Gewirth: action and agency

Lynn Dobson

in Supranational Citizenship

Published by Manchester University Press

Published in print May 2012 | ISBN: 9780719069529
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9781781702154 | DOI:
Gewirth: action and agency

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Chapter 4 presents an analytical introductory overview of the universalistic rights-based theory of action of Alan Gewirth's Reason and Morality, drawing out its focus on action and agency, its basic claim that moral agents have rights to freedom and well-being, and the institutional implications that are claimed to follow. This idea of the person as an agent with rights to freedom and well-being, and, correlatively, duties in respect of others’ rights to freedom and well-being, underlies the conception of de-contextualised citizenship developed throughout Supranational Citizenship. The discussion is organised under the following headings: rights, interaction and interdependence, roles and institutions, the argument against anarchy, political freedom and democracy, welfare and social equality. It establishes that social and political institutions are inextricable elements in Gewirth's moral philosophy.

Keywords: Alan Gewirth; Reason and Morality; Freedom; Well-being; Moral agent; Political institutions; Action theory; Rights; Duties; Universalism

Chapter.  7389 words. 

Subjects: European Union

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