3-31-87 Tuesday. I’ve begun reading Alan White’s book Rights [Alan R. White, Rights (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1984); I finished reading this book on 3 April 1987], and I must say that I’m impressed by his analyses and the power of his reasoning. A few years ago, White wrote an article entitled “Conceptual Analysis” for an anthology. [Alan R. White, “Conceptual Analysis,” chap. 5 in The Owl of Minerva: Philosophers on Philosophy, ed. Charles J. Bontempo and S. Jack Odell (New York: McGraw-Hill Book Company, 1975), 103-17.] I asked my students to read it earlier this semester and then spent a couple of days discussing it. White, like me, thinks that philosophy consists primarily (if not exclusively) in conceptual analysis. In this book, he takes up many of the issues that have surrounded rights, such as the claim that for every right there is a correlative duty, and vice versa. White demolishes this claim by coming up with counterexamples. He also denies other necessary connections, such as that between rights and interests, that between rights and claims, and that between rights and liberties. I truly enjoy this sort of analysis. But I must admit that it’s discouraging to see so much destruction and so little construction. The only positive claim to emerge so far is that rights are entitlements of some sort. White, however, denies at the beginning of the book that he will argue either (1) that there are rights, or (2) that we should have certain rights. He leaves those tasks for others.