Law and Philosophy 23 (4):325 - 346 (2004)

John Oberdiek
Rutgers University - New Brunswick
The infringing/violating distinction, first drawn by Judith Jarvis Thomson, is central to much contemporary rights theory. According to Thomson, conduct that is in some sense opposed to a right infringes it, while conduct that is also wrong violates the right. This distinction finds a home what I call, borrowing Robert Nozick's parlance, a "moral space" conception of rights, for the infringing/violating distinction presupposes that, as Nozick puts it, "a line (or hyper-plane) circumscribes an area in moral space around an individual." In this paper, I argue against the moral space conception of rights, and more specifically, against incorporating the infringing/violating distinction into a theory of rights. There are other compelling ways to think about rights and it is my goal to stimulate their exploration.
Keywords Law   Logic   Philosophy of Law   Law Theory/Law Philosophy   Political Science   Social Issues
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DOI 10.1023/B:LAPH.0000015415.09583.a1
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References found in this work BETA

Voluntary Euthanasia and the Inalienable Right to Life.Joel Feinberg - 1978 - Philosophy and Public Affairs 7 (2):93-123.
Libertarianism, Entitlement, and Responsibility.Stephen R. Perry - 1997 - Philosophy and Public Affairs 26 (4):351-396.

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