In What’s wrong with rights? (OUP, 2020) Nigel Biggar addresses questions about the legitimacy of ‘rights’-talk in its various forms—natural, moral, legal, universal, and absolute. He concludes that such talk obscures the importance of fostering civic virtue, corrodes military effectiveness, subverts the democratic legitimacy of law, proliferates publicly onerous rights, and undermines its own authority and credibility (see the complete description here). In response, Biggar urges the rejection of ‘right-fundamentalism’ and the promotion of public ethical discourse that is not shy of speaking about the duties and virtues of legal rights-holders.
This page will track the engagement with Biggar’s book through reviews and comments published in magazines, news media, and other sources available to the public.
- Richard Harris (House of Lords) offered a response to John Gray's review in the New Statesman here.
Canopy Forum Series on What's Wrong with Rights?:
20 January 2021, "Nigel Biggar, What's Wrong with Rights?" by David Little (web site)
21 January 2021, "Radicalizing Biggar’s What’s Wrong with Rights?" by Joel Harrison (web site)
22 January 2021, "Biggar and the Kind of Human Dignity that Remains" by Jennifer Herdt (web site)
2 February 2021, "Is Nigel’s Biggar’s What’s Wrong with Rights? sufficiently realistic?" by Hans-Martien ten Napel (web site)
9 February 2021, "Nigel Biggar, What's Wrong with Rights?" by Mark Hill QC (web site)
24 February 2021, “On the Division of Rights” by John Milbank (web site)
The first two of six responses by Nigel Biggar:
- 13 April 2021, "Theological Critiques of WWWR: A Reply to Little & Herdt"