Single Idea 7402

[catalogued under 24. Political Theory / A. Basis of a State / 3. Natural Values / c. Natural rights]

Full Idea

Grotius said that all men would agree that everyone has a fundamental right to preserve themselves, and that wanton or unnecessary injury to another person is unjustifiable.

Gist of Idea

Everyone has a right of self-preservation, and harming others is usually unjustifiable


report of Hugo Grotius (On the Law of War and Peace [1625]) by Richard Tuck - Hobbes Ch.1

Book Reference

Tuck,Richard: 'Hobbes: a very short introduction' [OUP 2002], p.26

A Reaction

Who cares if it is 'justifiable'? Do I have to 'justify' killing a mosquito if it lands on my arm? Grotius is taking a step beyond saying that people should defend themselves, to say that they have a 'right' to - the only truly basic right.