By C.P. Wellman
An method of Rights includes fifteen formerly released yet typically inaccessible papers that jointly exhibit the advance of 1 of the extra very important modern theories of the character, grounds and useful implications of rights. In a protracted retrospective essay, Carl Wellman explains what he was once attempting to accomplish in each one paper, how a long way he believes that he succeeded and the place he failed. therefore the writer offers a severe viewpoint either on his personal concept and on substitute theories from which he borrows, or that he rejects. those essays establish the issues any enough thought of rights needs to clear up, describe the extra believable ideas and weigh the advantages of every. they are going to be of targeted curiosity to any reader enthusiastic about felony concept, ethical philosophy or any department of utilized ethics or social coverage within which appeals to rights are usually made yet seldom rationally satisfactory.
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Extra resources for An Approach to Rights: Studies in the Philosophy of Law and Morals
What these will be for any moral right depends upon the moral reasons that ground moral claims, liberties, powers and immunities. At this point in my approach to rights, I had only a very tentative, and as it turned out mistaken, notion of what these reasons might be. What I had discovered is that the associated elements are prima facie positions, a feature that helps to explain how they apply in different ways to variable circumstances. The legal protection of a moral right by a legal right is only a special case of third-party protection because the state is one sort of third party with its special role to play in many moral rights, and protection by means of a legal right is only one form of state protection.
Connecticut, 381 U. S. 479 (1965) at 493). These are legally valid tests because they are found in authoritative texts, in earlier opinions of the Supreme Court concerning constitutional law. But is there any genuine appeal to moral rights here? This seems like pure legal positivism with no trace of the natural law reasoning rejected by Justice Black. One would expect some appeal to the self-evidence of natural rights or, on my theory, to the moral reasons that ground moral rights. At this point, I distinguish between the roles of the moral philosopher and that of the judge.
These can ground human rights because these are human needs, things one needs merely as a human being, not as a professor or even as a patient. Because these needs are universal, they are capable of grounding universal human rights, and because these are things we urgently need, not merely want or desire, they can ground rights, not merely goals or ideals. The inadequacy in this theory, I argued, is that it does nothing to identify the duty-bearer, the party who has the obligation to help one to obtain or to provide what one needs.