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DisappointmentToward a Critical Hermeneutics of Worldbuilding$
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Jarrett Zigon

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780823278237

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: May 2018

DOI: 10.5422/fordham/9780823278237.001.0001

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The Effective History of Rights

The Effective History of Rights

(p.25) Chapter 1 The Effective History of Rights

Jarrett Zigon

Fordham University Press

Chapter one considers a particular genealogical and effective history of the concept of rights to reveal what is called the conceptual proclivity of this concept. Beginning with the inter-Church poverty debates of the late medieval period, this history traces the solidification of this proclivity through some of the key political moments of the ontological tradition of metaphysical humanism, up to its centrality in contemporary politics. By conceptual proclivity it is meant that despite changes and shifts in the meaning and social uses of the concept of rights over time, the actual conceptual manifestations of rights tend to support certain kinds of social and power relationships, institutions, and practices across time. As such, it is argued, there is an essential repetition at the heart of the concept that resists the particular intentions of those who put the concept to use.

Keywords:   genealogical/effective history, human rights, politics, rights

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