Real Rights provides a new theory of the grounds of legal and moral rights. Wellman argues that only agents can be right-holders, that children and the mentally limited can have only limited rights, and that foetuses, the dead, and groups can have none. Real Rights also describes how rights imply duties, and how rights conflicts can be resolved and what considerations override rights.
- Hardback | 288 pages
- 182.4 x 213.9 x 24.9mm | 648.65g
- 01 Jun 1997
- Oxford University Press
- Oxford, United Kingdom
Back cover copy
Real Rights offers a new theory of the grounds of legal and moral rights, providing a platform from which to determine whether alleged rights are "real" or not. Defining a legal or moral right as a complex of liberties, claims, powers, and immunities, Wellman distinguishes the kinds of laws and moral reasons that can ground each of these. The book argues that it is agency which qualifies individuals to possess rights. Children acquire rights gradually, and the mentally limited can have only limited rights; fetuses and the dead can have none, nor can groups. Wellman goes on to discuss the duties implied by any real right, offering a detailed review of conflicts between rights, and analyzing the ways in which incompatible rights or other considerations could override implied duties. An original and systematic discussion of the grounds of rights, this book has concrete judicial implications, and should interest a wide range of scholars and practitioners in philosophy, law, and political science.
Real Rights... is a valuable contribution to the literature on rights. Analytic ethicists working on rights theory will need to read this book. * Ethics *