In (2015)

Authors
Susan James
Birkbeck College
Abstract
In the TTP Spinoza addresses in its full complexity the question of whether a republican theorist, committed to the view that the primary goal of political life is freedom conceived as the absence of slavery or dependence on arbitrary will, has any need for the notion of a right. His answer is designed to draw us away from many of the assumptions that run through the natural law tradition. Rather than accepting that our rights are stable, located in individuals, and absolute, we should be prepared to accept that the only natural right we possess, our power to do what we can to maintain ourselves, is manifested in claims that are fluctuating, collective and come in degrees. The overriding advantage of this outlook is that it directs our attention to the practical business of politics – to the project of creating rights that will secure our freedom.
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