Philosophy Research Archives

Volume 10, 1984

Marilyn Fischer
Pages 239-247

Intentions, Rights and Wrongs
A Critique of Fried

In this paper I argue against Fried’s thesis that a wrong must be intended by the violator in order for a person’s negative rights to be violated. With Fried’s requirement these rights become in a sense derivative from wrongs. This makes the relation between one’s negative rights and one’s moral integrity, upon which Fried wants to base rights, indirect and inappropriately weak. If rights are based on one’s status as a freely choosing, rational, moral personality, then whether one’s rights are violated should be determined by inspecting one’s own loss of integrity or function, not by examining the assailant’s intentions.