Nicholas Wolterstorff

Nicholas Wolterstorff is Noah Porter Professor Emeritus of Philosophical Theology at Yale University, Senior Research Fellow in the Institute for Advanced Studies in Culture at the University of Virginia, and Honorary Professor of Australian Catholic University. His publications include Justice: Rights and Wrongs (Princeton, 2008), Justice in Love (Eerdmans, 2011), and Understanding Liberal Democracy (Oxford, 2012).

Posts by Nicholas Wolterstorff:

Tuesday, June 9th, 2015

On the recognition of human rights

Samuel Moyn’s essay, “Personalism, Community, and the Origins of Human Rights,” makes an important contribution to our understanding of the history of the concept of human rights. I am a philosopher. Though I have a considerable interest in history, I am not a historian. Before reading Moyn’s essay I knew nothing about the developments that he discusses. Discovering the depths of my ignorance might have left me feeling embarrassed and chagrined but for the fact that, as Moyn observes, almost none of his fellow active historians knew anything about these developments either.

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Monday, March 23rd, 2009

Look elsewhere for agonistic social ontology: A response to Smith

<p></p>If it is indeed the case that “the social ontology of rights talk generally assumes that, at bottom, the kind of relation between social entities is conflictual or competitive,” then I dissociate myself from that generality.  No guilt by association here; I don’t hang out with Hobbes.  The agonistic social ontology that James K.A. Smith attributes to me is not mine.  To affirm natural inherent rights is not to presuppose such an ontology, nor does my account of such rights presuppose such an ontology.   Nothing Smith says shows anything to the contrary.

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Monday, March 9th, 2009

Secular accounts: A response to Chambers

I want to re-emphasize the structure of my discussion about secular accounts of human rights.  The project of trying to ground human rights is the project of trying to find what it is about human beings that gives each and every one a dignity sufficient for their possessing human rights.

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Monday, March 9th, 2009

The fine texture: A response to Smith

<br />I will respond here to the three postings on The Immanent Frame by James K. A. Smith concerning my Justice: Rights and Wrongs.

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