Outline of a social theory of rights: A neo-pragmatist approach
Carreira, da Silva Filipe
European Journal of Social Theory
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Carreira, d. S. F. (2013). Outline of a social theory of rights: A neo-pragmatist approach. European Journal of Social Theory, 16 457-475. https://doi.org/10.1177/1368431013484001
This article articulates a neo-pragmatist theory of human rights by drawing and expanding upon the American classical pragmatism of G.H. Mead. It characterizes this neo-pragmatist theory of rights by its anti-foundationalist, relational, fictive, and constitutive nature, and begins by providing a reconstruction of Mead’s social pragmatist approach to rights, a contribution systematically ignored by contemporary sociologists of rights. Next, it details the cost of this disciplinary oblivion by examining how much neo-pragmatism, critical theory, and legal consciousness studies have meanwhile gained by engaging with Mead’s work on rights. Finally, it discusses the contributions of this historical-theoretical exercise to the rapidly growing sociology of rights, and shows that by supplementing the neo-Meadian approach with a recent interpretation of Hobbes’s fictional theory of politics, there appear to be substantive gains in the empirical study of the origins, consequences, meaning, and denial of rights.
legal consciousness, Mead, pragmatism, rights
This paper was written as part of the research project ‘‘Broken Promises. The Political Origins of Socioeconomic Inequality in Portugal, 1960-2010’’ funded by the Portuguese Foundation for Science and Technology (PTDC/CPJ-CPO/101290/2008).
External DOI: https://doi.org/10.1177/1368431013484001
This record's URL: https://www.repository.cam.ac.uk/handle/1810/251297
Attribution-NonCommercial 2.0 UK: England & Wales
Licence URL: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/2.0/uk/
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