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Abstract

This article challenges the view permeating much philosophical thought that the primacy of individual rights represents the individual's standpoint against the public good or against the requirements of others generally. The author explicates the underlying features of our common culture contending that the conflict between individual and general good as being central to rights misconstrues the surface features of rights. The range and nature of common goods determine the options available to individuals and define their well-being. The relative absence of conflict of interests and the background of a common tradition make the courts a suitable forum for the conduct of this branch of politics.