Judith Jarvis Thomson The Realm of Rights

ISBN 13: 9780674749498

The Realm of Rights

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9780674749498: The Realm of Rights

The concept of a right is fundamental to moral, political, and legal thinking, but much of the use of that concept is selective and fragmentary: it is common merely to appeal to this or that intuitively plausible attribution of rights as needed for purposes of argument. In The Realm of Rights Judith Thomson provides a full-scale, systematic theory of human and social rights, bringing out what in general makes an attribution of a right true.

Thomson says that the question what it is to have a right precedes the question which rights we have, and she therefore begins by asking why our having rights is a morally significant fact about us. She argues that a person's having a right is reducible to a complex moral constraint: central to that constraint is that, other things being equal, the right ought to be accorded. Thomson asks what those other things are that may or may not be equal, and describes the tradeoffs that relieve us of the requirement to accord a right.

Our rights fall into two classes, those we have by virtue of being human beings and those we have by virtue of private interactions and law. Thomson argues that the first class includes rights that others not kill or harm us, but does not include rights that others meet our needs. The second class includes rights that issue from promises and consent, and Thomson shows how they are generated; she also argues that property rights issue only from a legitimate legal system, so that the second class includes them as well.

The Realm of Rights will take its place as a major effort to provide a stable foundation for our deeply held belief that we are not mere cogs in a communal machine, but are instead individuals whose private interests are entitled to respect.

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About the Author:

Judith Jarvis Thomson is Professor of Philosophy at Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

From Library Journal:

Thomson argues forcefully that rights form a basic part of morality, then sets forward the main rights that people have. Her method proceeds by the ingenious examples for which she is famous, and her cases depend on appeals to moral judgments that she deems obvious. Some philosophers attack this approach on the ground that common-sense beliefs are not enough for a proper theory, but Thomson mounts a sharp counterattack. After defending her philosophical method, she applies it to a careful definition of rights that refines the standard analysis of philosopher Wesley Hohfeld. She challenges the view that the aim of morality is to maximize value, the principal doctrine of those who reject rights. Thomson places great stress on First Property, each person's ownership of his or her own body. Second Property--ownership of things besides one's body--she maintains is largely the artifact of a society's legal system. This gracefully written book excels in pene trating analysis. Highly recommended.
-David Gordon, Bowling Green State Univ., Ohio
Copyright 1990 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Book Description HARVARD UNIVERSITY PRESS, United States, 1992. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Revised ed.. Language: English . Brand New Book ***** Print on Demand *****. The concept of a right is fundamental to moral, political, and legal thinking, but much of the use of that concept is selective and fragmentary: it is common merely to appeal to this or that intuitively plausible attribution of rights as needed for purposes of argument. In The Realm of Rights Judith Thomson provides a full-scale, systematic theory of human and social rights, bringing out what in general makes an attribution of a right true. Thomson says that the question what it is to have a right precedes the question which rights we have, and she therefore begins by asking why our having rights is a morally significant fact about us. She argues that a person s having a right is reducible to a complex moral constraint: central to that constraint is that, other things being equal, the right ought to be accorded. Thomson asks what those other things are that may or may not be equal, and describes the tradeoffs that relieve us of the requirement to accord a right. Our rights fall into two classes, those we have by virtue of being human beings and those we have by virtue of private interactions and law. Thomson argues that the first class includes rights that others not kill or harm us, but does not include rights that others meet our needs. The second class includes rights that issue from promises and consent, and Thomson shows how they are generated; she also argues that property rights issue only from a legitimate legal system, so that the second class includes them as well. The Realm of Rights will take its place as a major effort to provide a stable foundation for our deeply held belief that we are not mere cogs in a communal machine, but are instead individuals whose private interests are entitled to respect. Bookseller Inventory # APC9780674749498

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Book Description HARVARD UNIVERSITY PRESS, United States, 1992. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Revised ed.. Language: English . Brand New Book ***** Print on Demand *****.The concept of a right is fundamental to moral, political, and legal thinking, but much of the use of that concept is selective and fragmentary: it is common merely to appeal to this or that intuitively plausible attribution of rights as needed for purposes of argument. In The Realm of Rights Judith Thomson provides a full-scale, systematic theory of human and social rights, bringing out what in general makes an attribution of a right true. Thomson says that the question what it is to have a right precedes the question which rights we have, and she therefore begins by asking why our having rights is a morally significant fact about us. She argues that a person s having a right is reducible to a complex moral constraint: central to that constraint is that, other things being equal, the right ought to be accorded. Thomson asks what those other things are that may or may not be equal, and describes the tradeoffs that relieve us of the requirement to accord a right. Our rights fall into two classes, those we have by virtue of being human beings and those we have by virtue of private interactions and law. Thomson argues that the first class includes rights that others not kill or harm us, but does not include rights that others meet our needs. The second class includes rights that issue from promises and consent, and Thomson shows how they are generated; she also argues that property rights issue only from a legitimate legal system, so that the second class includes them as well. The Realm of Rights will take its place as a major effort to provide a stable foundation for our deeply held belief that we are not mere cogs in a communal machine, but are instead individuals whose private interests are entitled to respect. Bookseller Inventory # APC9780674749498

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