Cover

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Title page, Series page, Copyright, Dedication

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Contents

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p. vii

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Preface

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pp. ix-xiii

I am very pleased that this book is the first to be published in a series of photographically reproduced collections launched by Princeton University Press. It has become increasingly difficult in this period of rapidly increasing costs to justify the use of printing facilities for republication of materials that have already appeared elsewhere. ...

Sources and Acknowledgments

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pp. 16-19

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1. The Idea of a Free Man

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pp. 20-46

Professor Peters's admirable essay has two primary aims: (I) to articulate more clearly a widely prized ideal of character and (2) to consider how that particular personal excellence can be 'learned,' or at least fostered by a certain kind of institutional environment. The character trait in question is one that shares the glittering name of ...

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2. The Interest in Liberty on the Scales

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pp. 47-61

There is one version of John Stuart Mill's famous 'harm principle' for deter mining the moral limits of state coercion that is virtually beyond controversy. Few would deny that it is always a morally relevant reason in support of a proposed criminal prohibition that it is reasonably necessary (that is, that there are reasonable grounds for taking it to be necessary) to prevent harm ...

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3. Harm and Self-Interest

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pp. 62-85

THE study of kakapoeics, or the general theory and classification of harms, should be a central enterprise of legal philosophy. Most writers agree, after all, that the prevention of harms is a legitimate aim of both the criminal law and the coercive parts of the civil law, though of course there is much disagreement over whether it is the sole proper concern ...

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4. "Harmless Immoralities" and Offensive Nuisances

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pp. 86-126

I am not at all sure that there are any private immoral actions that do not cause harm, but I am quite sure that if there are such things, there is no justification for their suppression by the state and especially not for their proscription by the criminal law. On the other hand, there clearly are such things as actions that are very offensive to others, and I think the state is justified in preventing at least some of these...

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5. Legal Paternalism

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pp. 127-146

The principle of legal paternalism justifies state coercion to protect individuals from self-inflicted harm, or in its extreme version, to guide them, whether they like it or not, toward their own good. Parents can be expected to justify their interference in the lives of their children (e.g. telling them what they must eat and when they must sleep) on the ground that "daddy knows best." Legal paternalism...

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6. Duties, Rights, and Claims

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pp. 147-159

Among the questions that still divide philosophers who are concerned with problems about rights are (1) whether, or to what extent, rights and duties are logically correlative, and (2) whether it is theoretically illuminating generally, and in particular, whether in considering question (1) it is strategically useful, to treat rights as claims. Although question (1) is in a familiar sense a logical question (Do statements of duties entail statements of other...

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7. The Nature and Value of Rights

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pp. 160-175

I would like to begin by conducting a thought experiment. Try to imagine Nowheresville — a world very much like our own except that no one, or hardly any one (the qualification is not important), has rights. If this flaw makes Nowheresville too ugly to hold very long in contemplation, we can make it as pretty as we wish in other moral respects. We can, for example, make the human beings in it as attractive and virtuous as possible...

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8. The Rights of Animals and Unborn Generations

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pp. 176-201

EVERY PHILOSOPHICAL PAPER must begin with an unproved assumption. Mine is the assumption that there will still be a world five hundred years from now, and that it will contain human beings who are very much like us. We have it within our power now, clearly, to affect the lives of these creatures for better or worse by contributing to the conservation or corruption of the environment in which they...

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9. Human Duties and Animal Rights

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pp. 202-223

HARDLY ANYONE THESE DAYS BELIEVES that morality permits us simply to have our way with animals and treat them in whatever manner suits our fancy or promotes our profit. That we do have duties of action and omission concerning animals is widely granted, but confusion over the ground and scope of those requirements, even when the duties are incorporated into law, is rife. Disagreements...

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10. Is There a Right to Be Born?

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pp. 224-237

If a person is told that voluntary sterilization is wicked and therefore forbidden, he or she might cogently reply that what a person does with his own body is his own business, or a matter entirely between him and his physician, so that no one else has a right to interfere. Similarly, if a couple is told that the use of "mechanical" contraceptives is wicked and not to be permitted, they might reply with equal cogency that...

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11. Voluntary Euthanasia and the Inalienable Right to Life

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pp. 238-268

It is surprising that in this bicentennial period we have not yet heard an argument that seems to bolster the case of opponents of voluntary euthanasia. The argument derives from an interpretation of Thomas Jefferson's famous words that all men "are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life . . . ," and from similar...

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12. Duty and Obligation in the Non-Ideal World

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pp. 269-281

THERE is no need to summarize the argument of this philo sophical epic. In its basic outline it is sufficiently well known to the readers of this journal from Rawls's articles over the last twenty years. In this book Ra wis has filled in gaps in the argu ment, answered numerous critical objections, applied his theory to problems of justice in politics, economics, education, and other important areas, and buttressed it with a theory of moral psychology ...

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13. Noncomparative Justice

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pp. 282-323

THERE is no need to summarize the argument of this philosophical epic. In its basic outline it is sufficiently well known to the readers of this journal from Rawls's articles over the last twenty years. In this book Ra wis has filled in gaps in the argument, answered numerous critical objections, applied his theory to problems of justice in politics, economics, education, and other important areas, and buttressed...

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14. Wollaston and His Critics

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pp. 324-331

The Rev. William Wollaston (1659-1724) was one of the most famous and highly esteemed writers of his time, and yet in the century following his death, his reputation fell into sharp decline until he became an object of disrespect in the writings of Hume, Price, Bentham, and others. A fair-minded contempo rary reader, I think, will find that Wollaston did have something important and ...

Index

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pp. 332-336