June 2010

What are Human Rights?

Our question this week is “What are human rights?” The American declaration of independence offers a compelling answer to that question so its the first place one might think to look of for a characterization of human rights. It says in what I personally find stirring language that “All men are created equal … they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights … among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

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Corporations as Persons

Groups of people, and corporations too, can do a number of things that people do. They can make promises, tell lies, incur debt, and the like. Perhaps the concept of corporations and other collections of human beings as fictional persons simply recognizes that fact. Groups of people were issuing statements, true and untrue, buying and renting buildings, going into debt, and stuff like that long before the law or Supreme Court came into it.

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Psychological vs. Biological Altruism

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Hannah Arendt

All the philosophers we talk about have interesting thoughts. But many of them have relatively dull lives. Hannah Arendt is not one of them. She led a very interesting life, and the events in her life had a lot to do with her philosophy.

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