Rights, Race, and Recognition

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Overview

What is the source of rights? Rights have been grounded in divine agency, human nature, and morally justified claims, and have been used to assess the moral status of legal and customary social practices. The orthodoxy is that some of our rights are a species of unrecognized or natural rights. For example, black slaves in antebellum America were said to have such rights, and this was taken to provide a basis for establishing the immorality of slavery. Derrick Darby exposes the main shortcomings of the orthodox conception of the source of rights and proposes a radical alternative. He draws on the legacy of race and racism in the USA to argue that all rights are products of social recognition. This bold, lucid, and meticulously argued book will inspire readers to rethink the central role assigned to rights in moral, political, and legal theory as well as in everyday evaluative discourse.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"....Rights, Race and Recognition offers an engaging and stimulating exploration of meta-ethical questions regarding moral rights, and, Darby's inclusion of the use of rights discourse in struggles for racial justice gives his text a political focus and immediacy that is most welcome.... Rights, Race and Recognition offers a rich theoretical landscape to be explored, and I have no doubt that others will find it equally compelling and stimulating. The book should be of interest to all those interested in the ways in which our theorization of rights can impact our political practice to ensure and protect those rights."
Michael Monahan, Marquette University, Social Theory and Practice
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521515405
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 4/27/2009
  • Pages: 206
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

Derrick Darby is Associate Professor of Philosophy, University of Kansas.

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Table of Contents

Preface ix

Introduction 1

1 Having rights 11

2 Rights without recognition 38

3 Rights and recognition 74

4 Race and rights 109

5 What's wrong with slavery? 142

Conclusion 170

Bibliography 179

Index 187

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