Item Details

On the Spirit of Rights

Dan Edelstein
Format
Book
Published
Chicago, IL : The University of Chicago Press, 2019.
Language
English
Series
The Life of Ideas
Life of Ideas
ISBN
9780226588988, 022658898X, 9780226589039
Summary
By the end of the eighteenth century, politicians in America and France were invoking the natural rights of man to wrest sovereignty away from kings and lay down universal basic entitlements. Exactly how and when did "rights" come to justify such measures? In On the Spirit of Rights, Dan Edelstein answers this question by examining the complex genealogy of the rights regimes enshrined in the American and French Revolutions. With a lively attention to detail, he surveys a sprawling series of debates among rulers, jurists, philosophers, political reformers, writers, and others, who were all engaged in laying the groundwork for our contemporary systems of constitutional governance. Every seemingly new claim about rights turns out to be a variation on a theme, as late medieval notions were subtly repeated and refined to yield the talk of "rights" we recognize today. From the Wars of Religion to the French Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen to the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights, On the Spirit of Rights is a sweeping tour through centuries of European intellectual history and an essential guide to our ways of thinking about human rights today.
Contents
  • How to think about rights in early modern Europe
  • Part I. Early modern rights regimes. When did rights become "rights"? : from the wars of religion to the dawn of enlightenment
  • From liberalism to liberty : natural rights in the French enlightenment
  • Part II. Social naturalism in early modern France. The laws of nature in neo-stoicism and science
  • Roman law and order : from free-market ideology to abolitionism
  • Part III. Rights and revolutions. Natural constitutionalism and American rights
  • From nature to nation : French revolutionary rights
  • Conclusion : A stand-in for the Universal Declaration: 1789-1948.
Description
325 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm.
Notes
Includes bibliographical references (pages [229]-312) and index.
Technical Details
  • Access in Virgo Classic

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