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Rights and philosophy In philosophy, meta-ethics is the branch of ethics that seeks to understand the nature of ethical properties, statements, attitudes, and judgments. Meta-ethics is one of the three branches of ethics generally recognized by philosophers, the others being normative ethics and applied ethics.

While normative ethics addresses such questions as "What should one do?", thus endorsing some ethical evaluations and rejecting others, meta-ethics addresses questions such as "What is goodness?" and "How can we tell what is good from what is bad?", seeking to understand the nature of ethical properties and evaluations.

Rights ethics is an answer to the meta-ethical question of what normative ethics is concerned with. (Metaethics also includes a group of questions about how ethics comes to be known, true, etc. which is not directly addressed by rights ethics). Rights ethics holds that normative ethics is concerned with rights. Alternative metaethical theories are that ethics is concerned with one of the following

Rights ethics has had considerable influence on political and social thinking. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights gives some concrete examples of widely accepted rights.

Criticism

Some philosophers have criticised rights as ontologically dubious entities. For instance, although in favour of the extension of individual legal rights, the utilitarian philosopher Jeremy Bentham opposed the idea of natural law and natural rights, calling them "nonsense upon stilts".<ref>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=book }} Also see {{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=web }}</ref> Further, one can question the ability of rights to actually bring about justice for all.


Rights sections
Intro  Definitional issues  Rights and politics  Rights and philosophy  Etymology  History of rights  See also  References   External links   

Rights and philosophy
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