Tuesday, March 31, 2009

One of the things I found interesting in the reading was how much of the things relating to the right to privacy came from the invention of the camera. It seems like the courts didn’t really have a framework to go off of in addressing this new technology, and relied on older legal principles such as property to make their decisions. It seems like this is still a problem as the legal system tries to make decisions about new technologies and their uses. I can understand the rationale for applying principles related to property to the idea of privacy, but it seems to be a bad fit.

I was also surprised by the amount of influence philosophers had on our conceptions of rights. The idea of the isolated man in his natural state seems odd to me. Glendon especially points this out on page 69 where she says that these philosophers never addressed women or the concept of family in their “state of nature”. Given what we know about anthropology, the idea of the isolated man in some natural state seems to just be a myth. Secondly, even if this was the state of nature at some time in the past, it still seems odd that it would have so much influence in a world that is so different. It would seem more beneficial to deal with the current way society works, instead of some mythical version.

Lastly I found the contrast between US and Germany’s approaches to abortion to be very interesting. It puts things into perspective and is a reminder that our views of rights are distinctly American. The idea of absolutism in rights seems even more ineffective given the legal alternatives that have appeared in other countries.

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