Justice: Rights and Wrongs

Justice: Rights and Wrongs

by Nicholas Wolterstorff
     
 

ISBN-10: 0691146306

ISBN-13: 9780691146300

Pub. Date: 04/21/2010

Publisher: Princeton University Press

Wide-ranging and ambitious, Justice combines moral philosophy and Christian ethics to develop an important theory of rights and of justice as grounded in rights. Nicholas Wolterstorff discusses what it is to have a right, and he locates rights in the respect due the worth of the rights-holder. After contending that socially-conferred rights require the

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Overview

Wide-ranging and ambitious, Justice combines moral philosophy and Christian ethics to develop an important theory of rights and of justice as grounded in rights. Nicholas Wolterstorff discusses what it is to have a right, and he locates rights in the respect due the worth of the rights-holder. After contending that socially-conferred rights require the existence of natural rights, he argues that no secular account of natural human rights is successful; he offers instead a theistic account.

Wolterstorff prefaces his systematic account of justice as grounded in rights with an exploration of the common claim that rights-talk is inherently individualistic and possessive. He demonstrates that the idea of natural rights originated neither in the Enlightenment nor in the individualistic philosophy of the late Middle Ages, but was already employed by the canon lawyers of the twelfth century. He traces our intuitions about rights and justice back even further, to Hebrew and Christian scriptures. After extensively discussing justice in the Old Testament and the New, he goes on to show why ancient Greek and Roman philosophy could not serve as a framework for a theory of rights.

Connecting rights and wrongs to God's relationship with humankind, Justice not only offers a rich and compelling philosophical account of justice, but also makes an important contribution to overcoming the present-day divide between religious discourse and human rights.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780691146300
Publisher:
Princeton University Press
Publication date:
04/21/2010
Pages:
416
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.10(d)

Table of Contents

Preface vii
Introduction 1

PART I The Archeology of Rights 19

CHAPTER ONE: Two Conceptions of Justice 21
CHAPTER TWO: A Contest of Narratives 44
CHAPTER THREE: Justice in the Old Testament/Hebrew Bible 65
CHAPTER FOUR: On De-justicizing the New Testament 96
CHAPTER FIVE: Justice in the New Testament Gospels 109

PART II Fusion of Narrative with Theory: The Goods to Which We Have Rights 133
CHAPTER SIX: Locating That to Which We Have Rights 135
CHAPTER SEVEN: Why Eudaimonism Cannot Serve as Framework for a Theory of Rights 149
CHAPTER EIGHT: Augustine's Break with Eudaimonism 180
CHAPTER NINE: The Incursion of the Moral Vision of Scripture into Late Antiquity 207
CHAPTER TEN: Characterizing Life- and History-Goods 227

PART III Theory: Having a Right to a Good 239

CHAPTER ELEVEN: Accounting for Rights 241
CHAPTER TWELVE: Rights Not Grounded in Duties 264
CHAPTER THIRTEEN: Rights Grounded in Respect for Worth 285
CHAPTER FOURTEEN: The Nature and Grounding of Natural Human Rights 311
CHAPTER FIFTEEN: Is a Secular Grounding of Human Rights Possible? 323
CHAPTER SIXTEEN: A Theistic Grounding of Human Rights 342
CHAPTER SEVENTEEN: Applications and Implications 362
EPILOGUE: Concluding Reflections 385

General Index 395
Index of Scriptural References 399

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