The structure of basic human rights

Law and Philosophy 4 (3):343 - 375 (1985)
This paper offers a theory of the structure of basic human rights which is both compatible with and clarificatory of the traditional conception of such rights. A central contention of the theory is that basic rights are structurally different from other kinds of moral rights, such as special rights, because of differences both in the way in which basic rights have content and the model on which basic rights are correlative with duties. This contention is exploited to develop and defend the central thesis of the theory, namely that basic human rights are bundles of mutually held active rights enjoyed by persons in virtue of the specifiable moral relationships they bear to each other.
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