A justification for rights

 

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dc.contributor.advisor Meyerson, Denise en_ZA
dc.contributor.author Benatar, David en_ZA
dc.date.accessioned 2015-07-14T08:39:53Z
dc.date.available 2015-07-14T08:39:53Z
dc.date.issued 1992 en_ZA
dc.identifier.citation Benatar, D. 1992. A justification for rights. University of Cape Town. en_ZA
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/11427/13413
dc.description Bibliography: p. 217-224. en_ZA
dc.description.abstract This thesis provides an argument in favour of there being natural rights. Such rights are rights which creatures necessarily have in virtue of their nature alone. These are to be distinguished from non-natural rights which may or may not be acquired. It is argued that natural rights possess three features: (1) they have correlative duties; (2) they have great strength; and (3) they are exclusively negative. It is argued further that that the strength of some natural rights must be absolute. One chapter is devoted to arguing against the justifications for rights advanced by Immanuel Kant, Alan Gewirth and John Rawls. Another chapter shows that the problem with utilitarianism is that it cannot satisfactorily accommodate rights. This thesis claims that morality must be connected to well-being and that well-being should be understood objectively rather than subjectively. Further, it advances the view that since individuals, rather than societies or temporal stages of individuals, are the morally significant units of existence, morality should be connected to the well-being of individuals. It is then argued that a moral tool possessing the features which absolute natural rights possess is essential to moor morality to individual well-being. Given the great strength of absolute rights, they must protect only the most important objective interests an individual subject has and they must protect against only the most severe violations of these interests. Various scales of harm to the individual are envisaged, including scales of pain, injury and restriction of liberty. The view is advanced that absolute rights come into existence at a particular threshold on these scales, absolutely protecting the individual from having to make a sacrifice of that degree or greater. Although absolute natural rights have this important function they I are not seen as being the only principles on the moral landscape or even the only nonderivative ones. A few chapters are devoted to applying the theory to a number of questions, including what absolute rights there are and what creatures have rights. The thesis also answers a number of common criticisms of natural rights. en_ZA
dc.language.iso eng en_ZA
dc.subject.other Philosophy en_ZA
dc.title A justification for rights en_ZA
dc.type Doctoral Thesis
uct.type.publication Research en_ZA
uct.type.resource Thesis en_ZA
dc.publisher.institution University of Cape Town
dc.publisher.faculty Faculty of Humanities en_ZA
dc.publisher.department Department of Philosophy en_ZA
dc.type.qualificationlevel Doctoral
dc.type.qualificationname PhD en_ZA
uct.type.filetype Text
uct.type.filetype Image
dc.identifier.apacitation Benatar, D. (1992). <i>A justification for rights</i>. (Thesis). University of Cape Town ,Faculty of Humanities ,Department of Philosophy. Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/11427/13413 en_ZA
dc.identifier.chicagocitation Benatar, David. <i>"A justification for rights."</i> Thesis., University of Cape Town ,Faculty of Humanities ,Department of Philosophy, 1992. http://hdl.handle.net/11427/13413 en_ZA
dc.identifier.vancouvercitation Benatar D. A justification for rights. [Thesis]. University of Cape Town ,Faculty of Humanities ,Department of Philosophy, 1992 [cited yyyy month dd]. Available from: http://hdl.handle.net/11427/13413 en_ZA
dc.identifier.ris TY - Thesis / Dissertation AU - Benatar, David AB - This thesis provides an argument in favour of there being natural rights. Such rights are rights which creatures necessarily have in virtue of their nature alone. These are to be distinguished from non-natural rights which may or may not be acquired. It is argued that natural rights possess three features: (1) they have correlative duties; (2) they have great strength; and (3) they are exclusively negative. It is argued further that that the strength of some natural rights must be absolute. One chapter is devoted to arguing against the justifications for rights advanced by Immanuel Kant, Alan Gewirth and John Rawls. Another chapter shows that the problem with utilitarianism is that it cannot satisfactorily accommodate rights. This thesis claims that morality must be connected to well-being and that well-being should be understood objectively rather than subjectively. Further, it advances the view that since individuals, rather than societies or temporal stages of individuals, are the morally significant units of existence, morality should be connected to the well-being of individuals. It is then argued that a moral tool possessing the features which absolute natural rights possess is essential to moor morality to individual well-being. Given the great strength of absolute rights, they must protect only the most important objective interests an individual subject has and they must protect against only the most severe violations of these interests. Various scales of harm to the individual are envisaged, including scales of pain, injury and restriction of liberty. The view is advanced that absolute rights come into existence at a particular threshold on these scales, absolutely protecting the individual from having to make a sacrifice of that degree or greater. Although absolute natural rights have this important function they I are not seen as being the only principles on the moral landscape or even the only nonderivative ones. A few chapters are devoted to applying the theory to a number of questions, including what absolute rights there are and what creatures have rights. The thesis also answers a number of common criticisms of natural rights. DA - 1992 DB - OpenUCT DP - University of Cape Town LK - https://open.uct.ac.za PB - University of Cape Town PY - 1992 T1 - A justification for rights TI - A justification for rights UR - http://hdl.handle.net/11427/13413 ER - en_ZA


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