p.p1 than rhetoric. I will first discuss how the

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This essay will examine ways to articulate possible theories on what exactly human rights are and what are its associated obligations by examining and deconstructing Susan James’s argument emitted by Raymond Geuss that the existence of a right is contingent upon the existence of a specifiable mechanisms for enforcement that are “backed up by an effective method of implementation” (Geuss, 2001, 146) — a fallacious argument (post hoc ergo propter hoc, to be specific) between the existence of rights and effective mechanisms. The second statement “everything else is rhetoric” is redundant with the first statement “no rights exist without the existence of effective enforcement mechanisms” because a fallacious statement is already nothing more than rhetoric. I will first discuss how the question “what are human rights?” and its answers point to an int?r?sting d?v?lopm?nt in th? fi?ld of society, to ?xt?nd th? inv?stigation from social to moral ph?nom?na, that is, from institutional rights and obligations to human rights and obligations and within this, I argue that problems arise only with the implementation and enforcement of human rights. As discussed below, although there are thr?? s?parat? inqueries that should be examined regarding human rights and their actual implementation and enforcement. However, I will focus solely on the existence and the status function account to give the existence conditions for human rights. I will also seek to answer “what exactly are th? rights r?f?rr?d to in our human rights talk?” Are they natural in th? s?ns? of not b?ing d?p?nd?nt on institutions to ?xist, or conv?ntional in th? s?ns? of b?ing d?p?nd?nt on gov?rnm?nt, or at l?ast institutions to ?xist, or p?rhaps lik? Jam?s argu?s; practical ?ntitl?m?nts that only ?xist insofar as th?y ar? ?ff?ctiv?ly ?nforc?abl?? This d?bat? points to a numb?r of int?r?sting ontological qu?stions about human rights which I will seek the answers to: How ar? human rights possibl?? What is th?ir mod? of ?xist?nc?? What ar? th?y? Ar? th?y natural or conv?ntional? Do th?y ?xist at all? I show this below by: 1) providing an analysis of human rights as deriving from a group of functions and arguing that that human rights can ?xist without b?ing r?cogniz?d whil? the group of functions cannot as the latter r?sts on a failur? to mak? a distinction b?tw??n typ?s and tok?ns, or th? g?n?ral right and sp?cific instanc?s of that right; 2) offering another interpretation of human rights which amounts to th? vi?w that the justification in fact provid?s conditions of ?xist?nc? for th? human right to fr?? talk, whil? th? group of function account provid?s conditions of r?cognition for th? human right to fr?? talk which is more plausible. However, I will show how this int?rpr?tation draws on two compl?t?ly diff?r?nt th?or?tical fram?works; and, 3) sketching anoth?r typ? of justification for ag?nt’s b?ing fr?? in a c?rtain s?ns? which starts from and is clos?r to th? original group of function account, and do?s not draw on two compl?t?ly diff?r?nt th?or?tical fram?works. It starts from th? ?xist?nc? of som? functions and th?n us?s th? conn?ction b?tw??n r?cognizing th?s? functions and imposing d?sir?-ind?p?nd?nt r?asons for action on on?s?lf and oth?rs, which in turn pr?suppos?s a fr??dom to bind on?’s will in th? first plac?. Th?r? is an important th?or?tical ass?t in th? insist?nc? on th? rights and how th? r?cognition of rights giv?s ris? to d?sir?-ind?p?nd?nt r?asons for action which has pr?viously b??n ov?rlook?d. Furth?rmor?, this would b? a n?w way of justifying that ag?nts ar? fr?? in som? r?sp?cts, which starts from within th? social world. Lastly, I will briefly discuss what I argue to be a central difficulty with James’ view that is often overlooked. 

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Human rights are generally understood as having a natural, special and unconv?ntional compon?nt: “w? ar? b?li?v?d to hav? human rights in virtu? of b?ing human rath?r than m?mb?rs of a particular soci?ty” (un.org, 2017). This qu?stion – what are the human rights? – and its answ?rs thus Perhaps one can argue that th? analysis of human rights might ?xt?nd th? ?xplanatory scop? of th?ori?s of social ontolology into moral r?ality, and p?rhaps bridg? th? divid? b?tw??n th? social and th? moral. There s??ms to be nothing inherently probl?matic in this notion that human rights are universal because th?r? are no probl?ms with th? ?xist?nc? of human rights. The problems start to arise only with th?ir impl?m?ntation and ?nforc?m?nt. The foundations start to crumble as lengthy complex processes obstruct the ability to implement, and institutions fail in their obligations to enforce and oversee that rights are able to be accessed and applied to all members of their societies.

James emphasises the importance of institutions in analysing human rights and argues that human rights should be understood as practical entitlements, or “effectively enforceable claims” (James, 2003) and thus collaps?s th? distinction b?tw??n ?xist?nc? and ?nforc?m?nt.  For a right to b? ?ff?ctiv?ly ?nforc?abl?, th?r? must b? a n?twork of int?rlocking s?t of institutions from which duti?s and rights flow. 

Jam?s’s purely conventional account of human rights impli?s that rights ar? not univ?rsal. This implication is on? of h?r main points in her argument for th? twofold claim that rights ar? l?ss us?ful than w? think and that w? would do b?tt?r shifting to anoth?r c?ntral conc?pt – justic? – in our social critiqu? and ?fforts to improv? soci?ty. (James, 2003) Sh? off?rs a narrow analysis of rights as practical ?ntitl?m?nts meaning that rights must mak? a diff?r?nc? to thos? who hold th?m. In other words, rights only ?xist wh?n th?y ar? ?ff?ctiv?ly ?nforc?abl?.

What, th?n, mak?s a right ?ff?ctiv?ly ?nforc?abl?? Jam?s stat?s thr?? conditions of ?nforc?ability and four wid?r circumstanc?s in which th?s? conditions ar? lik?ly to ?m?rg?. (James, 2003)

Th? thr?? conditions of ?nforc?ability ar?:
(i) a n?twork of int?rlocking s?t of institutions from which duti?s and rights flow; 
(ii) a duty b?ar?r who can and will fulfil h?r duti?s; 
(iii) a right-hold?r who is capabl? of ?x?rcising h?r rights.

A c?ntral f?atur? of this vi?w is that rights ar? d?p?nd?nt on institutions to ?xist. Th? conv?ntional charact?r of Jam?s’s conc?ption of rights is also apparent in th? four circumstanc?s sh? r?f?rs to in ?xplaining wh?n th? thr?? conditions of ?nforc?ability ar? lik?ly to ?m?rg?: (1) an ?ff?ctiv? sourc? of political authority; (2) an ?v?n distribution of pow?r b?tw??n m?mb?rs of th? soci?ty in qu?stion; (3) ad?quat? r?sourc?s for ag?nts who ar? to fulfill th?ir obligations; and. (4) shar?d moral b?li?fs, ?.g. about th? importanc? of rights.

This analysis is narrow ind??d. Jam?s’s strong conditions of ?nforc?ability imply that much f?w?r p?opl? than w? normally think hav? rights. Th? background of h?r analysis of rights as practical ?ntitl?m?nts is a c?ntral chall?ng? to human rights: that “an app?al to human rights is no mor? than ?mpty g?stur?s and mock?ry for thos? suff?ring s?v?r? human rights violation without any possibility of r?dr?ss” (James, 2003, 133). Her account avoids this charg? sinc? rights on this vi?w do?s mak? a diff?r?nc? in th? liv?s of thos? who hold th?m.

However, th?r? ar? advantag?s with Jam?s’s vi?w of rights as practical ?ntitl?m?nts: 1) Sh? points to a c?ntral chall?ng? to human rights and attempts tackles this chall?ng? by off?ring a narrow d?finition which avoids th? charg? of “?mpty g?stur?s and mock?ry” (James, 2003, 133) sinc? rights on this vi?w mak? a practical diff?r?nc? to thos? who hold th?m; 2) Sh? off?rs a constructiv? and naturalistic account of rights Jam?s is cl?ar on th? constructiv? asp?ct of rights: “th? pr?conditions of a right may th?ms?lv?s hav? to b? cr?at?d or alt?r?d b?for? th? right its?lf can ?m?rg?” (James, 2003, 142); and, 3) She focuses on pr?viously n?gl?ct?d, or at l?ast downplay?d, conc?pts in human rights th?ory – obligations and institutions – and ?mploys th?s? in giving her account of rights. James’ “?nforc?m?nt account” (Meckled-Garcia, 2005, 143) is an int?r?sting answ?r to th? ontological status of human rights. 

How?v?r, collapsing th? distinctions b?tw??n ?xist?nc?, impl?m?ntation, and ?nforc?m?nt, is th? basis of a c?ntral obj?ction to Jam?s’s vi?w rais?d by Saladin M?ckl?d-Garcia that th?r? cannot b? any rights violations in soci?ti?s wh?r? h?r thr?? conditions of ?nforc?ability ar? not m?t, sinc? individuals in th?s? soci?ti?s do not hav? rights in th? first plac?. ((Meckled-Garcia, 2005, 143-148) Jam?s conc?d?s this point, but ?mphasiz?s that this do?s not m?an that it is not morally wrong, or unjust, to tr?at p?opl? in c?rtain ways. (James, 2005, 149-153) Sh? us?s th? distinction b?tw??n som?thing b?ing right vs. som?on? having a right to mak? this point. Furth?rmor?, sh? argu?s that on? might still insist on that th?s? rights ought to ?xist as ?nforc?abl? claims. 

I think th?r? is anoth?r c?ntral difficulty with Jam?s’s vi?w; it might b? so r?visionary that sh? no long?r discuss?s diff?r?nt conc?ptions of a human right, but rath?r two diff?r?nt conc?pts of rights altog?th?r, sinc? a c?ntral f?atur? of th? conc?pt of a human right is its univ?rsality. Th?s? two chall?ng?s hav? a common cor?: th? conv?ntional charact?r of human rights.