The Journal of Ethics

, Volume 4, Issue 1, pp 71–98

In Defense of the Jurisdiction Theory of Rights

  • Eric Mack

DOI: 10.1023/A:1009804202322

Cite this article as:
Mack, E. The Journal of Ethics (2000) 4: 71. doi:10.1023/A:1009804202322


This essay critically examines three theories of moral rights, theBenefit, the Interest, and the Choice theories. The Interest andChoice theories attempt to explain how rights can be more robustthan seems possible on the Benefit theory. In particular, moralrights are supposed to be resistant to trade-offs to supportprincipled anti-paternalism, to constitute a distinct dimensionof morality, and to provide right holders with a range ofdiscretionary choice. I argue that these and other featuresare better yet provided by a fourth theory of moral rights, theJurisdiction theory.

agent-relativitybenefit theorychoice theoryindividuated aimsinterest theorymoral rightspaternalism

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  • Eric Mack
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PhilosophyTulane UniversityNew OrleansUSA