Show simple item record

Files in this item

Cover for Rights and their Intrusion on Freedom in America
dc.contributor.advisorAmbrosio, Francis J
dc.creator
dc.date.accessioned2019-01-16T19:19:52Z
dc.date.available2019-01-16T19:19:52Z
dc.date.created2018
dc.date.issued
dc.date.submitted01/01/2018
dc.identifier.otherAPT-BAG: georgetown.edu.10822_1053064.tar;APT-ETAG: b59e1efcf2d4986fada1dae75b2613ce; APT-DATE: 2019-04-10_13:54:04en_US
dc.identifier.uri
dc.descriptionM.A.L.S.
dc.description.abstractPrinciples of rights and freedom are deeply engrained in the United States of America. From the Declaration of Independence, to the Constitution, and current customs, the country prides itself in being the land of the free, where rights exist for all. Through a combination of disciplined self-reliance and cooperation, the American people have achieved prosperity, positioning the country as an international leader, offering many opportunities to achieve success. However, our nation today faces serious wealth and opportunity inequalities that are defying our common view and exercise of rights along with freedom. Indeed, studies show that as wealth continues to increase for a few and remains concentrated in the top one percentile of the population, so does the number of low-income households, as income remains unchanged or insufficiently increases to help those families cover current living expenses. Research also reveals that financial status impacts access to education, as well as the level and quality of education, with more affluent families being most likely to complete higher education compared to their poor counterparts. This thesis argues that because our society is more oriented towards self-interest than common good, our current interpretation and exercise of freedom and rights are inadequate to surmount our income and opportunity crises. The thesis therefore explores different conceptions of freedom, the first being from the philosophical movement, existentialism which states that freedom is man’s ability to take responsibility for the meaning of his own life. Renown existentialist, Jean-Paul Sartre argues that freedom makes man responsible not just for himself, but for the world, and that in choosing what is good for him, he must choose what is good for all. Simone Weil presents a related view of freedom by emphasizing the existence of certain needs of the human soul such as needs for equality and hierarchy, obedience and liberty, truth and freedom of expression, privacy and social life, private and public properties. She also asserts that a free society is one where every measure is taken to satisfy those needs, seeing them as impersonal obligations to be met, distinct from and prior to rights, which are self-interested and not based on what is impersonal and sacred in every human being. Guided by Sartre and Weil’s views, the thesis ends by recommending that any solution to resolve our socioeconomic problems begin with a reassessment of our general understanding of rights and freedom, by divorcing the two in order to better identify and comprehend others’ limited freedom and how we contribute to it. As Sartre and Weil explain, understanding our freedom as a responsibility to ourselves and everyone else can help us think of our obligations towards one another, instead of primarily focusing on securing our personal rights and liberties.
dc.formatPDF
dc.format.extent83 leaves
dc.languageen
dc.publisherGeorgetown University
dc.sourceGeorgetown University-Graduate School of Arts & Sciences
dc.sourceLiberal Studies
dc.subject.lcshPhilosophy
dc.subject.lcshSociology
dc.subject.otherPhilosophy
dc.subject.otherSociology
dc.titleRights and their Intrusion on Freedom in America
dc.typethesis


This item appears in the following Collection(s)

Show simple item record