Date Thesis Awarded
Honors Thesis -- Access Restricted On-Campus Only
Bachelors of Arts (BA)
In this paper, I evaluate which of two ethical theories - Mill's utilitarianism or Scanlon's contractualism - can provide a more plausible justification of a plausible account of rights. To arrive upon such an account, I consider two utilitarian accounts of rights and one contractualist account of rights. Thereafter, I establish, through extraction of the most plausible elements of each of the three aforementioned accounts of rights, five necessary conditions which a rights account should meet if it is to be plausible. I conclude that given an understanding of a plausible rights account as one which minimally includes these five conditions, Mill's utilitarianism has stronger justificatory power than Scanlon's contractualism.
Lopez, Jose A. Jr., "A Battle for Rights Justification: Millian Utilitarianism vs. Scanlonian Contractualism" (2015). Undergraduate Honors Theses. William & Mary. Paper 162.
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