Seneca on Human Rights in De Beneficiis 3

Apeiron 54 (2):189-201 (2021)
  Copy   BIBTEX


The paper discusses Seneca’s phrase ‘human rights’ (ius humanum) in On Benefits 3 and relates the passage to recent debates about human rights in Stoicism and ancient philosophy. I argue that the Latin phrase refers either to rights or to a law conferring rights. The difference between the passage and a common expectation for human rights lies in the kind of relation between right and duty. In Seneca’s passage the right does not in itself have a correlative duty on the part of other people, and yet it does, if exercised through benefactions, create a duty in others. By contrast, the relation between right and duty is usually expected to be unconditional.



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 77,894

External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

Similar books and articles

The Philosophical Foundations of Human Rights: An Overview.Rowan Cruft, S. Matthew Liao & Massimo Renzo - 2015 - In Rowan Cruft, S. Matthew Liao & Massimo Renzo (eds.), Philosophical Foundations of Human Rights. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press. pp. 1-44.
Are Human Rights Moralistic?Guy Aitchison - 2018 - Human Rights Review 19 (1):23-43.
Human Rights and Human Well-Being.William Talbott - 2010 - New York, US: Oxford University Press.
The Claims and Duties of Socioeconomic Human Rights.Stephanie Collins - 2016 - Philosophical Quarterly 66 (265):701-722.


Added to PP

4 (#1,249,300)

6 months
1 (#483,919)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Citations of this work

No citations found.

Add more citations

References found in this work

Taking Rights Seriously.Ronald Dworkin - 1979 - Mind 88 (350):305-309.
The Nature of Rights.Leif Wenar - 2005 - Philosophy and Public Affairs 33 (3):223-252.
A Human Right Against Social Deprivation.Kimberley Brownlee - 2013 - Philosophical Quarterly 63 (251):199-222.
The Dark Side of Human Rights1.Onora O'Neill - 2005 - In Thomas Christiano & John Philip Christman (eds.), Contemporary Debates in Political Philosophy. Wiley-Blackwell. pp. 17--425.

View all 11 references / Add more references