The Logic and Antilogic of Secret Rights
24 Pages Posted: 11 May 2015
Date Written: November 1987
In an article entitled "Secret Rights," Girardeau Spann argued that theories of rights are logically incoherent and proposed a "story-telling," intuitionist approach to adjudicating claims of rights. This essay shows that one can easily avoid the problems identified by Spann without abandoning logic. It analyzes Spann's critique of deductive logic as a component of theories about rights and argues that logic has its uses. Finally, it discusses Spann's proposed nonlogical paradigm for handling rights and concludes that while there is far more to political and legal argument than deductive logic, logic should continue to play at least a supporting role in theories about rights.
Keywords: jurisprudence, critical legal studies, rights, logic, self-reference
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