This article examines the bases and limits to the right to liberty of expression. Both the extreme libertarian and the orthodox liberal views are rejected. Against them, It is argued that the right to liberty is to be defended both as a prima facie intrinsic moral right derivative from man's autonomy and as a conditional right deriving from man's right to access to intrinsic goods including knowledge, True belief, Self-Development. The rights so derived are not absolute rights, But rights to (...) be limited by concern for justice, Other rights, Morality, Knowledge and true belief, And morality. (shrink)
In Section I, the purely conceptual issue as to whether animals other than human beings, all or some, may possess rights is examined. This is approached via a consideration of the concept of a moral right, and by way of examining the claims of sentience, consciousness, capacities for pleasure and pain, having desires, possessing interests, self-consciousness, rationality in various senses. It is argued that only beings possessed actually or potentially of the capacity to be morally self-determining can be possessors of (...) rights. In Section II, normative questions concerning the rights animals might possess if they were to be capable of possessing rights are discussed. The approach followed is that of considering the kinds of argument advanced in support of human rights, and whether these arguments, and the rights they are claimed to establish, are transferable to animals, and whether there are or might be specifically animal rights. In Section III the question of what is or could be the goal of one who recognizes and seeks to respect all rights, animal and human, is raised. In particular, the issue as to whether a goal of maximizing the satisfaction of rights could remain a coherent one if animal rights are acknowledged, is explored. (shrink)
The first section restates and elaborates on my argument in "rights," "philosophical quarterly", 1965, Arguing that rights are not explicable as claims, Powers, Expectations, Liberties. Equally, Statements about rights, Often being logically prior to such statements, Are not reducible to such statements. In section two, This claim is supported by reference to distinctions it is vital to draw between rights, Which do not parallel those to be drawn between kinds of duties. We need to distinguish "real" rights which may be (...) partially or completely unfulfillable, "conditional" rights which, If morally unfulfillable, Cease to be rights at all, And "prima facie" rights proper which are always rights, Basic, Ultimate, Rights, Whether or not it is physically or morally possible fully to acknowledge them. In section three, The ultimate basis of rights is examined. It is argued that for any moral right to exist, Some right(s) must be intrinsic to a possessor, And hence based on what he is and what he can become. (shrink)
The problem posed in this paper is 'Can those interferences with liberty of expression which are necessary and desirable be indicated in some simple, general way, e.g. in terms of some principle or principles of the kinds with which J. S. Mill sought to delimit the interferences with freedom of action?' It is argued that although J. S. Mill sought to defend 'the fullest freedom of expression', he in fact allowed important interferences of kinds which render the formulation of a (...) principle covering them difficult. Further, it is maintained that the important liberal arguments advanced by the great exponents of liberalism are such that they admit as being necessary, legitimate, and desirable, a wide range and variety of interferences, where these interferences are such that they must be determined in the light of the facts in the concrete situation and not on the basis of some general principle. (shrink)
Although the view that punishment is to be justified on utilitarian grounds has obvious appeal, an examination of utilitarianism reveals that, consistently and accurately interpreted, it dictates unjust punishments which are unacceptable to the common moral consciousness. In this rule?utilitarianism is no more satisfactory than is act?utilitarianism. Although the production of the greatest good, or the greatest happiness, of the greatest number is obviously a relevant consideration when determining which punishments may properly be inflicted, the question as to which punishment (...) is just is a distinct and more basic question and one which must be answered before we can determine which punishments are morally permissible. That a retributivist theory, which is a particular application of a general principle of justice, can account more satisfactorily for our notion of justice in punishment is a positive reason in its support. (shrink)
IT IS ARGUED THAT LINGUISTIC ANALYSIS DOES NOT DEAL WITH\nTHE PROBLEM OF UNIVERSALS IN A SATISFACTORY WAY. THE\nCONTRIBUTIONS OF RYLE, WITTGENSTEIN AND PEARS ARE\nCONSIDERED. IT IS HELD THAT THE PROBLEM OF UNIVERSALS IS A\nGENUINE METAPHYSICAL PROBLEM AND DOES NOT ADMIT OF BEING\nDISPOSED OF BY CONCEPTUAL ANALYSIS. MOREOVER, THE FAILURE\nOF ATTEMPTS BY LINGUISTIC ANALYSTS HERE MUST CAST DOUBT ON\nTHE SOUNDNESS OF THEIR BOLD ANTIMETAPHYSICAL CLAIMS. IT IS\nCONCLUDED THAT THE PROBLEM OF UNIVERSALS IS NOT PRIMARILY\nONE OF NAMING, BUT RATHER OF RESEMBLANCES. (STAFF).
The concept of prima facie duty is deemed important by ross and the author. The author thinks ross and others have not elucidated the concept and the relation between prima facie and 'absolute' duty. He concludes that "we must explain the obligatoriness of absolute duties in terms of prima facie duties, As being derived from them, And not vice versa, As ross attempted." (staff).