The Realist Turn

Repositioning Liberalism
Palgrave Macmillan (Verlag)
  • 1. Auflage
  • |
  • erscheint ca. am 31. August 2020
  • Buch
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  • Hardcover
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  • 292 Seiten
978-3-030-48434-7 (ISBN)
Douglas B. Rasmussen and Douglas J. Den Uyl maintain that a realist turn-namely, one in which the natural order is the basis for individual rights-is needed to bring about a proper understanding and defense of liberty. They argue that the critical character of individual rights results from their being tethered to metaphysical realism. After reprising their explanation and defense of natural rights, Rasmussen and Den Uyl explain metaphysical realism and defend it against neo-pragmatist objections. They show it to be a formidable and preferable alternative to epistemic constructivism and crucial for a suitable understanding of ideal theory.
1st ed. 2020
  • Englisch
  • Cham
  • |
  • Schweiz
Springer International Publishing
  • Für Beruf und Forschung
  • 1 s/w Abbildung
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  • 1 Illustrations, black and white; XVII, 274 p. 1 illus.
  • Höhe: 216 mm
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  • Breite: 153 mm
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  • Dicke: 20 mm
  • 493 gr
978-3-030-48434-7 (9783030484347)
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Douglas B. Rasmussen is Professor of Philosophy at St. John's University, NYC, USA.

Douglas J. Den Uyl is Vice-President of Educational Programs at Liberty Fund, Indianapolis, USA.

Chapter One

Whence Natural Rights?

1. What's Wrong with Natural Rights?

2. Problems with the Non-Aggression Principle?

3. Why the Reluctance to Appeal to Natural Rights?

Chapter Two

How to Understand and Justify Individual Rights: A Synopsis

1. Rights as a Moral Concept

Liberty as a Moral Notion

Understanding the Role of Rights

Individualistic Perfectionism

Why We Have Rights

A Realist Basis for Rejection of Equinormativity

2. The Primacy of Rights in Political Philosophy

The Virtue of Justice and Metanorms

Three Senses of Justice

Social Justice and Natural Endowments

3. Conclusion

Chapter Three

On Principle

1. Rights, Principles, and Practicality

Understanding the Context for Side-Constraints

The Range of Applicability of Individual Rights

On Being Practical

Ideals and Principles

Conflicting Principles

2. Natural Rights as Principles

3. Conclusion

Chapter Four

Objections to Natural Rights and Replies

1. Some Preliminary Objections

Natural Rights do not Precede their Implementation

Natural Rights are Over-Individualized

Natural Rights are Basically a Matter of Power

Natural Rights are neither Primary nor sufficiently Obligatory

2. A Basic Metaethical Objection

Natural Rights and the "Naturalistic Fallacy"

The Alleged Naturalistic Fallacy

Deeper Ontological and Epistemological Issues

Natural Rights are Grounded in Controversial Metaphysics

3. Impracticality Objections

The Irrelevance of Natural Rights

Natural Rights Fail to Guide

The Absoluteness of Natural Rights

The Impotency of Natural Rights

4. Natural Rights and the "Human Nature Problem"

The Failure of Inclusivity in Natural Rights

The Problematic Concept of Human Nature

Chapter Five


1. MacIntyre, Rights, and Tradition

2. Natural Rights and Metaphysical Realism

Chapter Six

On the Rejection of Metaphysical Realism for Ethical Knowledge

1. Essentialism without Realism

2. Finding Facts in a World of Values

Metaphysical Realism and Conceptual Relativity

Conceptual Relativity and Getting it Right

Idealized Rational Acceptability and the Democratization of Inquiry

3. Questioning Idealized Inquiry

Whose freedom? Which Way of Expressing Human Intelligence?

Ayn Rand and Universalizability: Asking Questions You Were Always Afraid to Ask

The Human Capabilities Approach: Legislating for Human Flourishing

Questioning the Criteria of Idealized Inquiry

4. Conclusion

Chapter Seven

On the Alleged Demise of Metaphysical Realism

1. Constructivism, Metaphysical Realism, and Aquinas's Distinction

2. Replying to some Basic Objections to Epistemological Realism

On Imposing a Conceptual Scheme on the World

The Problem of Hooking on to the World

A Neo-Aristotelian-Thomistic View of Concepts and Cognition

The Myth of the Framework

Defining the Nature of Something

On Being Fallible and Limited

3. Putnam, Metaphysical Realism, and Conceptual Relativism

Chapter Eight

The Importance of the Realist Turn

1. Ideal and Non-Ideal Theory

2. Facing a New Direction and/or Recovering an Old One

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