October 2, 1991
Modern theories of rights assume the existence of autonomous individual persons who possess rights by the mere force of their personhood alone. Orthodox Jewish thinkers Sol Roth and Isaac Breuer contest the primitive original character of personhood in this sense. They assert that neither rights nor persons precede a social reality constituted by duties and obligations seeking to ground personhood in moral relationality rather than autonomy. Both thereby negate the modern project of ascribing rights.