The Individual and the Political Order: An Introduction to Social and Political Philosophy

By Norman E. Bowie; Robert L. Simon | Go to book overview
21
Ibid., chap. 9, sect. 131.
22
Ibid., chap 11.
23
Ibid., chap. 8, sect. 95-99.
24
See Robert Nozick Anarchy, State and Utopia, ( New York: Basic Books, 1974).
25
See Nozick, Anarchy, State and Utopia, for an important defense of the entitlement theory. We will consider his views at some length in Chap. 4 of the present work.
26
Maurice Cranston, "Human Rights, Real and Supposed," in D. D. Raphael, ed., Political Theory and the Rights of Man ( Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1967), p. 50.
27
Ibid., p. 51.
28
See Nozick, Anarchy, State and Utopia, p. 172.
29
Henry Shue, Basic Rights: Subsistence, Affluence and U.S. Foreign Policy ( Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1980), Chapter 2.
30
Ibid., pp. 37-40.
31
Some philosophers are inclined to argue that the distinction between harming and refraining from helping is of no moral significance, at least in certain contexts. See, for example, Judith Jarvis Thomson, "Rights and Deaths," Philosophy & Public Affairs 2, no. 2 ( 1973): 158-59. See also James Rachels, "Active and Passive Euthanasia," New England Journal of Medicine 292, no. 2 ( 1975): 78-80. Our point is not that the distinction lacks moral significance but that it does not apply here. If starving people have positive rights, we are harming (and not merely refraining from helping) them if we do not take at least some significant steps to alleviate their condition. This is because we, assuming we are well-off ourselves, are keeping from them what is morally theirs, i.e. what they have a right to possess. Of course, our obligations to avoid harming them is a prima facie one that may be overridden by the sorts of factor mentioned in the text, but it is a significant obligation nevertheless.
32
D.D. Raphael makes a similar point in his paper "Human Rights Old and New," in Raphael, op. cit., pp. 63-64.
33
Shue, p. 40.
34
Locke, Second Treatise of Government, chap. 2, 4.
35
Feinberg, "The Nature and Value of Rights," p. 247. See also Wasserstrom. "Rights, Human Rights and Racial Discrimination."
36
Feinberg, "The Nature and Value of Rights," p. 252.
37
For a different but related line of argument, see Alan Gewirth, Reason and Morality ( Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1978).
38
Bernard Williams, "The Idea of Equality," in Peter Laslett and W. G. Runciman, eds., Philosophy, Politics and Society, 2d series ( Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 1962) reprinted in Hugo A Bedau , ed., Justice and Equality ( Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Prentice-Hall, 1971), p. 119. For a defense of basic human equality based on appeal to equal human worth, see Gregory Vlastos, "Justice and Equality," in Richard Brandt, ed., Social Justice ( Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Prentice- Hall, 1962), pp. 31-72, as well as the argument in Wasserstrom, "Rights, Human Rights and Racial Discrimination."
39
For more fully developed versions of this sort of argument, see especially Alan Gewirth , "Categorical Consistency in Ethics," Philosophical Quarterly 19, no. 69 ( 1969), as well as his "The Justification of Egalitarian Justice," American Philosophical Quarterly 8, no. 4 ( 1971) and Reason and Morality. See also John Wilson, "Why Should Other People Be Treated as Equals?" Revue Internationale de Philosophie, no. 97 ( 1971).

SUGGESTED READINGS

Becker Lawrence. Property Rights: Philosophic Foundations. Boston: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1977.

Dworkin Ronald. Taking Rights Seriously. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1977.

-75-

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