Which Rights Are Basic Rights?

Gnosis 9 (1):1-11 (2007)
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In this paper I explain and defend the content and justification of John Rawls's conception of human rights, as he outlines it in his major work: The Law of Peoples. I focus, in particular, on the criticisms of Allen Buchanan. Buchanan distinguishes four lines of argument that Rawls uses to derive what, according to Buchanan, is a 'lean' list of human rights : the Political Conception Argument, the Associationist Argument, the Cooperation Argument, and finally the Functionalist Argument. In each case Buchanan proceeds to show how the premises of Rawls's argument lead to absurd consequences if taken to their logical conclusion. It can be shown, however, that the reason these consequences follow is that Buchanan misunderstands and misrepresents Rawls's premises
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