Rights, Moral Values and Natural Facts: a reply to Mary Midgley on the problem of child-abuse



    1. David Archard, Department of Philosophy & Politics, University of Ulster at Jordanstown, Newtownabbey, Co. Antrim, BT37 0QB, United Kingdom.
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ABSTRACT Mary Midgley asserts that my argument concerning the problem of child-abuse was inappropriately framed in the language of rights, and neglected certain pertinent natural facts. I defend the view that the use of rights-talk was both apposite and did not misrepresent the moral problem in question. I assess the status and character of the natural facts Midgley adduces in criticism of my case, concluding that they do not obviously establish the conclusions she believes they do. Finally I briefly respond to the charge that my suggestions were illiberal.