Inalienable Rights and Liberal - Contractarian Theories of Justice - With Applications to Rawls and Nussbaum

35 Pages Posted: 11 Feb 2009

Date Written: March 14, 2008

Abstract

Liberal - contractarian philosophies of justice see the unjust systems of slavery and autocracy in the past as being based on coercion - whereas the social order in the modern democratic market societies is based on consent and contract. However, the 'best' case for slavery and autocracy in the past was based on consent-based contractarian arguments. Hence our first task is to recover those 'forgotten' apologia for slavery and autocracy. To counter those consent-based arguments, the historical anti-slavery and democratic movements developed a theory of inalienable rights. Our second task is to recover that theory and to consider several other applications of the theory. Finally the theories of justice expounded by John Rawls and by Martha Nussbaum are examined from this perspective.

Keywords: Inalienable rights, Rawls, Nussbaum, A Theory of Justice, Frontiers of Justice

JEL Classification: D6, P1

Suggested Citation

Ellerman, David, Inalienable Rights and Liberal - Contractarian Theories of Justice - With Applications to Rawls and Nussbaum (March 14, 2008). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1340681 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1340681

David Ellerman (Contact Author)

University of Ljubljana ( email )

School of Social Science
Ljubljana, CA
Slovenia

HOME PAGE: http://www.ellerman.org

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