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Essentially, human and natural rights share the claim to precede positive law, its foundation (base for legitimating criticism or praise of it) and unavailable to it.
Ce texte présente un épisode de l’histoire des droits.
Ils s’intéressent aux droits en général, à tous les droits, mais plus particulièrement aux droits méta-juridiques, antérieurs à la loi positive.
But what Mill did was no mere restoration, he could not undo what had been done, at most he could revive it.
Before beginning, I wish to clarify the terms used, at least minimally.
Thirdly, there are reasons that result from the analytical method chosen by Bentham.
An expression of the most genuine Enlightenment attitude, the analytical method demands that any reality is broken down into its simplest units, into its elements, and it cannot be divided further.The metaphysical either does not exist, or we cannot perceive it, which comes to the same thing.Natural rights are “nonsense upon stilts”, as Bentham would call them, or, as the phrase has been translated into Spanish, in a version more in accord with our political-religious liturgy, “nonsense under the pallium”, absurdities that have been put into an eminent position for the people to admire, and to be amazed by them, without being able to distinguish their quality, real or phantasmagorical.In legal-political theory, in Bentham’s time, human rights were not spoken of. This expression fell out of use, to be replaced by “human rights”, still employed today, precisely to try to overcome the criticism led by Bentham. Those rights of man, as distinct from the rights of the citizen, are the lexical predecessor of our human rights. Human rights, then, are the result of a metamorphosis suffered by natural rights.Human rights are not the same as natural rights, but they originate from and owe some of their characteristics to them.These reasons arose from the contemplation of the events, contemporaneous with Bentham, that happened during the American, and even more during the French, revolutions.Bentham sympathised with the American Revolution because it appeared more as a struggle for colonial emancipation than as a civil war or a revolution, and thus it had to appeal more to the anti-imperialist convictions of a liberal.Natural rights precede positive law, prior to the order given by someone that the senses can perceive.They proceed from the Creator or Nature, from a nature personified and principled; natural rights are metaphysical in the old style, in the strong, pre-Kantian sense.In any event, its Declaration of Rights had already had its answer from John Lind.The French Revolution, on the other hand, had awoken the hostility, naturally, of those spirits contrary to revolutions.