Robert Mullins


I argue that rights that protect our performance of roles are grounded in our interests in performing that role. Many of valuable roles are partly constituted by duties or obligations.  Nonetheless these roles—even apparently burdensome roles—contribute to our interests. Once it is bestowed upon them, the role has special value to its bearer. Under certain conditions, the individual’s interest in performing their role is sufficient to ground rights. I conclude by briefly discussing the possibility of detached or non-committed rights attributions. Within law and other systems of positive norms, role-based rights may also be attributed in a non-committed way in situations where it is believed by others that the roles in question are grounded in the interests of their bearers.