Feinberg's Two Concepts of Rights

Christopher Wellmon

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    9 Citations (Scopus)
    5976 Downloads (Pure)


    This article argues that there is a fundamental tension between Joel Feinberg's theory of the nature of rights and his account of what types of beings are potential right-holders. In explaining this tension, I argue that Feinberg actually adopts two competing concepts of rights. Clearly, Feinberg must choose between these two theories, but I suggest that both are attractive and that neither view can be selected as either 'correct' or 'incorrect' on the grounds of either logical consistency or even straightforward conceptual analysis. In the end, one's preference between these two concepts of rights depends upon competing values, values about which reasonable people can disagree.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)213-226
    Number of pages14
    JournalLegal Theory
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - 2005


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