Raz Outline

Notes on the reading


Raz is trying to give an account of the nature of rights, that is, how the term “rights” is used in legal, political, and moral discourse.

He is not trying to show that rights are important. He’s not even trying to show that anyone or anything has rights. Rather, he’s just trying to be show what we are claiming when we say that someone has a right. We need to be clear about that in order to know what it is that we’re defending or attacking when we’re defending or attacking human rights.


§1 Main claims to be defended.

§2 Distinction between core and derivative rights.

§3 Correlativity of rights and obligations

§4 Holding individuals to be under a duty

§5 Promises and agreements

§6 Capacity for rights

§7 Rights and interests

§8 Rights and duties

§9 The importance of rights