The Rights Recognition Thesis: Defending and Extending Green

Gerald F. Gaus

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

15 Scopus citations


T. H. Green argues that rights are socially recognised powers for promoting the common good. This chapter defends a version of this recognition thesis, arguing that it follows from this moral internalism conjoined with plausible claims about the correlativity of rights and duties. It then argues that for Green grounding rights on the common good is not simply a normative claim, but a conceptual feature of rights, one that again relates to his moral internalism and theory of moral motivation. Lastly, the chapter looks closer at the idea of a right as a recognised power. Here is where the defence of the rights recognition thesis goes beyond Green. It is argued that if Green had better grasped the concept of a power, he would have been led to an even stronger defence of the rights recognition thesis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationT. H. Green Ethics, Metaphysics, and Political Philosophy
PublisherOxford University Press
ISBN (Electronic)9780191709364
ISBN (Print)9780199271665
StatePublished - Sep 1 2010


  • Common good
  • Internalism
  • Recognition
  • Rights
  • T.h. Green

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Arts and Humanities


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