A Political Theory of Rights by Attracta Ingram

By Attracta Ingram

Rights are easy development blocks of the modern kingdom, but their rigorous justification is tough. This publication presents an intensive research of this primary subject, and demanding situations the orthodox view that rights are one of those estate declare in one's physique. Drawing at the culture of the social agreement in addition to the wealth of modern paintings in political thought, Ingram conceives of rights as a kind of political declare, and indicates how they are often justified in a manner fairly suited for the pluralistic nature of latest liberal society.

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Chapter 5 endeavours to elucidate a conception of autonomy that has 43 The distinction is brought out by Brian Tierney, ‘Tuck on Rights: Some Medieval Problems’, 439. 44 The analysis of rights into the constituents of claims, liberties or privileges, powers, and immunities, is made in Wesley N. Hohfeld, Fundamental Legal Conceptions. ), Theories of Rights, 6–7. 20 INTRODUCTION sufficient moral force to be the basis of rights. A central feature of this conception is that autonomy is a matter of shaping one's life in accordance with principles that are self-imposable by all.

Both derivations have the same basic structure: they are historical entitlement theories. They seek to establish SELF-OWNERSHIP AND WORLD OWNERSHIP 47 rights historically as the outcome of unilateral individual acts. Within this type of theory there are only two ways of acquiring a valid title. The more familiar one is through transfer from someone already entitled to a holding. Transfer gives valid title provided that the title itself derives from an unbroken historical chain of titles. Clearly, transfer can operate only if there is another mode of acquiring a title in the first place.

In the free use of his faculties and the choice of the objects on which to employ them. . he may be . . ’39 And in a striking repetition H. L. A. 42 Despite the vintage and contemporary standing of the principle of self-ownership, it is, I believe, a serious error to identify right-holding with ownership. Right-holding revolves round the importance of certain moral capacities to frame and execute one's own plan of life. It is related to being in command of one's own life and so with the idea of being a master or dominus which, historically, goes with being the overlord of property.

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