W1L2 - Jones.doc

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JULY 11 W1L2 GROUP RIGHTS
THESIS
there are two theories of group rights - collective and corporate
these theories accord moral status and freedoms to individuals differently, in these
specific ways
each theory raises different worries about group rights
WHAT ARE GROUP RIGHTS
Grs are identified by the folder and not the content
they are: rights that are held by a group qua group
they are not: individual rights held by many different people, simply counted together
shared rights do not equal group rights. shared rights are not the same thing as group
rights
SOURCES OF CONFUSION
rights that relate to a characteristic that individuals share with others - we all share a
right to be in this class
rights can be associated with group membership or activity without being group rights,
as "who is the holder of the right"
relation of group and individual rights: - individual moral rights can justify group politi-
cal rights (legislative rep) - group moral rights can justify individual political rights (fishing
rights)
the boundary between group and individual rights is fuzzy, moral rather than ontologi-
cal reasons may decide
COLLECTIVE THEORIES OF GR
based on interest theories of rights
rights protect interests of holders
holders are groups of people who well-being is of ultimate value or are artificial people
the interest or well being at stake must be important enough to generate a duty for ad-
dressees (homework vs bodily integrity
rights ground duties
INTERESTS ARE THE BASIS OF GROUP RIGHTS
interest must be sufficient to generate duties(shared interests do not necessarily gen-
erate group rights)
interest must be in a public good (non rivalrous, non-excludable)
interests are of individuals as group members
the interest of any one group member is not enough to generate the right
individual interests combine to generate a group right claim
interests might be ones an individual can hold alone
interests might be ones an individual can only hold with the right kind of other people
BUT individuals interests ground group rights - only individual interests have moral sig-
nificance
the group itself has no moral standing apart from the individuals interest
COLLECTIVE THEORIES OF GROUP RIGHTS
any set of individuals that has a common interest may possess a right qua group - the
interest can constitute a group
the relevant common interest can be a shared interest in one matter only
no more is required for them to bear a group right than that their interests, taken col-
lectively, are sufficiently weight (numbers matter)
to have a group right in this case, all that matters that there are enough of us in two
ways, numbers of us, amount of us that share a common interest in one matter only
OBJECTION - TOO GENEROUS
Reaume: too many group rights are accepted
Response: limit the object of group rights
How? group rights are not to all public goods, they are to participatory public goods
only - they are always rights to public goods, but public goods are not all the same
participatory goods: can only be enjoyed with others (cycling vs. parties)
participatory goods are things that can only be enjoyed with other people, games etc.
EVALUATE THE OBJECTION
Reaune;s distinction is right, but she accepts that individual interests ground group
rights
individuals have interests in both public and participatory goods
arbitrary to insist only one kind of interest counts without good reason
no good reason is offered
restriction to participatory goods fails
as long as participatory goods exist, they argument stands as valid
CORPORATE THEORIES OF GROUP RIGHTS
what kind of groups can hold rights? - only groups that should have moral standing
these groups already exist for this theory
groups should have moral standing if
- we can wrong the group (its not just individual members)
- we can have duties toward the group (not just about it)
- notice, if these criteria obtain, the group has an interest qua group
notice: group moral standing is irreducible, duties ground rights
groups must have both identity and moral status prior to having a right
- group not individual interests matter
- a group must exist to have an interest
- for the interest to matter the group must have moral status
duties ground rights
OBJECTION - IDENTIFICATION
to hold a group right the group must have a clear identity, independantly and in ad-
vance of its interests and rights but
how do we identify the relevant group
- groups may subsume or be subsumed by the other groups
- groups may contain internal dissent
- analogy to individuals
might collective and corporate theories posit different kinds of group rights
not always - self determination - but sometimes collective: clean air, coastal defense,
community health safe guards
corporate: cultural survival and some property rights
EXERCISE
form 5 groups. groups will be assigned to collctive or corporate theories, or will be
judges
groups assigned a theory will either defend or critique it. Judges will compare and con-
tast the theories
Groups will present findings in a debate - you must hand in your notes