Moral Rights and Their Grounds  book cover
1st Edition

Moral Rights and Their Grounds

ISBN 9781032094113
Published June 30, 2021 by Routledge
268 Pages

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Book Description

Moral Rights and Their Grounds offers a novel theory of rights based on two distinct views. The first—the value view of rights—argues that for a person to have a right is to be valuable in a certain way, or to have a value property. This special type of value is in turn identified by the reasons that others have for treating the right holder in certain ways, and that correlate with the value in question. David Alm then argues that the familiar agency view of rights should be replaced with a different version according to which persons’ rights, and thus at least in part their value, are based on their actions rather than their mere agency. This view, which Alm calls exercise-based rights, retains some of the most valuable features of the agency view while also defending it against common objections concerning right loss. This book presents a unique conception of exercise-based rights that will be of keen interest to ethicists, legal philosophers, and political philosophers interested in rights theory.

Table of Contents

Introduction  Part I: The Value View  1. The Value View: The Basics  2. The Components of a Claim  3. In Defense of the Value View  Part II: The Agency View  4. The Agency View: The Basics  5. The Components of Owing: Exclusionary Reasons and Relationality  6. How Agency Generates Rights  7. The Strength of Rights  8. The Moral Significance of Rights  9. The Agency View and Right Loss  Part III: Exercise-Based Rights  10. Rejecting the Agency View: The Options  11. Exercise-Based Rights: The Very Idea  12. Exercise-Based Rights: Why Accept Them?

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David Alm is an associate professor of practical philosophy at the University of Lund, Sweden. He works mostly in moral and social philosophy, and has published extensively in these fields.


"This book will be of great interest not only to analytically oriented moral philosophers, but also to political and legal philosophers with an interest in the meta-ethical and normative-ethical analyses of rights. Alm masters the contemporary debates on the nature, contents and grounds of moral rights. In addition, his hybrid view offers a plausible solution to the puzzle of how to reconcile the phenomenon of the loss of moral rights with the idea that moral rights are inalienable because we possess them in virtue of our personhood."Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews

"David Alm’s value theory provides a fascinating and important competitor to will and benefit theories. It attempts to solve the central problems that plague these competitor theories and does so in a way that that connects rights to autonomy, reasons, and morality in general. Rights theorists will greatly enjoy discussing Alm’s innovative approach."Stephen Kershnar, SUNY-Fredonia, USA