Rawls on human rights: A review essay [Book Review]

Journal of Ethics 12 (1):105 - 122 (2008)
In this essay, I first evaluate the conceptual analysis of human rights by Wilfried Hinsch and Markus Stepanians. Next I criticize Allen Buchanan’s claim that Rawls did not address basic human interests/capabilities theories of human nature. I argue Buchanan is doubly mistaken when he claims that John Rawls sought to avoid such theories because they are comprehensive doctrines. Then I evaluate David Reidy’s defense of Rawls, while questioning his efforts to show how Rawls’s list of human rights could be expanded. Finally, I accept James Nickel’s argument that Rawls has tied human rights too closely to intervention on their behalf. However, I reject his, and by implication Rawls’s, refusal to accept a two-tiered approach to human rights.
Keywords Basic human interests/capabilities theories  Allen Buchanan  burdened peoples  David A. Reidy  duties of third parties  Henry Shue  human rights  intervention  James W. Nickel  John Rawls  Amartya Sen  Markus Stepanians  Wilfried Hinsch
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