Grounds of Moral Human Rights

Carl Wellman

in The Moral Dimensions of Human Rights

Published in print December 2010 | ISBN: 9780199744787
Published online January 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199827138 | DOI:
Grounds of Moral Human Rights

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This chapter explains the grounds of moral human rights. Basal rights are grounded on moral reasons other than some prior right but often ground derived rights. Their grounds are primarily the harms that the individual right-holder normally suffers when they are violated. Thus, they presuppose basic human needs. Secondarily, basal human rights are often grounded on their value to society as a whole. Other moral human rights are indirectly grounded on the same moral reasons because they are derived from some basal human right by subsumption, as a necessary condition for its exercise or enjoyment, or as being conducive to its secure exercise or enjoyment.

Keywords: moral reasons; harms; human needs; human rights; Basal rights; derived rights; subsumption; necessary condition; secure exercise

Chapter.  5618 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy

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