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Can Eudaimonism Serve as a Framework for a Theory of Rights?

Gåvertsson, Frits LU (2015) Swedish Philosophy Conference
Abstract
In this paper I consider whether eudamonism—i.e. the thesis that the ultimate aim of human life and conduct is the attainment of happiness and that the achievement of this goal is closely linked to the acquisition and exercise of moral virtue and tranquillity of the soul—could serve as a framework for a theory of rights. I argue that the eudaimonist’s chances to ground a theory of rights from within her chosen framework is greatly increased if we take the order of explanation to go from duty to right rather than the other way around. This is

problematic since it is arguably so that a central component of our notion of human rights is that they are such that we have them because of some fact about every human person. After arguing... (More)
In this paper I consider whether eudamonism—i.e. the thesis that the ultimate aim of human life and conduct is the attainment of happiness and that the achievement of this goal is closely linked to the acquisition and exercise of moral virtue and tranquillity of the soul—could serve as a framework for a theory of rights. I argue that the eudaimonist’s chances to ground a theory of rights from within her chosen framework is greatly increased if we take the order of explanation to go from duty to right rather than the other way around. This is

problematic since it is arguably so that a central component of our notion of human rights is that they are such that we have them because of some fact about every human person. After arguing that there are at least some considerations in favour of loosening the requirement that rights somehow ground duties rather than the other way around I go on to note some interesting implications that adopting a eudaemonist framework would have for the issue of how claim-rights and directed duties are to be analysed. We have reason to suppose that proponents of the different classical eudaimonistic schools of the Hellenistic era would radically diverge on this issue. (Less)
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author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to conference
publication status
unpublished
subject
keywords
eudaimonism, human rights, virtue, ethics, rights
conference name
Swedish Philosophy Conference
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
5831df75-64fb-4941-8291-ff1066874918 (old id 8838302)
date added to LUP
2016-03-08 07:56:48
date last changed
2016-04-16 10:51:42
@misc{5831df75-64fb-4941-8291-ff1066874918,
  abstract     = {In this paper I consider whether eudamonism—i.e. the thesis that the ultimate aim of human life and conduct is the attainment of happiness and that the achievement of this goal is closely linked to the acquisition and exercise of moral virtue and tranquillity of the soul—could serve as a framework for a theory of rights. I argue that the eudaimonist’s chances to ground a theory of rights from within her chosen framework is greatly increased if we take the order of explanation to go from duty to right rather than the other way around. This is<br/><br>
problematic since it is arguably so that a central component of our notion of human rights is that they are such that we have them because of some fact about every human person. After arguing that there are at least some considerations in favour of loosening the requirement that rights somehow ground duties rather than the other way around I go on to note some interesting implications that adopting a eudaemonist framework would have for the issue of how claim-rights and directed duties are to be analysed. We have reason to suppose that proponents of the different classical eudaimonistic schools of the Hellenistic era would radically diverge on this issue.},
  author       = {Gåvertsson, Frits},
  keyword      = {eudaimonism,human rights,virtue,ethics,rights},
  language     = {eng},
  title        = {Can Eudaimonism Serve as a Framework for a Theory of Rights?},
  year         = {2015},
}