Date Thesis Awarded

5-2015

Document Type

Honors Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelors of Arts (BA)

Department

Philosophy

Advisor

Christopher Freiman

Committee Member

Timothy Costelloe

Committee Member

Ross Carroll

Abstract

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.

Share

COinS