the criticisms of disability rights advocates. The disability rights movement is said not to have the same moral legitimacy as other civilrights movements, such as those for women or "racial" minorities. This paper documents, and in some cases shows the flaws within, these challenges to the disability rights movement. (shrink)
This paper asks whether statutory social insurance programs, which provide contributory tax-based income support to people with disabilities, are compatible with the disability rights movement's ideas. Central to the movement that led to the Americans with Disabilities Act is the insight that physical or mental conditions do not disable; barriers created by the environment or by social attitudes keep persons with physical or mental differences from participating in society as equals.The conflict between the civilrights approach and (...) insurance seems apparent. A person takes out insurance to deal with tragedy, such as premature death, or damage, such as accidental harm to an automobile or home. Social insurance, for example, the United States Social Security old-age and disability programs, consists of government-run insurance to cover risks of advanced age and disability for which the private market has not provided affordable coverage. But the civilrights approach to disability posits that disability is not a risk, not tragedy, and not a damage or defect. Instead it is a maladaptation of society to human variation. This paper argues that a justification remains for social insurance under the civilrights approach to disability, and further suggests that expansion of social insurance for disability is both compatible with disability rights principles and supported by wise public policy. (shrink)
IntroductionThose in mental health-related consumer movements have made clear their demands for humane treatment and basic civilrights, an end to stigma and discrimination, and a chance to participate in their own recovery. But theorizing about the politics of recognition, 'recognition rights' and epistemic justice, suggests that they also have a stake in the broad cultural meanings associated with conceptions of mental health and illness.ResultsFirst person accounts of psychiatric diagnosis and mental health care (shown here to represent (...) 'counter stories' to the powerful 'master narrative' of biomedical psychiatry), offer indications about how experiences of mental disorder might be reframed and redefined as part of efforts to acknowledge and honor recognition rights and epistemic justice. However, the task of cultural semantics is one for the entire culture, not merely consumers. These new meanings must be negotiated. When they are not the result of negotiation, group-wrought definitions risk imposing a revision no less constraining than the mis-recognizing one it aims to replace. Contested realities make this a challenging task when it comes to cultural meanings about mental disorder. Examples from mental illness memoirs about two contested realities related to psychosis are examined here: the meaninglessness of symptoms, and the role of insight into illness. They show the magnitude of the challenge involved - for consumers, practitioners, and the general public - in the reconstruction of these new meanings and realities.ConclusionTo honor recognition rights and epistemic justice acknowledgement must be made of the heterogeneity of the effects of, and of responses to, psychiatric diagnosis and care, and the extent of the challenge of the reconstructive cultural semantics involved. (shrink)
Since the original UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights1 laid out the general principles of human rights, there has been a split between what have been regarded as civil and political rights as opposed to economic, cultural and social rights. It was, in fact, the denial that both could be considered “rights” that prevented them from being included in the same covenant.2 Essentially, the argument for distinguishing the two concerns the nature of freedom. The (...) class='Hi'>civilrights to the freedoms of speech, religion, assembly, association, and so on do not specify the content of the speech, the theology of the religion or the purpose of the assembly or association. 3 Freedom in such cases is necessarily value-neutral. In leaving the choice up to the individual, these rights purposefully abstract from the content of this choice. The case is quite different for economic, cultural and social rights. All of these necessarily express values with regard to the forms of our social organization. This is because they move beyond individual choices to consider the purposes or goals of our existence together. Thus, the rights to the cultivation of a cultural identity necessarily impact more than the individuals exercising them. As collective, they affect the society as a whole. The same holds for the UN sponsored rights of a person “to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and of his family, including food, clothing, housing and medical care and necessary social services.”4 For a society to honor these rights involves specific choices with regard to its social content and collective organization. Such choices embody a particular value—in the UN’s words, that of the “social security” of the individual.5 Freedom, here, is freedom for specific social goals. Since these goals are collective, they.. (shrink)