POLS 252 Rights and Their History Select Term:
This is an investigation into the origins and development of the idea of entitlement. In the first part of the course, first moral theories that allowed for rights and right-holders will be looked at. Then the progress of rights-talk by studying the various rights (such as rights to property, work and equal opportunity) that have emerged in social history and moral theory will be traced. In so doing, we will try to expose the enrichment in the notion of a right-holder (from the individual to groups, peoples and animals). Finally, some recent (academic) debates on the import and place of rights in contemporary societies as well as in moral theory will be considered.