Are There Any Conflicts of Rights?

Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 18 (4):677-690 (2015)

Adina Preda
Trinity College, Dublin
This paper argues that a putative conflict between negative rights and positive rights is not a genuine conflict. The thought that they might conflict presupposes, I argue, that the two rights are valid. This is the first assumption of my argument. The second is that general rights impose duties on everyone, not just the party who faces a conflict of correlative duties. These two assumptions yield the conclusion that positive rights impose enforceable duties on the holder of the negative right; no right is thus infringed if this duty is enforced so no conflict occurs. If this is correct, it means that we can include welfare or socio-economic rights in a set of general rights without generating conflicts with negative rights to non-interference; this might clear some space for arguments that favour egalitarian redistribution although it does not show that general positive rights do exist
Keywords Conflicts of rights  Positive rights  Non-interference  Redistribution  Enforceable duties
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DOI 10.1007/s10677-015-9596-2
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References found in this work BETA

The Realm of Rights.Judith Jarvis Thomson - 1990 - Harvard University Press.
Rights and Agency.Amartya Sen - 1982 - Philosophy and Public Affairs 11 (1):3-39.
Duties and Their Direction.Gopal Sreenivasan - 2010 - Ethics 120 (3):465-494.
Voluntary Euthanasia and the Inalienable Right to Life.Joel Feinberg - 1978 - Philosophy and Public Affairs 7 (2):93-123.

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