This book deals with how rights and their limits are dealt with in theories as well as in hypothetical and practical cases. It begins by considering moral status and its relation to having rights including whether animals have them and what rights future persons have. It considers whether rights are grounded in duties to oneself, which duties are correlative to rights, and whether neuroscientific and psychological studies can help determine what rights we have. The limits of the right not to be harmed are investigated by considering critiques of deontological distinctions, costs that must be undertaken to avoid harming, and a proposal for permissibly harming someone in the Trolley Problem. The possibility that the Trolley Problem can help determine what rights are involved in programming self-driving cars, providing medical treatments, and redistributive economic policy is considered. The book concludes by comparing the use of case-based judgments about extreme cases in moral versus aesthetic theory, and by exploring the significance of the right not to be harmed for morally correct policies in the extreme cases of torture and a pandemic. Where pertinent, the views on these issues of T. Regan, D. Parfit, C. Korsgaard, S. Kagan, R. Dworkin, A. Sen, A. Gibbard, J. Greene, A. Danto, and J. Thomson, among others, are considered.


Kamm, F.M. Rights and Their Limits: In Theory, Cases, and Pandemics. Oxford University Press, 2022.