Justice: Rights and Wrongs

Front Cover
Princeton University Press, May 2, 2010 - Philosophy - 416 pages
3 Reviews

Wide-ranging and ambitious, Justice combines moral philosophy and Christian ethics to develop an important theory of rights and of justice as grounded in rights. Nicholas Wolterstorff discusses what it is to have a right, and he locates rights in the respect due the worth of the rights-holder. After contending that socially-conferred rights require the existence of natural rights, he argues that no secular account of natural human rights is successful; he offers instead a theistic account.

Wolterstorff prefaces his systematic account of justice as grounded in rights with an exploration of the common claim that rights-talk is inherently individualistic and possessive. He demonstrates that the idea of natural rights originated neither in the Enlightenment nor in the individualistic philosophy of the late Middle Ages, but was already employed by the canon lawyers of the twelfth century. He traces our intuitions about rights and justice back even further, to Hebrew and Christian scriptures. After extensively discussing justice in the Old Testament and the New, he goes on to show why ancient Greek and Roman philosophy could not serve as a framework for a theory of rights.

Connecting rights and wrongs to God's relationship with humankind, Justice not only offers a rich and compelling philosophical account of justice, but also makes an important contribution to overcoming the present-day divide between religious discourse and human rights.

  

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Review: Justice: Rights and Wrongs

User Review  - Tim and Popie Stafford - Goodreads

As philosophy tends to be, tedious. But rewarding. He makes the case that human rights are grounded in Judeo-Christian Scriptures, and nowhere else. Read full review

Review: Justice: Rights and Wrongs

User Review  - Marc - Goodreads

If we all completely understood philosophical discussions without having to re-read sections in order to go "ah...I get it now" then this would have been a five-star book. Definitely not a book for ... Read full review

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About the author (2010)

Nicholas Wolterstorff is the Noah Porter Professor Emeritus of Philosophical Theology at Yale University and a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. His many books include "Until Justice" and "Peace Embrace".

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