A System of Rights by Rex Martin

By Rex Martin

The justification of political authority is a long-standing factor of political philosophy, one that over and over defies resolution. This ebook offers an unique justification via developing a framework for facing this challenge. The version that emerges is one during which yes different types of political rights are emphasised. Martin discusses the consequences of one of these procedure for democratic associations, political allegiance, punishment, and eventually for the character of political authority.

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Morally should forbear doing B insofar as it interferes with or prevents A). If the maxim or rule, as expressed in the endorsement, is of a legal nature, then we are saying that the second party legally should do X: that that person is legally required not to do B, that he or she is legally prohibited from doing B. And so on with custom and other kinds of norms or rules. In this way, then, the conduct of others is normatively directed in each such case. '14 It should be clear, I hasten to add, that the normative direction exists here solely within the convention established for each particular right.

Suppose we take a rightholder's successfully walking on this particular path as properly exemplifying such an end (as something that is allowed or encouraged or required in that society). Now, if we adopt the perspective of practical inference here, the actions of other people toward that end—and toward that particular action—are not The Concept of Rights 37 to thwart its realization, that is, not to do so insofar as they affect the end or the action at all. Thus, the proper conduct of others, normally, would be to forbear preventing or interfering with the action of the rightholder.

A right so understood is an accredited or established way of acting. The ground of this establishment, what accredits the way of acting and what principally qualifies it as a right, is something variously described as social recognition or acknowledgment or common acceptance (in a form appropriate to the kind of right involved, and with whatever reasons and argumentation that might be deemed necessary there). This acceptance would be supported as reasonable in the minimal sense given by the notion of explanatory reasonableness.

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