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By Rex Martin

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

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Extra resources for A System of Rights

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Thus, the second party, in the case of a liberty right, can claim no duty of the rightholder not to do that action respecting which the holder is said to have a liberty. One of Hohfeld's classic illustrations of a liberty so conceived is the right of someone to eat a salad. Here the others at the table can call on no duty of the rightholder not to eat it. Presumably, they would be unjustified, then, in simply restraining the eligible eater from proceeding in due course to eat the salad, or in otherwise making that eating physically impossible.

Thus, on this point in particular the fence maker might say that there are other ways to get to the pond and this path should not be taken because it cannot be used without fouling the water supply or trampling the berry patches of some of the people. Such contentions would, no doubt, multiply our difficulty in determining whether a right existed or whether it should be exercised. But it is important 28 The Concept of Rights to see that the line of connection between an accredited way of acting and the notion of explanatory reasonableness is not a direct one.

Thus, I would want to suggest that the central intuitions in my account would be preserved intact throughout the elaboration of a theory of rights. A right is to something which is both determinate and distributable. An identical or, at least, a similar capacity respecting that thing, as specified in the right, is assigned to every person who can relevantly be said to be a rightholder; in this regard, all rights are individuated. A right so understood is an accredited or established way of acting.

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