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Self Determination - Margalit and Raz.docx

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Western University
Philosophy 2810F/G
Jennifer Epp

NATIONAL SELF DETERMINATIONMARGALIT AND RAZConcern is with the moral justification of the case for national self determinationStates and international law should recognize such a right only if there is a sound moral case for itJustification of the law rests ultimately on moral considerationsISOLATING THE ISSUEThere is a right to determine whether a certain territory shall become or remain a separate stateThe idea of self government encompasses much moreThe right to determine whether a territory should be an independent state is quite naturally regarded as the main instrument for realizing the ideal of self determinationClaims of self determination are invariably raised whenever one state invades and occupies another or a territory belonging to anotherRegardless of the soundness of ones territory one may not use force to occupy it This is why the right to recover a territory lost by force is a possessory right GROUPSGiven that the right is normally attributed to peoples or nations it is tempting to give that as the answer and concentrate on characterizing peoples or nationsThe drawbacks assumes too much and it poses problems that may not require a solutionThe groups identified may encompass peoples as well as other groups a powerful case for redrawing the boundaries of the rightIdentity is determined at least in part by their culture They possess cultural traditions that penetrate beyond a single or a few areas of human lifeWe are seeking to identify their influence on individuals who grow up in their midst is profound and far reachingTie between the individual and the collective is t the heart of the case for self determinationGroup culture affects those who grow up among its members be they members or notMembership in the group is in part a matter of mutual recognitionSome societies that the existence of these features of the fictionreading public is widely known Concern is rather with those cases where the society lacks any very distinct image of that groupMembership of that group does not have a highly visible social profileOur concern is with groups membership of which has a high social profileOur perceptions of ourselves are in a large measure determined by how we expect others to perceive usMembership is a matter of belonging not of achievement Qualification for membership is usually determined by nonvoluntary criteria One cannot choose to belongMost fundamental level our sense of our own identity depends on criteria of belonging rather than on those of accomplishment
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