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Reading: Is the Concept of Rights Independent of the Reasons for Them?

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Is the Concept of Rights Independent of the Reasons for Them?

Author:

Franziska Poprawe

University of Bayreuth, DE
About Franziska

I would like to thank Leif Wenar for the helpful comments and inspiring discussion on an earlier version of this paper.

MA student of Philosophy and Economics at the Germany. Her main fields of interest are on rights and normativity. She hopes to continue research in the future.

 

 

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Abstract

Wenar (2005) rejects both the will and the interest theory, as the correct theory of the function of rights, partly on the grounds that they are constructed to favour particular positions in normative theorising, and thus fail to do justice to the desirable demarcation between normative stipulation and descriptive conceptual analysis. As an alternative, he proposes the so called Several Function Theory. I argue that this theory, though superior to the will and the interest theory in some respects, does not provide us with the purely conceptual, non- normative account of rights that it purports to be. I argue that, though it does not en force a particular normative theory in the way the will and the interest theories do, it nevertheless relies on normative theorising. My analysis suggests the speculation that a concept of rights is necessarily bound to normative commitments.

How to Cite: Poprawe, F., 2015. Is the Concept of Rights Independent of the Reasons for Them?. Rerum Causae, 7(1), pp.50–70.
Published on 01 Jan 2015.
Peer Reviewed

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