By Joseph Raz
Some time past two decades Joseph Raz has consolidated his recognition as probably the most acute, artistic, and lively students at present at paintings in analytic ethical and political idea. This new number of essays types a consultant collection of his most vital contributions to a few very important debates, together with the level of political accountability and legal responsibility, and the difficulty of self-determination. He additionally examines features of the typical (and old) subject of the kin among legislation and morality. This quantity of essays, on hand in a single quantity for the 1st time, might be necessary to criminal philosophers and political theorists.
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Additional info for Ethics in the public domain: essays in the morality of law and politics
This is not really surprising. Typically the continued existence of common goods de pends on co-operative behaviour of many individuals . A right protects the interests of the right-holder, but that interest, the stake that any one indi vidual has in the existence or preservation of a common good, does not normally justify holding so many people to a duty to behave in the way which is required for its production or preservation. The value of common goods to each individual can be great. It is often greater than the value of any individual good to a person who has a right to it.
Hart, edited by P . M . S . Hacker and ]. Raz (Oxford, 1977) for some suggestions towards an analysis of duties. 4 Sometimes the point of a duty might be in the very being under a duty. But such cases are slightly paradoxical and parasitic on the normal case in which the justification of the duty is in the value of its observance. 5 See my of rights. Tbe Morality of Freedom (Oxford, 1986), ch. 7, for a defence of this general view 32 Ethics in the Public Domain 2. I N I TIAL D O U B T S Despite its flaws this argument i s to b e taken seriously.
For it is, perhaps, surprising that the contemporary orthodoxy, which gives rights pride of place over duties, also endorses the confron tational view of rights which itself provides sufficient grounds for denying them foundational status in morality. Consider one important point ovelooked in my statement of the canonical argument. While all rights are to benefits, it does not follow that it is always a benefit to have a right. Sometimes it may be better for a person not to have a right to a benefit.