In this provocative book, Alexander offers a sceptical appraisal of the claim that freedom of expression is a human right. He examines the various contexts in which a right to freedom of expression might be asserted and concludes that such a right cannot be supported in any of these contexts. He argues that some legal protection of freedom of expression is surely valuable, though the form such protection will take will vary with historical and cultural circumstances and is not a matter of human right. Written in a clear and accessible style, this book will appeal to students and professionals in political philosophy, law, political science, and human rights.
In the essays that follow, Fred Berger argues for freedom of expression, civil disobedience, affirmative action and what he calls liberal judicial activism and against sex-role stereotyping, paternalism and the censorship of pornography. Underlying his liberalism is a unified theory. That theory consists of a conception of rights, a theory of value and a theory of government. The conception of a right that Berger defends derives from J ohn Stuart Mill and is captured by what he calls "the rightsÂ formula": to have a right is to have important interests that society ought to protect as a matter of general rule (pp. 2, 7, 17-18, 19, 95). Since rights are to be protected by general rule, case-by-case consideration of consequences is ruled out (pp. 3, 18, 96) and neither modest increases in the general welfare, nor majority opinion, can justify the violation of a right (pp. 14-15; 17-18). Berger combines this view of the nature of a right with an objective theory of value according to which the important interests that ought to be protected are ones that people have "whether they know them or not, whether they desire that in which they have an interest or not" (p.
Worsley argues that it is rational to believe in a realist, loving God in the face of evil. Beginning with a critique of Alvin Plantinga, he shows that human freedom is highly complex, and so depends upon complex structures in nature. These are both necessary for freedom but also sufficient for natural evil. He offers close analysis of the evolution of the human brain. The book develops a parallel argument that human evil stems from the evolution of personality.
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