Textbook Notes (362,879)
Canada (158,081)
Philosophy (286)
Lawson (20)

Group Rights and Oppression - Jones.docx

5 Pages
Unlock Document

Western University
Philosophy 2801F/G

GROUP RIGHTS AND GROUP OPPRESSION – PETER JONES  Has regarded the proposition that groups can hold rights with a mixture of scepticism and suspicion  Revival stemmed from a resigned acceptance that some longstanding and widely espoused rights  New worries about the fate of ethnic and cultural minorities an from doubts about whether the concern and respect due to those minorities can be adequately secured  What is fundamentally important for people relates to identities that they can possess and to practises in which they can engage only in association with others  Moral rights rather than legal rights GROUP RIGHTS AND INDIVIDUAL RIGHTS  Agreement: a right is a group right only if it is a right held by a group rather than by its members severally  A right is a group right only if it is a right held by a group  Relating a right to a characteristic that individuals share with others does not transform it into a group right  Rights can also be associated with group membership and group activity without being group rights  Rights that relate to group membership and group activity need not be group rights  If groups are accorded constitutional rights to representation qua groups, these constitutional rights must be group rights – may be grounded in the moral rights of individual citizens  Group representation may also be adjusted as a way of protecting goods to which groups are entitled only as groups  Claims of rights do not always divide themselves analytically into group rights or individual rights GROUP RIGHTS – THE COLLECTIVE CONCEPTION  Collective conception Raz subscribes to the interest theory of rights and his version of that theory has been widely adopted by others  An individual can have rights if and only if either his wellbeing is of ultimate value or he is an artificial person – for example a corporation  My interest yields a right only if it is an interest sufficiently significant to create a duty for another or others  Rights ground duties  Group can have moral rights – if those who make up the group possess a joint interest in a good that justifies the imposition of duties upon others  Any set of individuals who possess a joint interest in a good can have group rights relating to that good provided that their joint interest is sufficiently significant to create duties for others  Group rights, groups that possess rights can be sets of individuals who share nothing but an interest on a specific matter  Interrelated and interdependent interests have moral significance only as the interests of individuals  Reaume adopted a more discriminating conception of group rights by being more selective about the kind of good to which a group can have a right  Public goods might reasonably be the objects of individual rights  Hence, although a group can have a right only to a public good – a good public to the group – not all rights to public goods need be group rights  Participatory goods – goods which by their very nature must be enjoyed publicly if they are to be enjoyed at all  These goods need not be participatory or even public in all of their aspects  Only groups can have rights to participatory public goods  Understand ground rights as rights to participatory goods  Rights to participatory goods can only be group rights GROUP RIGHTS THE CORPORATE CONCEPTION  To violate a right is to wrong the holder of the right. It is to fail to do what is owed to the right holder  Moral standing is a precondition of right holding  A moral right is a moral title and only beings possessed of moral standing can possess entitlements which are sources of moral obligation for others  There need be no suggestion that a group has moral standing, that is somehow separate from and not wholly reducible to the moral standing of the several individuals who constitute the group  What distinguishes a group as a group for right holding purposes is quite different or the corporate than for the collective conception  Cultural features commonly possessed by groups – wellbeing of individuals who share in those features is generally best served by their having a collective right of self determination  A nation in so far as it bears rights is an interest group – nations have rights of self determination only because those rights serve the wellbeing of individuals  Nations merely as such do not have rights  A proponent of the corporate conception may hold that a groups interests must play a defining role in identifying its rights  Unlike the collective conception, the corporate conception need not be wedded to an interest theory of rights – without interests it is hard to see what it could be that accumulates across individuals to make the case for a collective right SIGNIFICANCE OF GROUP IDENTITY  Corporate conception must insist that a right holding group has a clear identity as a group  A group must be sufficiently well defined to enable the identification of the social entity that possess the right  Right holding groups must be identifiable as a morally significant entity independently of the interests and rights it possesses  The only relevant consideration is whether a set of individuals shares an interest which adequately grounds a right SCEPTICISM AND GROUP RIGHTS  Scepticism about group rights  It is hard to see how someone who accepts an interest theory of rights could find unacceptable the very idea that rights might be held by groups  The objection that is most commonly advanced agai
More Less

Related notes for Philosophy 2801F/G

Log In


Don't have an account?

Join OneClass

Access over 10 million pages of study
documents for 1.3 million courses.

Sign up

Join to view


By registering, I agree to the Terms and Privacy Policies
Already have an account?
Just a few more details

So we can recommend you notes for your school.

Reset Password

Please enter below the email address you registered with and we will send you a link to reset your password.

Add your courses

Get notes from the top students in your class.