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Arguments for a Better World: Essays in Honor of Amartya SenVolume I: Ethics, Welfare, and Measurement$
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Kaushik Basu and Ravi Kanbur

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780199239115

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2009

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199239115.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 17 May 2021

Rights and Interests

Rights and Interests

(p.68) Chapter 5 Rights and Interests
Arguments for a Better World: Essays in Honor of Amartya Sen

T. M. Scanlon

Oxford University Press

Rights are defined by certain specific duties, and they are justified on the ground that they are necessary to protect important individual interests. This chapter examines the relation between a right and the duties that define it, and the relation between a right and the interests that justify it. The latter form of justification is not ‘instrumental’, in a way that contrasts with the justification of other moral claims. The idea that rights conflict and must be ‘balanced’ against each other is a mistake. Interests can conflict and must be balanced; rights must be defined so that they do not conflict.

Keywords:   balancing, consequentialism, deontology, rights, moral claims

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