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PHIL 134 Quiz: Rights Quiz Notes

Philosophy Department
Course Code
PHIL 134
Elizabeth Sonnier
Study Guide

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Rights Quiz Notes
Rights are a justified claim to a certain kind of treatment from others, to help
others or to be left alone by others
We believe in rights so much that we don’t look for any justification we just
believe that we HAVE rights
The results that arise if rights are violated are not relevant. Consequences of
violating rights of others are not relevant.
We understand that rights can be beneficial to us, but those benefits are not the
Even if you get no benefit, you still have the right.
Thus, rights are important in themselves and not because of some factors or
ethics outside of rights theory.
Early rights theory was written as philosophers sought political and legal rights
for everyone.
The beginning of RIGHTS
Philosophers such as Hobbes and Locke proposed that we find in the natural
state of man
Used to justify rights in the ethical sense
With ethical justification, it would be possible to argue for legal rights for
Thomas Hobbes
Concerned with governments and the relationship of governments to society
Positive rights:
Government helps
Negative rights:
Negative rights almost always trump positive rights
Prima Facie rights
rights are rights that appear at first to be important until some more important
right stands in its way, then the prima facie does not seem so important.
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