more from Jonathan Wolff

Single Idea 20513

[catalogued under 25. Social Practice / C. Rights / 1. Basis of Rights]

Full Idea

The theory of basic natural rights is problematic, because although the theory is rigorous and principled, the disadvantage is that we are left with nothing more fundamental to say in defence of these rights.

Gist of Idea

If natural rights are axiomatic, there is then no way we can defend them


Jonathan Wolff (An Introduction to Political Philosophy (Rev) [2006], 4 'Liberty')

Book Reference

Wolff,Jonathan: 'An Introduction to Political Philosophy (Rev)' [OUP 2006], p.115

A Reaction

This is a nice point about anything which is treated as axiomatic - even Euclid's geometry. Presumably rights can only be justified by the needs of our shared human nature.

Related Idea

Idea 20514 If rights are natural, rather than inferred, how do we know which rights we have? [Wolff,J]