A Useless Concept?

Its History and Meaning
Michael Rosen
Havard University Press, $21.95, 200 pp.

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights invokes it. So do the Geneva Conventions, the German constitution, and major U.S. Supreme Court cases. It is central to both the Kantian moral tradition and Catholic social thought. And along with cognate concepts, it’s the favored principle of a broad range of causes: for the prenatal child’s right to be born and the ailing geriatric’s right to be killed; for looser immigration laws and tighter labor laws; for the regulation of pornography,...

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About the Author

Sherif Girgis is a philosophy PhD candidate at Princeton University and a JD candidate at Yale Law School. With Ryan T. Anderson and Robert P. George, he is the author of What Is Marriage? Man and Woman: A Defense.