THE NATURE OF RIGHTS DEBATE RESTS ON A MISTAKE

Authors


Abstract

The recent debate over the nature of rights has been dominated by two rival theories of rights. Proponents of the Will Theory of rights hold that individual freedom, autonomy, control, or sovereignty are somehow to be fundamental to the concept of a right, while proponents of the Interest Theory argue that rights rather protect people's welfare. Participants in this debate commonly assume the existence of a single ‘concept’ of which both theories provide competing descriptions. The aim of this article is to show that both accounts are better understood as providing characterizations of different ‘kinds’ of rights.

Ancillary