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Cover image for The evolution of rights in liberal theory
Title:
The evolution of rights in liberal theory
Author:
Shapiro, Ian.
ISBN:
9780521320436

9780521338530
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Cambridge [Cambridgeshire] ; New York : Cambridge University Press, 1986.
Physical Description:
x, 326 p. ; 24 cm.
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Book BILKUTUP0009590 JC571 .S45 1986 Central Campus Library
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Summary

Summary

In this book Ian Shapiro offers a systematic comparative evaluation of the writings of contemporary liberal rights theorists and those of their seventeenth-century predecessors. He shows how contemporary arguments about rights and justice evolved out of the contractarian tradition of the seventeenth century but he argues that they are lethal mutation of that tradition. Some of the deepest difficulties of contemporary rights theories derive from the appropriation of parts of the older tradition without the unifying assumptions about knowledge and science that gave the seventeenth-century arguments their underlying coherence. Those assumptions are no longer available to us, making it impossible for us to return to the internally more consistent philosophies of the liberal past. Shapiro draws out the implications of his analysis for current disputes within liberalism between rights theorists and utilitarians and for disputes between liberals and communitarians, arguing that the communitarian critics of liberalism are in danger of incorporating its most serious weaknesses.


Table of Contents

Acknowledgements
Part I Introduction
1 Anatomy of an ideology
Part II The early arguments
2 The transitional moment
3 The classical moment
Part III The modern arguments
4 The neo-classical moment
5 The Keynesian moment
Part IV Conclusion
6 The liberal ideology of individual rights
Bibliography
Index
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