Ariel Zylberman on "The Bounds of Rights"

Ariel Zylberman, Postdoctoral Research Fellow at UCLA, will deliver the talk "The Bounds of Rights" for this session of Filosofisk seminar and The Norwegian Kant-Society. The seminar is open for everyone, and will be followed by a reception on the third floor of Georg Morgenstiernes hus.

Portrait of Postdoctoral Research Fellow Ariel Zylberman (Photo: Ariel Zylberman)

Postdoctoral Research Fellow Ariel Zylberman (Photo: Ariel Zylberman)


The possibility of conflicts of rights raises a puzzle: if with the utilitarian tradition we seek to resolve conflicts by appealing to a balancing model of reasons, then we risk losing from view the peremptory character of rights as moral norms, but if with the deontological tradition we seek to make conflicts impossible by deeming moral rights absolute, then we risk becoming committed to an empty and dogmatic rule fetishism. My aim in this article is to introduce and defend a relational alternative to these familiar accounts. For the relational account, any moral norm, including rights, is ultimately grounded in a basic reciprocal relation of respect. Focusing on the relational grounding of rights opens up a non-balancing framework for resolving (apparent) conflicts of rights. This framework distinguishes the absolutely binding form of morally justified rights (rights as bounds) from the limited content of morally justified rights (the bounds of rights). My argument is that drawing this distinction enables us to see how morally justified rights can bind in a peremptory fashion without having an absolute or unbounded scope. 

About Ariel Zylberman

Ariel Zylberman is a postdoctoral research fellow in Law and Philosophy at the School of Law and the Department of Philosophy at UCLA. He has published numerous articles in ethics, political philosophy, and the philosophy of law. His current research develops an irreducibly relational account of the foundations of moral norms.​ Zylberman completed his Ph.D. at the University of Toronto in 2013.


Published June 19, 2017 4:53 PM - Last modified June 19, 2017 4:53 PM