Rights are part of our everyday moral and political vocabulary. Yet while few would deny that rights are important, there is a great deal of disagreement about just how valuable rights are and what their proper limits ought to be. For example, some scholars and practitioners maintain that human rights are valuable because they lay down a framework of protection, while at the same time leaving people ample room to lead their lives as they see fit. They are not just another way of life, but instead set the boundaries to what government can or cannot do. Others, however, hold that, while important, rights are not neutral between different ways of life and hence cannot tell us what to do when different ways of life conflict. This collection breaks new ground by tackling such questions head on. The issues it covers are some of the most vital that we face today. Their relevance to contemporary social and political debates cannot be overstated. The collection should appeal to political philosophers, lawyers, human rights activists and advanced undergraduate and graduate students in the arts, humanities and social sciences.
This book was published as a special issue of Critical Review of International, Social and Political Philosophy.
1. Introduction: The value and limits of rights: essays in honour of Peter Jones 2. Human rights and the diversity of value 3. Grounding human rights 4. Why liberals should not worry about subsidizing opera 5. Rights as democracy 6. The right to health versus good medical care? 7. The value and limits of rights: a reply 8. Peter Jones: Publications