2011年5月2日 星期一

Summaries of the Introduction of rights Ch2.

Summaries of The Introduction to Rights


Ch. 2: The Rights of Man: The Enlightenment

Introduction:

The spreading of the conception of rights is to be sure in the periods of the era of the enlightenment, which began roughly from the early seventeenth century to the end of the eighteenth. In this period, a subjective conception of rights is significant of the rights talk, which was the inclination coming from the Dominicans’ reply to the communism of Franciscans. Therefore, the subjective conception of rights is a not inevitable tendency, but shows the political, legal, and moral theory in the Enlightenment period. Grotius is one of the outstanding thinkers.

Hugo Grotius:

Grotius was a Dutch lawyer who was interested in establishing international laws. He believed that humans are social nature creatures, which are exhibited from the behaviors of living together, confronting each other, and generating justice or mere sympathy. In the context of the subjective rights talking, Grotius adjust his thoughts of social nature with the subjective rights. He thought rights are not limited to property, but extended to all actions that ones behave. Based on the social nature tendency, Grotius thus considered rights are known as three categories, which are: (1) by a vivid sort of quasi-sensory perception; (2) by a purely intellectual power akin to logical and mathematical reasoning, and (3) by the consensus of testimony in varied places and times.[1] Following of his thoughts about social nature, he did not think that rights are the concept to limit the authority of sovereign. On the other hand, he thought people can dominate all their social behaviors as long as they follow their natural liberty. Thus, Grotius held a surprising statement in the seventeenth century as well as nowadays, he said: To every man it is permitted to enslave himself to anyone he pleases for private ownership...[2] Because he thought the natural sociability and presuming good of right-holders are the top priorities.
Therefore, the author described Grotius as a pluralist about values, who thought governments are composed by the diverse persons with the diverse views of good life. Though Grotius thought himself was pacific and conservative, his conception of rights provoke a revolutionary challenge to later thinkers. The three great innovations of Grotius are: (1) to regard justice as a matter of respecting and exercising individual rights; (2) to separate the study of rights from theology; and (3) to turn political philosophy away from the quest for the ideal form of government by admitting the possibility of different, equal legitimate forms, derived from different people's exercise of rights in differing circumstances.[3]

John Locke
Locke was a physician full of interests with philosophy, and his political philosophy was based on his Catholics context, while he returned to England after the Glorious Revolution. His political assertions refute the arguments favoring absolute monarchy which were proclaimed by both Robert Filmer and Thomas Hobbes. He followed the idea of “a state of nature” delivered by Hobbes. For Hobbes, the state of nature means that individuals had their rights to achieve their survival. However, Locke's state of nature is different. He thought that the state of nature of individuals founds on the standards with no harming others while preserving their rights. He believed that everyone has a natural right to private property, which was accessed by leaving labours. And these properties were the natural rights to “life, liberty, and estate.” Based on the thoughts of Hobbes but not totally the same, Locke didn't see the state of nature as a state of war against each other. Additionally, the ideas of natural rights as properties restrict the governments to extend their political power. No one(even the governments) can put out any others' estate without their consents, and those who gave their consents only gave it to the majority rather than a tyranny. The natural rights, for Locke, would be realized by a justified government which was not an anarchy nor a tyranny, a government reforming just like the Glorious Revolution he had experienced.


[1] William A. Edmundson, An Introduction to Rights. (Cambridge, Cambridge University press, 2004), 19.
[2] Ibid, 19.
[3] Ibid, 20.

1 則留言:

  1. 偷懶一下,直接放英文版的。

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