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Profile: Siegfried van Duffel (University of Helsinki)
  1. The Dependence of Libertarianism On.Siegfried van Duffel - 2009 - Critical Review 21 (1):117-124.
    G. E. Morton’s attempt to defend libertarianism against my claim that it relies on an implausible secularization of ideas of divine sovereignty fails. It is not true that morality itself entails human sovereignty, as witnessed by the moral theories of theological voluntarists and of consequentialists. Nor is it true that sovereignty can be conceptually transferred from God to equal human individuals, since they would have no legitimate way to legislate over each other short of a unanimous “general will.” Nor, finally, (...)
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  2.  48
    The Nature of Rights Debate Rests on a Mistake.Siegfried Van Duffel - 2012 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 93 (1):104-123.
    The recent debate over the nature of rights has been dominated by two rival theories of rights. Proponents of the Will Theory of rights hold that individual freedom, autonomy, control, or sovereignty are somehow to be fundamental to the concept of a right, while proponents of the Interest Theory argue that rights rather protect people's welfare. Participants in this debate commonly assume the existence of a single ‘concept’ of which both theories provide competing descriptions. The aim of this article is (...)
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  3.  85
    Libertarian Natural Rights.Siegfried van Duffel - 2004 - Critical Review 16 (4):353-375.
    Non-consequentialist libertarianism usually revolves around the claim that there are only “negative,” not “positive,” rights. Libertarian nega- tive-rights theories are so patently problematic, though, that it seems that there is a more fundamental notion at work. Some libertarians think this basic idea is freedom or liberty; others, that it is self-ownership. Neither approach is satis- factory.
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  4. Natural Rights to Welfare.Siegfried van Duffel - 2013 - European Journal of Philosophy 21 (4):641-664.
    : Many people have lamented the proliferation of human rights claims. The cure for this problem, it may be thought, would be to develop a theory that can distinguish ‘real’ from ‘supposed’ human rights. I argue, however, that the proliferation of human rights mirrors a deep problem in human rights theory itself. Contemporary theories of natural rights to welfare are historical descendants from a theory of rights to subsistence which was developed in twelfth-century Europe. According to this theory, each human (...)
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  5. The Nature of Rights.Siegfried van Duffel - manuscript
    The debate between the 'Will Theory' and the 'Interest Theory' of rights is actually a debate over stipulative definitions. I argue how this could have happened, and suggest how we might proceed building a theory of rights.
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  6.  89
    Natural Rights and Individual Sovereignty.Siegfried Van Duffel - 2004 - Journal of Political Philosophy 12 (2):147–162.
    TO assert that one should come to terms with the past if one wants to understand the present would be to underline the obvious. And yet, even though we know much more of the history of natural rights theories now, especially of the origin of these theories before the seventeenth century, than we did, say, twenty years ago, this increase in knowledge seems to have had little impact on contemporary philosophical discussions about the nature of rights. Sometimes it seems that (...)
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  7.  91
    Getting Rights Right.Siegfried Van Duffel - manuscript
    In the first part of the paper, van Duffel argues, persuasively, why rights cannot be based (as some libertarians have tried to base them) on the notion of freedom. These arguments are not original; Friedman2 and Cohen3, among others, have articulated them at length. The obvious problem is that rights, while they enhance the freedom of their holders, restrict the freedom of others. Thus, if I own an automobile, then my freedom is arguably increased by the unrestricted use my property (...)
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  8.  27
    How To Study Human Rights and Culture (...Without Becoming a Relativist).Siegfried Van Duffel - 2004 - Philosophy in the Contemporary World 11 (2):1-6.
    Arguing for the existence of a non-trivial link between culture and human rights does not commit the author to relativism or a simplistic notion of culture.
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  9.  20
    Distributive Justice Before the Eighteenth Century: The Right of Necessity.Siegfried Van Duffel & Dennis Yap - 2011 - History of Political Thought 32 (3):449-464.
    Until recently, few people would have doubted that the idea of distributive justice is old, indeed ancient. Several authors have now challenged this assumption. Most prominently, Samuel Fleischacker argued that distributive justice originates in the eighteenth century. If accurate, this would upset much of what we have taken for granted about an important part of the history of Western political thought. However, the thesis is manifestly flawed; and since it has already proven influential, it is important to set the record (...)
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  10. From Objective Right to Subjective Rights: The Franciscans and the Interest and Will Conceptions of Rights.Siegfried van Duffel - 2010 - In Virpi Mäkinen (ed.), The Nature of Rights: Moral and Political Aspects of Rights in Late Medieval and Early Modern Philosophy. The Philosophical Society of Finland.
  11.  20
    In Defence of the Will Theory of Rights.Siegfried Van Duffel - 2012 - Res Publica 18 (4):321-331.
    Nicholas Vrousalis has aimed to recast an old objection to the will theory of rights by focusing on Hillel Steiner’s version of that theory. He has argued that Will Theory must either be insensitive to the (values of the) lives of the unempowerable, or be incomplete, because it has no argumentative resources within its conceptual apparatus to ascribe or justify restrictions on the amount of discretion exercised by legal officials. I show that both charges are problematic. They rely on some (...)
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  12.  6
    The Dependence of Libertarianism on the Notion of Sovereignty: Rejoinder to Morton.Siegfried Van Duffel - 2009 - Critical Review 21 (1):117-124.
    G. E. Morton tries to defend libertarianism against my claim that it relies on an implausible secularization of ideas of divine sovereignty. But it is not true, as he claims, that morality itself entails human sovereignty: witness the moral theories of divine‐command theorists and philosophical consequentialists. Nor is it true that sovereignty can be conceptually transferred from God to equal human individuals, since they would have no legitimate way to legislate over each other, short of a unanimous “general will.” Nor, (...)
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  13.  2
    The Dependence of Libertarianism on the Notion of Sovereignty.Siegfried Van Duffel - 2008 - Critical Review 20 (3-4).
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  14. Een kritische inleiding tot libertarisme.Siegfried van Duffel - 2007 - Algemeen Nederlands Tijdschrift voor Wijsbegeerte 99 (1).
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  15. Sovereignty as a Religious Concept.Siegfried Van Duffel - 2007 - The Monist 90 (1):126-143.
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