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On the Spirit of Rights

By the end of the eighteenth century, politicians in America and France were invoking the natural rights of man to wrest sovereignty away from kings and lay down universal basic entitlements. Exactly how and when did "rights" come to justify such measures?

In On the Spirit of Rights, Dan Edelstein answers this question by examining the complex genealogy of the rights that regimes enshrined in the American and French Revolutions. Les mer
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Om boka

By the end of the eighteenth century, politicians in America and France were invoking the natural rights of man to wrest sovereignty away from kings and lay down universal basic entitlements. Exactly how and when did "rights" come to justify such measures?

In On the Spirit of Rights, Dan Edelstein answers this question by examining the complex genealogy of the rights that regimes enshrined in the American and French Revolutions. With a lively attention to detail, he surveys a sprawling series of debates among rulers, jurists, philosophers, political reformers, writers, and others who were all engaged in laying the groundwork for our contemporary systems of constitutional governance. Every seemingly new claim about rights turns out to be a variation on a theme, as late medieval notions were subtly repeated and refined to yield the talk of "rights" we recognize today. From the Wars of Religion to the French Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen to the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights, On the Spirit of Rights is a sweeping tour through centuries of European intellectual history and an essential guide to our ways of thinking about human rights today.

Fakta

Innholdsfortegnelse

I How to Think about Rights in Early Modern Europe

1. Introduction
2. Tectonic Shifts and Tectonic Plates: Two Models for the Transformation of Culture
3. A Revolution in Natural Law? From Objective to Subjective Right (and Back Again)
4. Rights and Sovereignty: Beyond the State
5. Inalienability vs. the Alienation of Rights
6. Roman Law, the Lex Regia, and the Genealogy of Rights Regimes
7. Writing Intellectual History in a Digital Age

Part I: Early Modern Rights Regimes

II When Did Rights Become "Rights"? From the Wars of Religion to the Dawn of Enlightenment

1. Monarchomachs and Tyrannicides: Natural Rights in the French Wars of Religion
2. English Liberties and Natural Rights: Leveller Arguments in the English Civil War
3. Abridging Natural Rights: Hobbes and the High Church Divines
4. Entrust, but Verify? The Transfer Regime from Spinoza to Locke5. Into the Enlightenment: "Cato" and Hutcheson

III From Liberalism to Liberty: Natural Rights in the French Enlightenment

1. Sources for Natural Law Theory in France, 1700-1750
2. Physiocracy and the Dangerous Ignorance of Natural Rights
3. Natural Rights Talk in the Late Enlightenment: The Philosophes Carry the Torch
4. The (Meek) Conservative Reaction
5. Resisting Despotism: National Rights and Constitutionalism

Part II: Social Naturalism in Early Modern France

IV The Laws of Nature in Neo-Stoicism and Science

1. The Many Receptions of Stoicism
2. Laws of the Natural World: The New Science

V Roman Law and Order: From Free-Market Ideology to Abolitionism

1. The Jansenist Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism: Jean Domat, the Natural Order, and the Origins of Free-Market Ideology
2. "All Men Are Originally Born Free": Slavery, Empathy, and the Extension of Human Rights
3. Conclusion

Part III: Rights and Revolutions

VI Natural Constitutionalism and American Rights

1. Boston, Locke, and Natural Rights (1715-64)
2. Blackstone and English Common Law
3. Natural Rights and Revolution
4. Declaring Rights: From Natural Law Back to English Common Law

VII From Nature to Nation: French Revolutionary Rights

1. Whose Rights Are They, Anyway? Rights Talk in the Cahiers de Doleances
2. Debating Rights at the National Assembly
3. The Legal Spirit of the French Declaration of Rights
4. The Revenge of National Rights
5. Conclusion

VIII Conclusion: A Stand-in for the Universal Declaration: 1789-1948

1. The Catholic Church, Natural Law, and Human Rights
2. From National Constitutions to an International Declaration
3. The Archaeology of the Universal Declaration on Human Rights

Acknowledgments
Notes
Selected Bibliography
Index

Om forfatteren

Dan Edelstein is the William H. Bonsall Professor of French and professor of history (by courtesy) at Stanford University. He is the author of The Terror of Natural Right: Republicanism, the Cult of Nature, and the French Revolution and The Enlightenment: A Genealogy, both published by the University of Chicago Press.