American Journal of Jurisprudence 64 (2):213-223 (2019)

Matthew Henry Kramer
Cambridge University
As is well known to everyone familiar with the analytical table of legal relationships propounded by the American jurist Wesley Hohfeld, one of the eight positions in the table is that of the no-right. In most discussions of Hohfeld’s overall framework, no-rights have received rather little attention. Doubtless, one reason for the relative dearth of scrutiny is that Hohfeld devised a hyphenated neologism to designate no-rights. Each of the other positions in the Hohfeldian table is designated by a term with a solid grounding in everyday discourse and juristic discourse, whereas the hyphenated term “no-right”—in contrast with the unhyphenated phrase “no right”—does not have any comparable grounding either in ordinary discourse or in juristic discourse. That neologism is almost never employed by anyone outside the confines of discussions of Hohfeld’s categories, and it is often not employed even within those confines. Notwithstanding the enormous amount of philosophical and juristic attention bestowed on Hohfeld’s analytical framework since its elaboration in the second decade of the twentieth century, the term “no-right” has found little favor in philosophical or juristic circles. Moreover, on the rather rare occasions when the term is used rather than merely mentioned, it is almost always misused. The exploration of the correct use of that term in the first half of this paper may seem rather fussy, but the importance of that exploration for a satisfactory understanding of legal and moral relationships will become apparent in the second half of the paper. While endeavoring to vindicate the term “no-right” as a fully apposite element in the vocabulary of legal philosophy, this paper will also be replying to a recent article by Heidi Hurd and Michael Moore in this journal.
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DOI 10.1093/ajj/auz009
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References found in this work BETA

The Nature of Rights.Leif Wenar - 2005 - Philosophy and Public Affairs 33 (3):223-252.
The Hohfeldian Analysis of Rights.Heidi M. Hurd & Michael S. Moore - 2018 - American Journal of Jurisprudence 63 (2):295-354.
Rights: Beyond Interest Theory and Will Theory? [REVIEW]Rowan Cruft - 2004 - Law and Philosophy 23 (4):347 - 397.
Theories of Rights.Alon Harel - 2005 - In Martin P. Golding & William A. Edmundson (eds.), The Blackwell Guide to the Philosophy of Law and Legal Theory. Blackwell.
Rights Theory.George W. Rainbolt - 2006 - Philosophy Compass 1 (1):11–21.

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Citations of this work BETA

Should Lawyers Be Loyal To Clients, the Law, or Both?W. Bradley Wendel - 2020 - American Journal of Jurisprudence 65 (1):19-39.
No-Right and its Correlative.Andrew Halpin - 2021 - American Journal of Jurisprudence 65 (2):147-166.
Permissions, Deontic Voids, and the Karamazov Argument.Michael S. Green - 2022 - American Journal of Jurisprudence 66 (2):291-307.

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