Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Power, Luck and FreedomCollected essays$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Keith Dowding

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9781526107282

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: May 2017

DOI: 10.7228/manchester/9781526107282.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM MANCHESTER SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.manchester.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Manchester University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in MSO for personal use.date: 18 September 2021

The construction of rights

The construction of rights

(p.230) 12 The construction of rights
Power, Luck and Freedom

Keith Dowding

Martin van Hees

Manchester University Press

This chapter examines the sense in which rights can be said to exist. It explores various approaches to the definition and analysis of rights, focusing in particular on the compossibility of rights. Concentrating on three existing approaches to rights – social choice-theoretic, game-theoretic and Steiner’s approach – we suggest that rights are noncompossible in any interesting sense: that is, that the rights people have are nonexistent or vanishingly small. We develop an alternative account of rights – which we claim is more in tune with moral intuitions – where compossibility is not important and rights cannot form the exclusive basis of morality or a theory of justice. Rights are constructed on the basis of more fundamental moral values. We demonstrate how they are constructed and the sense in which they exist, even though they might not always be exercised, while acknowledging that rights that may never be exercised are hardly worth the name.

Keywords:   Compossibility, Constraints, Constructivism, Existence, Freedom, Hohfeld, W. N, Liberal paradox, Liberty, Measurement, Rights

Manchester Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.