Watching the Opera In Silence: Disgust, Autonomy, and the Search for Universal Human Rights

Richard Delgado


Are human rights expanding over time? Christopher Stone, Peter Singer, and many others hold that they are and that this is a good thing. In a famous article and book, Stone points out that in early times, human beings recognized rights only for members of their immediate family or clan. Gradually, our circle of concern expanded to include members of other clans, then foreigners, women, Jews, and members of other races. Stone writes that we will eventually come to endow natural objects, such as rocks, trees, fish, and rivers, with rights, so that one day the entire natural environment will receive protection in its own right, not merely because this will benefit humanity.

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