A Theory of the “Rights” Concept


  • James A. Montanye Independent Scholar




rights, duties, entitlements, property rights, prosperity, equality


This essay examines the evolutionary development of the “rights” concept. It argues that the concept is both relatively recent and fundamentally economic rather than abstractly philosophical. The essay is unique, not only in its explication of the concept, but also in the use of ngram data (i.e., the changing relative frequency of published words and phrases) to visualize the correspondence between the evolving rights concept and growing aggregate prosperity.


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How to Cite

Montanye, J. (2015). A Theory of the “Rights” Concept. Essays in the Philosophy of Humanism, 23(1), 65–91. https://doi.org/10.1558/eph.v23i1.28988