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Title: Human rights, interests and duties
Author: Capriati, Marinella
ISNI:       0000 0004 6062 1060
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2015
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This dissertation focuses on the concept of human rights, and in particular on how we should understand the interests protected by human rights and human rights' correlative duties. The work consists of three papers. Human rights and interests In the first paper I consider which conditions interests have to satisfy in order to be protected by human rights. I call these the Interest Conditions. I argue that we need to distinguish between two kinds of Interest Conditions: qualitative and quantitative ones. This means that we need to consider both which type of interests, and how much of these interests, human rights protect. I then consider the content of these conditions. Political accounts and fidelity to human rights practice In recent years, considerable attention has been received by so called "political accounts" of the analysis of human rights. According to these theories, one of the distinctive features of human rights is that they play a certain political function. In particular, a large number of political accounts hold that human rights have political correlative duties. I call this thesis 'Political Duties'. Political Duties has been defended on the grounds of the desideratum of fidelity, according to which the analysis of human rights ought to be faithful to human rights practice. I consider two ways of interpreting this desideratum and the corresponding versions of the argument in support of Political Duties. I argue that neither version successfully supports the thesis. The universal scope of positive duties correlative to human rights In the third paper I focus on duties correlative to human rights. We can distinguish between two different kinds of duties: negative and positive ones. Negative duties are duties not to perform an action, while positive duties are duties to perform an action. I focus on the latter and, in particular, I concentrate on the question of their scope - that is, on understanding who holds them. I defend a refinement of the thesis that all individuals hold positive duties correlative to human rights, which I call the Universal Scope Thesis.
Supervisor: Fabre, Cecile ; Sinclair, Thomas Sponsor: Arts and Humanities Research Council
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Human rights--Philosophy ; Human rights--Political aspects ; Responsibility