Grounding the Rights We Have as Human Persons

Nicholas Wolterstorff and Terence Cuneo

in Understanding Liberal Democracy

Published in print September 2012 | ISBN: 9780199558957
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780191744808 | DOI:
Grounding the Rights We Have as Human Persons

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This essay supplements the account of human rights offered in "On Secular and Theistic Accounts of Human Rights" (ch. 7) with a discussion of the nature and grounding of the rights that we have qua full-fledged human persons. Attempts to ground these rights in rational autonomy, this chapter contends, fail. We need a much more rich and nuanced account of what grounds the rights of full-fledged human persons. This chapter offers a sketch of such a grounding.

Keywords: capacity for rational agency; dignity; God; Griffin; James; life-goods; Raz; Joseph; Imago Dei; Kant; personhood; rights; worth

Chapter.  11815 words. 

Subjects: Social and Political Philosophy

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