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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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Rights and Interests

Rights and Interests

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

T. M. Scanlon

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199239115.003.0006

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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