Front Page Titles (by Subject) Do Humans have 'Equal' Rights? - Literature of Liberty, Spring 1980, vol. 3, No. 1
Do Humans have ‘Equal’ Rights? - Leonard P. Liggio, Literature of Liberty, Spring 1980, vol. 3, No. 1 
Literature of Liberty: A Review of Contemporary Liberal Thought was published first by the Cato Institute (1978-1979) and later by the Institute for Humane Studies (1980-1982) under the editorial direction of Leonard P. Liggio.
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- Editorial Staff
- Associate Editors
- Bibliographic Essay: Karen I. Vaughn, John Locke’s Theory of Property: Problems of Interpretation
- I: I Rights, Freedom, and Ethics
- The Need Vs. the Right to Freedom
- Gewirth: Is Virtue Knowledge?
- Aquinas: Natural Right Or Natural Law?
- Hobbes and Conventional Morality
- The Problems of Consequentialism
- Utilitarianism and Prescriptivism
- Non-utilitarian, Anti-welfarist Morality
- Do Humans Have ‘equal’ Rights?
- Self-knowledge and Knowing Others
- The Problems With “moral Education”
- Human Nature and Ethics
- II: Locke and the Tradition of Dissent
- Grotius, Locke, and Property
- Locke, Consent, State, and Property
- Locke’s First Treatise and Modernity
- Locke and the Executive
- Religion, Regicide, and Resistance
- William Penn: Religious Liberal
- Samuel Gorton: Antinomian Radical
- Harrington’s Aristotelian Republicanism
- Burgh: the Ambivalent Lockean Radical
- Price On Moral and Civil Liberty
- Priestley and Liberty
- Stateless Defense of Rights
- Mill, Communism, and Human Nature
- Spain and Political Ideology
- III: Women, Family, and Freedom
- Hobbes and the Politicized Family
- Hobbes’s Leviathan: Family and State
- Plato On Women and Property
- Children and Family
- J.s. Mill, Harriet Taylor, & Women
- Varieties of Feminism
- Rousseau’s Anti-feminism
- The Roots of Rousseau’s Anti-feminism
- Feminism, the Saint-simonians & Fourier
- Woman’s Power and Weakness In Literature
- Lesbianism Vs. Cultural Oppression
- Woman’s Fear of Freedom
- Antifeminism In Political Science
- Women In the Social Sciences
- IV: Culture, Humanities, and Freedom
- Montaigne: the Virtues of Modernity.
- Mandeville: the Culture & Virtue of Capitalism
- Melville On Slavery
- Melville and America: 1848
- Prometheus, Love, and Liberty
- Blake’s America: Liberation & Art
- Thoreau On the Free Human Self
- Zamyatin and the Self
- French Avant-garde Politics & Culture
Do Humans have ‘Equal’ Rights?
- Indiana University of Pennsylvania
“Equal Rights: A Provable Moral Standard.” American Journal of Economics and Sociology 38(January 1979):73–81
Cord tries to justify the view that all persons have equal rights to life, liberty, and property. The derivation proceeds as follows:
- (1) We should be both consistent and accurate. Cord argues that we must have meaning if we are to think. If seeking meaning is an inescapable human activity, then of course, we have to be consistent and accurate.
- (2) We should treat things as they are. This follows because to be consistent and accurate is to treat things as they are.
- (3) We have the right to be free to treat things as they are. If we should do something, says Cord, we have the right to do it. Indeed, if doing something is a duty, how could it not be right?
- (4)We have the right to be free to treat people as they are. This follows from substituting “people” for “things” in (3).
- (5) Our right to be free is limited by the equal rights of others. This presumably follows from consistency.
- (6) Each person has a right to life, limited only by the equal rights of others. This follows from the right to be free. If you didn’t have the right to life, the right to liberty would be nothing.
- (7) Each person has the right to property, limited only by the equal rights of others. Cord bases this point on the right to be free (freedom includes free exchange of goods and services) and partly on the labor theory of entitlement. Because of this labor theory Cord endorses Henry George’s view of property rights in land.
- (8) Democracy is the best form of government. By democracy Cord seems to mean that the majority determines how our equal rights are to be protected.