Two kinds of intrinsically valuable entities are distinguished - those that are ends-in- themselves (and therefore sacred) and those that are intrinsically good. It is suggested that it is the individual rather than the group that is sacred in the primary sense. To be sacred or an end-in-itself implies that the sacred entity must not be replaced by a potential entity even if more good can be promoted by doing so. It is suggested that only entities that have an irreducible consciousness should be candidates for the sacred in the primary sense. If so, it would follow that groups are not sacred in the primary sense unless perhaps one regards them as unitary beings. It is argued that though groups have rights that are not reducible to the rights of individuals, this is consistent with the view that the ultimate justification of these rights is provided by an appeal to the interests of the relevant individuals; groups can be derivatively sacred. Activities of collectives can sometimes be intrinsically good, and such considerations, too, would be relevant to deciding upon which collectives should be retained and which modified or replaced.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1080/002017498321913
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 71,410
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

Can There Be a Right-Based Moral Theory?J. L. Mackie - 1978 - Midwest Studies in Philosophy 3 (1):350-359.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Group Rights.Peter Jones - 2008 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Are There Universal Collective Rights?Miodrag A. Jovanović - 2010 - Human Rights Review 11 (1):17-44.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Moral Horror and the Sacred.Robert Merrihew Adams - 1995 - Journal of Religious Ethics 23 (2):201 - 224.
Are Cultural Group Rights Against Individual Rights?Erol Kuyurtar - 2007 - The Proceedings of the Twenty-First World Congress of Philosophy 3:51-59.
The Universal Pretensions of Cultural Rights Arguments.Jeff Spinner-Halev - 2001 - Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy 4 (2):1-25.
“Group Rights” and Racial Affirmative Action.Kwame Anthony Appiah - 2011 - The Journal of Ethics 15 (3):265-280.
The Complexity of Groups: A Comment on Jorge Valadez.Martha C. Nussbaum - 2003 - Philosophy and Social Criticism 29 (1):57-69.
Group Rights and Group Agency.Adina Preda - 2012 - Journal of Moral Philosophy 9 (2):229-254.


Added to PP index

Total views
56 ( #204,881 of 2,519,808 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
1 ( #406,314 of 2,519,808 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes