Civic Virtues: Rights, Citizenship, and Republican by Richard Dagger

By Richard Dagger

"The e-book is superbly written, elegantly organised and it achieves with fantastic potency the entire objectives that it units for itself. i like to recommend it warmly."--Mind "Dagger's publication makes an important contribution to our figuring out of citizenship via its transparent demonstration that nation merchandising of civic advantage is appropriate with person autonomy."--Political stories

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Additional info for Civic Virtues: Rights, Citizenship, and Republican Liberalism (Oxford Political Theory)

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We should recognize, that is, that the concept of rights has its place and its work to do, just as other concepts— autonomy and civic virtue among them—have theirs. As I shall try to show in the next chapter, it certainly has a place, complementary to civic virtue as well as to autonomy, in the theory of republican liberalism. CHAPTER 3 A Fundamental Right To believe in natural rights is to believe in nonsense, according to Jeremy Bentham. Belief in human rights "is one with belief in witches and unicorns," according to Alasdair Maclntyre.

Human beings exist, according to this argument, but human worth does not. If one accepts this view, there then seem to be only two ways to proceed. One is to take a position similar to Plato's Thrasymachus and maintain that what we think of as good or bad, right or wrong, just or unjust, is really nothing more than a matter of interest, advantage, or power. If this seems too extreme and too narrow, then one may take the other tack and argue that, in the absence of any proof of the existence of human worth, some other human property must provide the foundation for rights—some property not found in equal measure in all men, women, and children.

We can confer rights upon others only because we have a fundamental right to govern our own conduct, which is to say that special rights presuppose a natural or human right to liberty. In short, we must have a right in order to grant a right. A Fundamental Right 27 The conditional nature of Hart's argument also reveals what is at stake in disputes about the existence of human rights: not only human rights— abstract, metaphysical, and overblown as the claims of their proponents may sometimes make them seem—but all moral rights, even the petty rights we assign one another in the course of our daily lives.

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