Law and Philosophy

, Volume 36, Issue 2, pp 121–133 | Cite as

A Social Practice Prioritarian Response to Allen Buchanan’s The Heart of Human Rights

  • William J. TalbottEmail author


Allen Buchanan’s ‘The Heart of Human Rights’ addresses the moral justification of the international legal human rights system (ILHRS). Buchanan identifies two functions of the ILHRS: a well-being function and a status egalitarian function. Because Buchanan assumes that the well-being function is sufficientarian, he augments it with a status egalitarian function. However, if the well-being function is utilitarian or prioritarian, there is no need for a separate status egalitarian function, because the status egalitarian function can be subsumed by the utilitarian or prioritarian well-being function.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PhilosophyUniversity of WashingtonSeattleUSA

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