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Which Rights Should Be Universal?$
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William Talbott

Print publication date: 2005

Print ISBN-13: 9780195173475

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2005

DOI: 10.1093/0195173473.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 16 January 2021

THE PROOF PARADIGM AND THE MORAL DISCOVERY PARADIGM

THE PROOF PARADIGM AND THE MORAL DISCOVERY PARADIGM

Chapter:
(p.19) 2 THE PROOF PARADIGM AND THE MORAL DISCOVERY PARADIGM
Source:
Which Rights Should Be Universal?
Author(s):

William Talbott (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/0195173473.003.0002

In this chapter, Talbott explains how the Proof paradigm, a model of top-down reasoning, has led to a serious misunderstanding of how moral judgments are epistemically justified. Talbott develops an alternative equilibrium model of moral reasoning based on the work of Mill, Rawls, and Habermas and uses it to show how bottom-up reasoning could have led to the discovery of human rights. Talbott uses the U.S. Constitution to illustrate the idea that guarantees of basic human rights are components of a self-improving self-regulating system for promoting justice. The system does not have to begin with self-evident or even true principles of justice. Bottom-up reasoning can lead to changes that make it more just over time.

Keywords:   bottom-up reasoning, equilibrium reasoning, Jürgen Habermas, J.S. Mill, Moral Discovery paradigm, moral imperialism, Proof paradigm, John Rawls, top-down reasoning

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