Book Chapter

Communication and Rights



Cruft R (2022) Communication and Rights. In: Being Social: The Philosophy of Social Human Rights. Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp. 171-187.

This chapter’s primary aim is to defend the place of the concept of rights in the morality and law of communication. A second aim is to sketch out distinctions between some of the fundamental interests that ground our rights of communication: the chapter distinguishes those communicative rights that are components of other human rights from rights groundable simply in the importance of communication as such; it also distinguishes the ways communicators’ interests, recipients’ interests, and third party interests interact to ground communicative rights, and it develops a novel claim that communication’s distinctive way of connecting participants in the first and second person is intrinsically good for participants. A third aim is to show communication rights to be a form of social right, one that straddles traditional distinctions between civil-political and socio-economic rights, and between positive and negative rights.

communication; communicative rights; connection; negative rights; positive rights; social rights

FundersAHRC Arts and Humanities Research Council
Publication date31/12/2022
PublisherOxford University Press
Place of publicationOxford

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Professor Rowan Cruft

Professor Rowan Cruft

Professor, Philosophy