Human Rights and Human Well-Being

By William J. Talbott | Go to book overview

THIRTEEN
Liberty Rights and Privacy Rights

The principle requires liberty of tastes and pursuits; of framing the plan
of our life to suit our own character; of doing as we like, subject to such
consequences as may follow; without impediment from our fellow-
creatures, so long as what we do does not harm them even though they
should think our conduct foolish, perverse, or wrong.

—J. S. Mill

In the previous chapter, I explained the most reliable judgment standard for soft legal paternalism and gave the consequentialist rationale for employing it as a ground-level moral principle to distinguish soft (permissible) from hard (impermissible) legal paternalism. In this chapter, I specify the contours of the rights against hard legal paternalism more precisely. Also in this chapter, I consider the question of whether there are any privacy rights that should be universally protected as human rights.


The Evolution of a Liberty Right against Legal Paternalism

Perhaps the most remarkable development in U.S. Supreme Court jurisprudence since the mid-twentieth century has been the development of a constitutional right that is not to be found in the U.S. Constitution. It has taken almost 50 years for the Court to clearly articulate what kind of right it is, though they have a long way to go to fully implement it. Not only does this right not appear in the U.S. Constitution, it does not appear by name in any human rights document anywhere in the world, though many of its instances do. Though the right was first articulated as a right to privacy, it is really a liberty right against legal paternalism. In this chapter I begin by discussing the liberty right and postpone the discussion of privacy rights to the end.

Why would I think that there should be human rights against legal paternalism? There is no general right against legal paternalism recognized anywhere in the world. In the first volume (Talbott 2005) I suggested that the entire history of human rights is a history of rebellion against paternalistic rationales for oppression: the belief the that commoners needed a monarch to look after their interests; that colonials needed the colonists to look after their interests; that slaves needed a master to look after their interests; that women needed a father and then a husband to look after their interests; that people

-308-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Human Rights and Human Well-Being
Table of contents

Table of contents

Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this book
  • Bookmarks
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
/ 410

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.