Philosophical Studies 175 (1):97-116 (2018)

Authors
Janis David Schaab
University of Groningen
Abstract
The most prominent theories of rights, the Will Theory and the Interest Theory, notoriously fail to accommodate all and only rights-attributions that make sense to ordinary speakers. The Kind-Desire Theory, Leif Wenar’s recent contribution to the field, appears to fare better in this respect than any of its predecessors. The theory states that we attribute a right to an individual if she has a kind-based desire that a certain enforceable duty be fulfilled. A kind-based desire is a reason to want something which one has simply in virtue of being a member of a certain kind. Rowan Cruft objects that this theory creates a puzzle about the relation between rights and respect. In particular, if rights are not grounded in aspects of the particular individuals whose rights they are, how can we sustain the intuitive notion that to violate a right is to disrespect the right-holder? I present a contractualist account of respect which reconciles the Kind-Desire Theory with the intuition that rights-violations are disrespectful. On this account, respect for a person is a matter of acknowledging her legitimate authority to make demands on the will and conduct of others. And I argue that kind-based desires authorize a person to make demands even if they do not correspond to that person’s well-being or other non-relational features.
Keywords Rights  Contractualism  Kind-Desire Theory  Second-Person Standpoint  Dignity  Respect  Kantian Ethics
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Reprint years 2017, 2018
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DOI 10.1007/s11098-017-0857-x
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References found in this work BETA

What is the Point of Equality?Elizabeth Anderson - 1999 - Ethics 109 (2):287-337.
What We Owe to Each Other.Thomas Scanlon - 2002 - Mind 111 (442):323-354.
Kantian Constructivism in Moral Theory.John Rawls - 1980 - Journal of Philosophy 77 (9):515-572.
Are There Any Natural Rights?H. L. A. Hart - 1955 - Philosophical Review 64 (2):175-191.
Two Kinds of Respect.Stephen Darwall - 1977 - Ethics 88 (1):36-49.

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Citations of this work BETA

Rights.Leif Wenar - 2008 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.

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