My lead essay contains the sentences: “You naturally claim ownership of your own person. The claim springs, at least in part, from the uniquely intimate knowledge and control of your bodily processes; it springs from the constitution of your being.”
At the end of that passage, I cite David Friedman’s excellent, highly Humean essay, “A Positive Account of Property Rights,” published in Social Philosophy and Policy in 1994. That essays offers a fuller discussion of David’s installment here, entitled “A Positive Account of Rights.”
David’s installment nicely supports the two sentences of mine just reproduced, confirming the aptness of the citation to his 1994 essay. I would be interested to know what David otherwise thought of my essay.
Beyond that, I register two qualms about David’s contribution.
First, in the effort to relate his words to mine, David says that my essay “contrasts positive rights to negative rights;” he refers to “Klein’s issue of positive versus negative rights;” and he speaks of “[p]ositive rights – in his [i.e., Klein’s] sense.” Let it be known that the word negative does not appear in my essay, and that positive occurs just once, in a quotation.
Second, viewing David’s installment apart from the role it was supposed to play in relation to mine, I question whether the positive/normative talk is helpful. I don’t think it is, but getting into that would take us farther away from the question of whether overlordship underlies leftist ways of speaking.