Show simple item record Winton, James 2011-07-13T21:36:26Z 2022-10-27T01:12:26Z 2011-07-13T21:36:26Z 2022-10-27T01:12:26Z 1980 1980
dc.description.abstract The purpose of this paper is to establish three points concerning human rights. Human rights (essentially a new name for natural rights) have traditionally been identified with such rights as the right to life, the right to liberty, and the right to a fair trial, or more briefly with civil and political rights. There is a school of thought which has argued that the term "human rights" cannot be meaningfully extended to include such rights as the right to education, the right to unemployment benefits, and the right to adequate health care, or again briefly to social and economic rights. I contend that the term "human rights" can be meaningfully extended to include such social and economic rights. In the course of my arguments for this position I refute the arguments Professor Cranston puts forward in his attempt to establish that social and economic rights cannot be considered as human rights. Human rights may be defined as those moral rights all people have in all situations. This definition indicates that if a moral right fulfils two conditions it is a human right. The two conditions are that the right must be universal and that it must be absolute. My second point is that while I accept that a human right must in a sense be universal, the concept of universality itself is not a decisive factor in determining whether a moral right is a human right. In this regard I take issue with the contentions of Professors Cranston and Raphael who both attempt to distinguish certain moral rights from others on the basis of universality, and who both conclude that it is only these rights which can be considered as human rights. I argue that because all moral rights are in an important sense universal no categorical distinction can be made among them in this respect. My third point is that what people can and in fact do mean when they speak of absolute moral rights is most appropriately conveyed by the term "indefeasible rights", meaning those rights which cannot be voided or overridden for any legitimate reason. Although some philosophers in the natural rights tradition have identified absolute moral rights as inalienable rights, I argue that the term "inalienable rights" is most clearly and precisely defined as those rights which cannot be given away, that it is this definition which is used by Hobbes and Locke in their writings on the subject, and that the term is not appropriately used in reference to absolute moral rights. In my concluding remarks I identify one sort of right which has all the characteristics normally associated with human rights; that is, one which can be stated in general terms, is universally applicable, and which is also indefeasible. I call such rights, following Mr. John Iorns, Pragmatic rights. en_NZ
dc.format pdf en_NZ
dc.language en_NZ
dc.language.iso en_NZ
dc.publisher Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington en_NZ
dc.title Human rights en_NZ
dc.type Text en_NZ
vuwschema.type.vuw Awarded Research Masters Thesis en_NZ Philosophy en_NZ Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington en_NZ Masters en_NZ

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