Human Rights and Human Liberties: A Radical Reconsideration of the American Political Tradition

By Tibor R. Machan | Go to book overview
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Notes to Chapter 7
1. Russell is known for his fervent political activism regarding twentieth-century political events. Both he and Jean-Paul Sartre participated in the unofficial war tribunal against the United States' involvement in Vietnam. Yet Russell's philosophy has no room for objectivity in ethics or politics, just as Sartre proclaimed himself an avowed subjectivist in ethics.
2. D. W. Hamlyn, The Theory of Knowledge ( Garden City, N. Y.: Anchor Books, 1969), p. 49.
3. Throughout this discussion I am drawing on what I have learned from such philosophers as Rand, Cavell, Austin, Wittgenstein, Veatch, Toulmin, Madden, Harreet al. I would not guarantee that any of these can fully agree to my position.
4. In the theory of definition I am indicating a modified Aristotelianism advanced by Rand, Veatch, Madden and Harre, cited elsewhere in this work.
5. Barry Stroud, "Wittgenstein and Logical Necessity," in George Pitcher, Wittgenstein ( Garden City, N. Y.: Anchor Books, 1969), p. 496.
6. Ayn Rand, Introduction to Objectivist Epistemology ( New York: Objectivist, 1970), pp. 45, 48-49. Unfortunately Rand's views are rarely discussed by contemporary philosophers. Those who consider her worthy of serious consideration generally meet with disdain, mainly, one may suppose, in view of her unabashed support of laissez-faire capitalism and the American political tradition. Neither conservatives, who find her rationalism and atheism bothersome, nor liberals, who despise her political philosophy almost in toto, have elected to discuss her ideas in a way they would never hesitate to discuss Marcuse, on the one hand, and John Stuart Mill, on the other.
7. Margaret Macdonald, "Natural Rights," in A. I. Melden(ed.), Human Rights ( Belmont, Calif.: Wadsworth Publishing Co., 1970), pp. 40-60.
8. Kai Nielsen, "Skepticism and Human Rights," The Monist ( October 1968) pp. 573- 594.
9. Ibid., p. 594.
10. William T. Blackstone, "Equality and Human Rights," The Monist ( October 1968) pp. 616-639. (Blackstone is still writing on human rights and his views have changed somewhat from what they are in the above paper. Nevertheless his mode of securing a justification for human rights in this paper is one crucial alternative put forth in recent times.)
11. Gregory Vlastos, "Justice and Equality," in Melden, pp. 76-95.
12. Ibid., p. 82.
13. Ibid., p. 84.
14. For a more detailed criticism of Vlastos' paper see my "Prima Facie versus Natural (Human) Rights," The Journal of Value Inquiry (forthcoming).
15. C. B. Macpherson, The Political Theory of Possessive Individualism: Hobbes and Locke ( Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1962).

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