© 2006

Transformations in Medieval and Early-Modern Rights Discourse

  • Virpi Mäkinen
  • Petter Korkman

Part of the The New Synthese Historical Library book series (SYNL, volume 59)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-ix
  2. Rights, Duties and Actions

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 1-1
  3. Rights, Duties and Actions

  4. Rights, Duties and Actions

    1. Arthur Stephen McGrade
      Pages 63-94
  5. Rights, Duties and Actions

  6. Rights, Duties and Actions

  7. Rights and Self-Ownership

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 117-117
    2. Jussi Varkemaa
      Pages 119-147
  8. Rights and Self-Ownership

  9. Rights and Self-Ownership

  10. Rights and Self-Ownership

  11. Towards Modern Rights Theories

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 205-205
  12. Towards Modern Rights Theories

  13. Towards Modern Rights Theories

About this book


Rights language is a fundamental feature of the modern world. Virtually all significant social and political struggles are waged, and have been waged for over a century now, in terms of rights claims. In some ways, it is precisely the birth of modern rights language that ushers in modernity in terms of moral and political thought, and the struggle for a modern way of life seems for many synonymous with the fight for a universal recognition of equal, individual human rights. Where did modern rights language come from? What kinds of rights discourses is it rooted in? What is the specific nature of modern rights discourse; when and where were medieval and ancient notions of rights transformed into it? Can one in fact find any single such transformation of medieval into modern rights discourse?

The present volume brings together some of the most central scholars in the history of medieval and early-modern rights discourse. Through the different angles taken by its authors, the volume brings to light the multifaceted nature of rights languages in the medieval and early modern world.


Hart John Locke Locke Moral human rights individual natural law politics

Editors and affiliations

  • Virpi Mäkinen
    • 1
  • Petter Korkman
    • 1
  1. 1.Helsinki Collegium for Advanced StudiesUniversity of HelsinkiFinland

Bibliographic information