David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Ezio Di Nucci
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Res Publica 17 (3):227-243 (2011)
This paper asks whether (human) rights enforcement is permissible given that it may entail infringing on the rights of innocent bystanders. I consider two strategies that adopt a rights-sensitive consequentialist framework and offer a positive answer to this question, namely Amartya Sen’s and Hillel Steiner’s. Against Sen, I argue that trade-offs between rights are problematic since they contradict the purpose of rights, which is to provide a pluralist solution to disagreement about values, i.e. to allow agents to act in accordance with their values. I further argue that Steiner’s compensation strategy does not succeed in avoiding trade-offs so it falls prey to the same criticism. I propose a non-trade-off solution that is implicit in the accounts discussed and is more consistent with the meta-ethical framework advocated by Sen. This solution relies on an enforceable duty to share in the costs of rights enforcement hence it entails a degree of redistribution for enforcement purposes.
|Keywords||Conflicts of rights Trade-offs Enforcement Consequentialism Agent-relative reasons Pluralism|
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References found in this work BETA
Robert Nozick (1974). Anarchy, State and Utopia. Basic Books.
Judith Jarvis Thomson (1990). The Realm of Rights. Harvard University Press.
Hillel Steiner (1994). An Essay on Rights. Oxford, Uk ;Blackwell.
Amartya Sen (1982). Rights and Agency. Philosophy and Public Affairs 11 (1):3-39.
Jeremy Waldron (1981). A Right to Do Wrong. Ethics 92 (1):21-39.
Citations of this work BETA
Adina Preda (2015). Are There Any Conflicts of Rights? Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 18 (4):677-690.
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