Tag: Rights

PhilosophySocial Issues

A Right to Hate?

In August, French blogger Pauline Harmange published a booklet titled Moi les hommes, je les dรฉteste (Me, men, I loathe them), which caused quite a stir in France (and a little bit outside France as well). The book โ€“ supposedly โ€“ is a protest against misogyny (hatred of women), by taking up the opposite point of view of misandry (hatred of men). โ€œSupposedlyโ€, because Iโ€™m not sure exactly about the bookโ€™s arguments as it is no longer available and I have thus been unable to read it. In any case, it is not this book itself that is the topic...

On the Idea of an Unconditional (Moral) Rule

In his Foundations of the Metaphysics of Morals Kant argued that the moral law (assuming there is one) must be unconditional and universal. As part of that argument he made a famous distinction between categorical and hypothetical imperatives. Imperatives are โ€œoughtโ€ (or โ€œshouldโ€) statements, such as โ€œyou ought to tell the truthโ€. The difference between the two kinds of imperatives is that hypothetical imperatives depend on a specific kind of condition, namely a desire, while categorical imperatives are universal, unconditional, and absolute. Thus, โ€œif you want human civilization to survive the 21st century, you ought to eat the richโ€ is...
Social Issues

No, youโ€™re not entitled to your opinion

Nearly everyone seems to believe that they are entitled to their opinion, but it is not exactly clear what that means. This commonly claimed entitlement is some kind of supposed right, but neither the action it is supposed to allow, nor the duties it entails are clear. All rights imply duties. Often these are negative duties โ€“ that is, duties not to do something. For example, if you have a right to free speech, then the government has the negative duty not to arrest you for speaking your mind. And if you have a right to life, then everyone else...