What does it mean to have a right? Previous answers to this question fall into two groups: interest/benefit theories of rights and choice/will theories. This book proposes an alternative to these traditional views: the justified-constraint theory of rights, which avoids the pitfalls of earlier theories, and solves the puzzle of the relational nature of rights. The analysis shows that this theory applies without modification to past, present and future beings.
Table of ContentsAcknowledgments. Introduction. 1. Rights and Hohfeldian Analysis. 1.1 A Neo-Hohfeldian Analysis. 1.2 The Nature of Liberties. 1.3 The Structure of Hohfeldian Relations. 1.4 Disagreements with Hohfeld. 1.5 Agreements with Hohfeld. 2. Normative Constraints. 2.1 Claim and Immunity Rights. 2.2 Liberty and Power Rights. 2.3 Duty, Disability, Liability and No-Claim Rights. 2.4 Some Objections. 2.5 Martin: Rights as Socially Recognized Normative Directions. 3. Deontic and Alethic Concepts. 3.1 Some Fundamental Normative Concepts. 3.2 Hohfeldian and Normative Analysis. 3.3 Feinberg: Rights as Valid Claims. 3.4 Moral Rights. 4. The Relational Nature of Rights. 4.1 Relational Obligations. 4.2 Protection and Justification: The Interest and Choice Theories. 4.3 Raz: Rights as Interests That Justify Duties. 4.4 Hart: Rights as Protected Choices. 4.5 Wellman: Rights as Advantaged Wills. 4.6 Sumner’s Theory-Based Argument for the Choice/Will Theory. 5. Rights, Reasons and Persons. 5.1 Reasons and Relational Obligations. 5.2 Simple and Complex Justification. 5.3 Non-Relational Obligations. 5.4 Consequentialism. 5.5 The Individuation of Rights. 5.6 Some Implications of the Justified-Constraint Theory. 6. Rights Conflict. 6.1 Permissible and Unavoidable Rights Transgression. 6.2 Prima Facie and Specification. 6.3 The Identity of Prima Facie and Specification. 6.4 Rights Conflict and Arguments. 6.5Wellman's Examples. 6.6 Dworkin: Rights as Trumps. 7. Right Holders: Present. 7.1 Individuals, Groups, and Relevant Features. 7.2 Clearing Some Underbrush. 7.3 Individualism v. Collectivism. 8. Right Holders: Past and Future. 8.1 The Problem of the Subject. 8.2 Feinberg’s Proposed Solution. 8.3 Wellman’s Proposed Solution. 8.4 Time and Rights. 8.5 Parfit and the Non-Identity Problem. 8.6 Implications. 9. A Final Comparison. 9.1 Objections to the Justified-Constraint Theory. 9.2 Problems with Other Theories. 9.3 Advantages of the Justified-Constraint Theory.