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By Attracta Ingram

Rights are easy development blocks of the modern nation, but their rigorous justification is hard. This booklet presents a radical research of this significant subject, and demanding situations the orthodox view that rights are one of those estate declare in one's physique. Drawing at the culture of the social agreement in addition to the wealth of contemporary paintings in political concept, Ingram conceives of rights as a kind of political declare, and indicates how they are often justified in a fashion rather suited for the pluralistic nature of latest liberal society.

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49 C. B. Macpherson, ‘Human Rights as Property Rights’; Andrew Kernohan, ‘Rawls and the Collective Ownership of Natural Abilities’; John Christman, ‘Self-Ownership, Equality, and the Structure of Property Rights’. 26 SELF-OWNERSHIP notions of ownership in general and private property in particular in order to identify the concept of self-ownership. Second, the libertarian conception of private property has to be outlined and related to self-ownership. Third, the case for favouring libertarian over other possible conceptions of self-ownership has to be shown.

But, if autonomy is regarded as ordering one's life under the direction of moral principles, the relevant procedure is better seen as a social discourse in which the principles are selected on the basis of reasons that all accept. Chapter 6 examines the idea of social discourse and Chapter 7 devises a scheme of autonomy-regarding constraints on discourse. 46 The doctrine of selfownership is run through the tests that the constraints provide and is, finally, rejected. In Chapter 8 the constraints are further developed and specified as a set of principles of self-government.

In considering the first question we should not overlook the fact that self-ownership embraces the most important claim of slavery: that people can be the objects of private property rules. This is the claim which must be rebutted if slavery is to be overcome. In fact, the doctrine of self-ownership offers no challenge to slavery as such. Its target is involuntary slavery. 75 But this throws into question the major ideological justification for self-ownership—that it identifies the injustice of slavery and the like.

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