Agency and Human Rights

Journal of Applied Philosophy 27 (1):15-25 (2009)
  Copy   BIBTEX

Abstract

What grounds human rights? How do we determine that something is a human right? James Griffin has persuasively argued that the notion of agency should determine the content of human rights. However, Griffin's agency account faces the question of why agency should be the sole ground for human rights. For example, can Griffin's notion of agency by itself adequately explain such human rights as that against torture? Or, has Griffin offered a plausible explanation as to why one should not broaden the ground for human rights to include other elements of a good life such as freedom from great pain, understanding, deep personal relations, and so on? These concerns have been raised regarding Griffin's agency account, but in his new book, On Human Rights , Griffin has offered new arguments in support of his view that agency is the sole ground for human rights. In this paper, I examine these new arguments, and I argue that Griffin's arguments are ultimately unsuccessful.

Links

PhilArchive



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 91,069

External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

Similar books and articles

Analytics

Added to PP
2009-09-27

Downloads
157 (#114,211)

6 months
7 (#198,233)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author's Profile

S. Matthew Liao
New York University

References found in this work

No references found.

Add more references