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The Moral Dimensions of Human Rights$
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Carl Wellman

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780199744787

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199744787.001.0001

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Grounds of Moral Human Rights

Grounds of Moral Human Rights

Chapter:
(p.41) 3 Grounds of Moral Human Rights
Source:
The Moral Dimensions of Human Rights
Author(s):

Carl Wellman

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199744787.003.0003

This chapter explains the grounds of moral human rights. Basal rights are grounded on moral reasons other than some prior right but often ground derived rights. Their grounds are primarily the harms that the individual right-holder normally suffers when they are violated. Thus, they presuppose basic human needs. Secondarily, basal human rights are often grounded on their value to society as a whole. Other moral human rights are indirectly grounded on the same moral reasons because they are derived from some basal human right by subsumption, as a necessary condition for its exercise or enjoyment, or as being conducive to its secure exercise or enjoyment.

Keywords:   moral reasons, harms, human needs, human rights, Basal rights, derived rights, subsumption, necessary condition, secure exercise

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