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rights, prima facie

Subject Philosophy

DOI: 10.1111/b.9781405106795.2004.x


E thics A prima facie right is a right that a person has in given circumstances, in contrast to an absolute right , which is universal and inherent and can not be overridden in any situation. If there is no conflicting right, a prima facie right becomes an absolute right. However, it can be overridden in circumstances in which other moral rights have a stronger claim. An absolute right entails a correlative absolute obligation or duty on others to respect it, while a prima facie right entails only a correlative prima facie obligation or duty. Some philosophers argue that all rights are prima facie and that there are no absolute rights. “As in the case of duties one might wish to employ the expression ‘prima facie rights’ in order to speak about the rights a person may be said to have in the case in which it may not be right to exercise them or for others to accord them.” Melden, Rights and Persons ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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