Additional Reading

Note: these are not even recommended reading. They are here mainly for the sake of graduate students who wish to pursue papers on this topic.

Hart elaborates the Choice theory of rights, while adding several important qualifications that I will mention next time, in an essay on Bentham’s theory of rights: Hart, H. L. A. “Legal Rights.” In Essays on Bentham: Studies in Jurisprudence and Political Theory, 162-93. Oxford, New York: Oxford University Press, 1982.

Two critical discussions of the article we read that looked interesting to me on shallow inspection are:

Hart’s view, particularly as expressed in the article on Bentham (“Legal Rights”) receives a thorough going over in Wellman, Carl. A theory of rights : persons under laws, institutions, and morals. Totowa, N.J.: Rowman & Allanheld, 1985.

A recent defense of a Choice theory of rights can be found in Hillel Steiner, An essay on rights. Oxford, UK ;: Cambridge Mass. USA : Blackwell, 1994.

Hart’s brief mention of mutual restrictions has generated extensive discussion, usually under the name that John Rawls gave to it: the principle of fairness (See Rawls, A Theory of Justice look in the index). See, for example, the relevant parts of Robert Nozick Anarchy, State and Utopia and A. John Simmons, Moral Principles and Political Obligations (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1979).