By Samuel Stoljar (auth.)
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Additional resources for An Analysis of Rights
44 An Analysis oj Rights All this, it has well been said, is no more than to restore the obvious; for unless rights do imply duties, rights cannot really be understood. 14 What purpose could in any case be served in arguing for rights without duties? Without correlativity, the interests seeking protection would go without it, for there would be no other person whose responsibility would be engaged. A duty, it is true, may not always be very efficacious in its protective effects; it is, nevertheless, the existence of such a duty that makes for the answerability of the claim, its answerability in principle.
The moderate version does not deny that, typically, rights and duties are 'tightly' correlative. Where A owes B $10, the right-duty implication is both specific and determinate as A now owes what B is owed. The mutual implications here are strong, Lyons concedes, because they entail conceptual correlatives: there can be no debtor without a creditor just as there is no right side without a left. 8 But, as Lyons further contends, when we turn from such passiye to more active examples this conceptual corelativity loosens considerably; for though rights and duties still denote ordered pairs, the respective contents of these pairs are no longer so matching as before.
It would be pointless to say that a person may do something without there being other people related to that 'may'; only if there is correlativity can 'may' in fact do its truly distinctive work. Of course the words right and duty are sometimes used in a looser sense, it being said that there can be rights without duties as well as duties without rights. But, as we shall shortly see, whatever may obtain in some cases, our primary logical type remains that of a right with a duty as its correlative.