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Full-Text Articles in Philosophy

An Unfinished Project: John Courtney Murray, Religious Freedom, And Unresolved Tensions In Contemporary American Society, Miguel H. Diaz Jan 2018

An Unfinished Project: John Courtney Murray, Religious Freedom, And Unresolved Tensions In Contemporary American Society, Miguel H. Diaz

Philosophy: Faculty Publications and Other Works

Religious freedom has re-emerged as a controversial issue in the courts, in the Church, and in the public square in the United States. This essay examines the groundbreaking contribution that John Courtney Murray, SJ made to bring about a paradigm shift in Roman Catholic teaching on religious freedom. This shift can be traced to the Church’s transitioning from the view that “error has no rights” to only people—not ideas—have rights. The essay underscores Murray’s focus on human conscience and addresses tensions that have emerged in the United States between voices that affirm the right to religious ...


Poverty Knowledge, Coercion, And Social Rights: A Discourse Ethical Contribution To Social Epistemology, David Ingram Jan 2014

Poverty Knowledge, Coercion, And Social Rights: A Discourse Ethical Contribution To Social Epistemology, David Ingram

Philosophy: Faculty Publications and Other Works

In today’s America the persistence of crushing poverty in the midst of staggering affluence no longer incites the righteous jeremiads it once did. Resigned acceptance of this paradox is fueled by a sense that poverty lies beyond the moral and technical scope of government remediation. The failure of experts to reach agreement on the causes of poverty merely exacerbates our despair. Are the causes internal to the poor – reflecting their more or less voluntary choices? Or do they emanate from structures beyond their control (but perhaps amenable to government remediation)? If both of these explanations are true (as I ...


Reconciling Positivism And Realism: Kelsen And Habermas On Democracy And Human Rights, David Ingram Jan 2013

Reconciling Positivism And Realism: Kelsen And Habermas On Democracy And Human Rights, David Ingram

Philosophy: Faculty Publications and Other Works

It is well known that Hans Kelsen and Jürgen Habermas invoke realist arguments drawn from social science in defending an international, democratic human rights regime against Carl Schmitt’s attack on the rule of law. However, despite embracing the realist spirit of Kelsen’s legal positivism, Habermas criticizes Kelsen for neglecting to connect the rule of law with a concept of procedural justice (Part I). I argue, to the contrary (Part II), that Kelsen does connect these terms, albeit in a manner that may be best described as functional, rather than conceptual. Indeed, whereas Habermas tends to emphasize a conceptual ...


Group Rights: A Defense, David Ingram Jan 2011

Group Rights: A Defense, David Ingram

Philosophy: Faculty Publications and Other Works

Human rights belong to individuals in virtue of their common humanity. Yet it is an important question whether human rights entail or comport with the possession of what I call group-specific rights (sometimes referred to as collective rights), or rights that individuals possess only because they belong to a particular group. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) says they do. Article 15 asserts the right to nationality, or citizenship. Unless one believes that the only citizenship compatible with a universal human rights regime is cosmopolitan citizenship in a world state – a conception of citizenship that is not countenanced by ...


Of Sweatshops And Human Subsistence: Habermas On Human Rights, David Ingram Jan 2009

Of Sweatshops And Human Subsistence: Habermas On Human Rights, David Ingram

Philosophy: Faculty Publications and Other Works

In this paper I argue that the discourse theoretic account of human rights defended by Jürgen Habermas contains a fruitful tension that is obscured by its dominant tendency to identify rights with legal claims. This weakness in Habermas’s account becomes manifest when we examine how sweatshops diminish the secure enjoyment of subsistence, which Habermas himself (in recognition of the UDHR) recognizes as a human right. Discourse theories of human rights are unique in tying the legitimacy of human rights to democratic deliberation and consensus. So construed, their specific meaning and force is the outcome of historical political struggle. However ...