Habermas and Group Rights
20 Pages Posted: 22 Feb 2011 Last revised: 3 Mar 2011
I focus on the recent attempt by Habermas to provide a formal criterion for testing the legitimacy of group rights. Habermas argues that group-rights are legitimate only when they protect groups from discrimination by other groups. Group rights that aim to preserve groups against their own members, by contrast, are illegitimate. In my opinion, this way of drawing the distinction overlooks the link between anti-discrimination and preservation. Furthermore, I argue that preservation of a group identity can be legitimate so long as the group in question allows freedom of exit from the group.
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