By Rex Martin
The justification of political authority is a long-standing factor of political philosophy, one that over and over defies resolution. This e-book offers an unique justification by means of constructing a framework for facing this challenge. The version that emerges is one within which definite different types of political rights are emphasised. Martin discusses the results of one of these procedure for democratic associations, political allegiance, punishment, and finally for the character of political authority.
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Additional info for A System of Rights
Legal rights? Are basic moral rights compatible with utilitarianism? How are rights to be justified? What is the value of rights? Can infants have rights, can fetuses have them, or future generations, or animals? And so on. The existence of deep philosophical disagreement need not be an occasion for alarm or despair; it could, instead, point the way to a fruitful method of proceeding. Thus, a theory of the character and value of rights might be expected at the very minimum to identify certain crucial issues— where philosophers are divided—and then to sketch out the main grounds of the positions taken.
Now, if we adopt the perspective of practical inference here, the actions of other people toward that end—and toward that particular action—are not The Concept of Rights 37 to thwart its realization, that is, not to do so insofar as they affect the end or the action at all. Thus, the proper conduct of others, normally, would be to forbear preventing or interfering with the action of the rightholder. But whether others act to interfere or not, there is normative direction given to their conduct in the case at hand: they are not supposed to interfere; it is improper to do so.
And directives could be issued to others, to those who are not rightholders, and further initiatives taken on the basis of—or as part of—any such successful claim to rights status. In the present chapter I want to discuss two of these features in particular: the idea that rights can be understood as accredited ways of acting and the idea that rights always involve some sort of normative direction of the behavior of others (the so-called second parties). I will begin with the latter contention, for it represents one of the views commonly held nowadays as to the character of rights.
A System of Rights by Rex Martin