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Rawls on Human Rights: A Review Essay

Burleigh Wilkins
The Journal of Ethics
Vol. 12, No. 1 (2008), pp. 105-122
Published by: Springer
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/40345341
Page Count: 18
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Rawls on Human Rights: A Review Essay
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Abstract

In this essay, I first evaluate the conceptual analysis of human rights by Wilfried Hinsch and Markus Stepanians. Next I criticize Allen Buchanan's claim that Rawls did not address basic human interests/capabilities theories of human nature. I argue Buchanan is doubly mistaken when he claims that John Rawls sought to avoid such theories because they are comprehensive doctrines. Then I evaluate David Reidy's defense of Rawls, while questioning his efforts to show how Rawls's list of human rights could be expanded. Finally, I accept James Nickel's argument that Rawls has tied human rights too closely to intervention on their behalf. However, I reject his, and by implication Rawls's, refusal to accept a two-tiered approach to human rights.

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