AuthorRainbolt, George Winston.
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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AbstractI argue that one has a right when another has a normative constraint with respect to one. The fact that claims and immunities are the only Hohfeldian elements which constrain another combined with the fact that rights necessarily constrain others gives us reason to think that to have a right is to have either a claim OR an immunity. Hohfeldian elements can be defined in terms of fundamental normative concepts such as obligation and impossibility. This analysis provides a plausible account of liberty and power rights. The analysis also resolves the puzzles surrounding mandatory or obligation rights and rights which do not benefit the rightholder. To have a normative constraint with respect to another is to have an obligation or impossibility grounded in a feature of the rightholder. The analysis of rights provides good, but not conclusive, reason to think that there are moral rights. Further, the analysis reveals that the specificity view of rights conflict is true.