Plausibly, patients having claims against agents comes to patients having standing to make claims (object, demand, complain, etc.). What does such “standing” come to, though? In order to understand this, perhaps we need to think of the relevant system of rules as being rules for a rule-governed social practice. In short, perhaps we need to think in terms of social practices, how they function, what their aims are.
We can invent social practices and we might start by looking at these sorts of social practices. It is intuitive to say that I might invent a game in which, when player A lands on spot X (in her way around the board, the object being to be the first player to complete the circuit around the board in accordance with the rules), player B, who is the player to the right of player A, has standing to demand that player A relinquish her next turn. Plausibly, B having this claim (standing to make the relevant claim) against A comes to: (i) B being permitted, according to the rules of the game, to demand that B relinquish her next turn when A lands on spot X and (ii) everyone else collectively, or whoever is the “master” of the game if the game works that way, being required to enforce B’s claim against A (in some particular way), should B make the claim. In this way, standings to make claims are features of deontic systems of rules that implicate obligations to enforce claims that are obligations possessed by whoever is that is in what I’ll call the compliance-enforcement role. In this way, claims are a function of the deontic rules of a practice that has agent, patient, and compliance-enforcement roles (in virtue of which one possesses obligations, permissions, etc.). This seems like a better hypothesis than my earlier idea that claims come to practice-relative reasons for the patient to make claims (demands, objections, etc.).
It is possible that things like demands, objections and complaints get to be claims, when they are, only by being related to such a social practice (and one with the requisite general enforcer role). It is possible, in other words, that a speech-act being a claim requires that it be part of a social practice characterized by the roles and role-associated obligations (or lack of obligation) as indicated. I have to think more about what (descriptive) claims are and how they are different from objections, complaints, demands, etc.