Originally published in the Proceedings of the Kent State University May 4th Philosophy Graduate Student Conference, : ISSN: 1546-6663


While the idea of attributing a natural rights component to Aristotle's philosophy is indeed anachronistic, it is not entirely futile. Fred D. Miller has proposed ample evidence and analysis supporting the idea that Aristotle had something like natural rights in mind. Yet, several scholars object to Miller's position for various good reasons beyond the theory's anachronicity. While there may be just cause for rejecting Miller's position, it does not appear that von Platz has been successful in this endeavor. Several of von Platz's proposals are incoherent, and those that are indeed sound are rooted in a modern conception of what natural rights ought to be.[1] Von Platz neglects to see how natural rights for Aristotle would have to be different from our modern conceptions of entitlements and human nature, and for this reason he fails to give sufficient reason to discredit Miller. In this response paper, I will first discuss von Platz's definition of 'natural right.' Then I will discuss the appropriateness of using citizens as prime examples of people who have natural rights. Finally, I will present my main objection to von Platz's paper regarding the alleged inconsistency between what Aristotle considered human and who was afforded rights. Following my response to von Platz's paper is a list of suggested editorial revisions



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