RECONCILING LAW AND MORALITY IN HUMAN RIGHTS DISCOURSE BEYOND THE HABERMASIAN ACCOUNT OF HUMAN RIGHTS PHILOSOPHY AND POLITICS CRITICAL EXPLORATIONS

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Reconciling Law And Morality In Human Rights Discourse

Author : Willy Moka-Mubelo
ISBN : 9783319494968
Genre : Philosophy
File Size : 49.96 MB
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In this book I argue for an approach that conceives human rights as both moral and legal rights. The merit of such an approach is its capacity to understand human rights more in terms of the kind of world free and reasonable beings would like to live in rather than simply in terms of what each individual is legally entitled to. While I acknowledge that every human being has the moral entitlement to be granted living conditions that are conducive to a dignified life, I maintain, at the same time, that the moral and legal aspects of human rights are complementary and should be given equal weight. The legal aspect compensates for the limitations of moral human rights the observance of which depends on the conscience of the individual, and the moral aspect tempers the mechanical and inhumane application of the law. Unlike the traditional or orthodox approach, which conceives human rights as rights that individuals have by virtue of their humanity, and the political or practical approach, which understands human rights as legal rights that are meant to limit the sovereignty of the state, the moral-legal approach reconciles law and morality in human rights discourse and underlines the importance of a legal framework that compensates for the deficiencies in the implementation of moral human rights. It not only challenges the exclusively negative approach to fundamental liberties but also emphasizes the necessity of an enforcement mechanism that helps those who are not morally motivated to refrain from violating the rights of others. Without the legal mechanism of enforcement, the understanding of human rights would be reduced to simply framing moral claims against injustices. From the moral-legal approach, the protection of human rights is understood as a common and shared responsibility. Such a responsibility goes beyond the boundaries of nation-states and requires the establishment of a cosmopolitan human rights regime based on the conviction that all human beings are members of a community of fate and that they share common values which transcend the limits of their individual states. In a cosmopolitan human rights regime, people are protected as persons and not as citizens of a particular state.
Category: Philosophy

Domesticating Human Rights

Author : Fidèle Ingiyimbere
ISBN : 9783319576213
Genre : Philosophy
File Size : 24.3 MB
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This book develops a philosophical conception of human rights that responds satisfactorily to the challenges raised by cultural and political critics of human rights, who contend that the contemporary human rights movement is promoting an imperialist ideology, and that the humanitarian intervention for protecting human rights is a neo-colonialism. These claims affect the normativity and effectiveness of human rights; that is why they have to be taken seriously. At the same time, the same philosophical account dismisses the imperialist crusaders who support the imperialistic use of human rights by the West to advance liberal culture. Thus, after elaborating and exposing these criticisms, the book confronts them to the human rights theories of John Rawls and Jürgen Habermas, in order to see whether they can be addressed. Unfortunately, they are not. Therefore, having shown that these two philosophical accounts of human rights do not respond convincingly to those the postcolonial challenges, the book provides an alternative conception that draws the understanding of human rights from local practices. It is a multilayer conception which is not centered on state, but rather integrates it in a larger web of actors involved in shaping the practice and meaning of human rights. Confronted to the challenges, this new conception offers a promising way for addressing them satisfactorily, and it even sheds new light to the classical questions of universality of human rights, as well as the tension between universalism and relativism.
Category: Philosophy

Humiliation Degradation Dehumanization

Author : Paulus Kaufmann
ISBN : 9048196612
Genre : Philosophy
File Size : 68.68 MB
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Degradation, dehumanization, instrumentalization, humiliation, and nonrecognition – these concepts point to ways in which we understand human beings to be violated in their dignity. Violations of human dignity are brought about by concrete practices and conditions; some commonly acknowledged, such as torture and rape, and others more contested, such as poverty and exclusion. This volume collates reflections on such concepts and a range of practices, deepening our understanding of human dignity and its violation, bringing to the surface interrelationships and commonalities, and pointing to the values that are thereby shown to be in danger. In presenting a streamlined discussion from a negative perspective, complemented by conclusions for a positive account of human dignity, the book is at once a contribution to the body of literature on what dignity is and how it should be protected as well as constituting an alternative, fresh and focused perspective relevant to this significant recurring debate. As the concept of human dignity itself crosses disciplinary boundaries, this is mirrored in the unique range of perspectives brought by the book’s European and American contributors – in philosophy and ethics, law, human rights, literature, cultural studies and interdisciplinary research. This volume will be of interest to social and moral philosophers, legal and human rights theorists, practitioners and students.
Category: Philosophy

Uniquely Human The Basis Of Human Rights

Author : Gabriel Moran
ISBN : 9781483685670
Genre : Study Aids
File Size : 29.72 MB
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The basis of human rights remains in need of exploration. The effectiveness of the language of human rights is threatened by its widespread but uncritical use. This book is neither a sermon to believers nor an attack by a skeptic. It is a critical look at the basis of those few rights that are genuinely universal, for example, a right not to be tortured or a right to basic subsistence. A human right is a claim that every human being can make on the whole human race. The rights that are specifically human arise from a human respect for all living beings. There is still a widespread assumption that human rights is just another name for the confused idea of natural rights from the eighteenth century, rights that were promulgated by and for adult white males. The authors of the UNs Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948 assumed that they were reformulating an old idea. Instead, they were beginning a new idea. Human rights can be realized only through conversations across differences within gender, age, culture and religion. This book traces those continuing conversations that fill out the diversity within the unity of the human race. The convergence of many particular traditions creates a human tradition that can sustain human rights as a standard of moral conduct for all nations.
Category: Study Aids

Human Rights Southern Voices

Author : William Twining
ISBN : 9780521113212
Genre : Law
File Size : 66.16 MB
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This anthology contains a variety of Southern perspectives on human rights and contemporary issues relating to Islam, African custom, constitution making and abuses of the language of human rights.
Category: Law

Human Duties And The Limits Of Human Rights Discourse

Author : Eric R. Boot
ISBN : 9783319669571
Genre : Philosophy
File Size : 83.95 MB
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This book demonstrates the importance of a duty-based approach to morality. The dominance of what has been labeled “rights talk” leads to the neglect of duties without corresponding rights (e.g., duties of virtue) and stimulates the proliferation of questionable human rights. Therefore, this book argues for a duty-based perspective on morality in order to, first, salvage duties of virtue, and, second, counter the trend of rights-proliferation by providing some conceptual clarity concerning rights and duties that will enable us to differentiate between genuine and spurious rights-claims. The argument for this duty-based perspective is made by examining two particularly contentious duties: duties to aid the global poor and civic duties. These two duties serve as case studies and are explored from the perspectives of political theory, jurisprudence and moral philosophy. The argument is made that both these duties can only be adequately defined and allocated if we adopt the perspective of duties, as the predominant perspective of rights either does not recognize them to be duties at all or else leaves their content and allocation indefinite. This renewed focus on duties does not wish to diminish the importance of rights. Rather, the duty-based perspective on morality will strengthen human rights discourse by distinguishing more strictly between genuine and inauthentic rights. Furthermore, a duty-based approach enriches our moral landscape by recognizing both duties of justice and duties of virtue. The latter duties are not less important or supererogatory, but function as indispensable complements to the duties prescribed by justice. In this perceptive and exceptionally lucid book, Eric Boot argues that a duty-focused approach to morality will remedy the shortcomings he finds in the standard accounts of human rights. The study tackles staple philosophical topics such as the contrasts between duties of virtue and duties of justice and imperfect and perfect obligations. But more importantly perhaps, it also confronts the practical question of what our human rights duties are and how we ought to act on them. Boot's book is a splendid example of how philosophy can engage and clarify real world problems. Kok-Chor Tan, Department of Philosophy, University of Pennsylvania A lively and enjoyable defence of the importance of our having duties to fellow human beings in severe poverty. At a time when global justice has never been more urgent, this new book sheds much needed light. Thom Brooks, Professor of Law and Government and Head of Durham Law School, Durham University
Category: Philosophy

The Human Condition

Author : Hannah Arendt
ISBN :
Genre : Philosophy
File Size : 64.40 MB
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The past year has seen a resurgence of interest in the political thinker Hannah Arendt, “the theorist of beginnings,” whose work probes the logics underlying unexpected transformations—from totalitarianism to revolution. A work of striking originality, The Human Condition is in many respects more relevant now than when it first appeared in 1958. In her study of the state of modern humanity, Hannah Arendt considers humankind from the perspective of the actions of which it is capable. The problems Arendt identified then—diminishing human agency and political freedom, the paradox that as human powers increase through technological and humanistic inquiry, we are less equipped to control the consequences of our actions—continue to confront us today. This new edition, published to coincide with the sixtieth anniversary of its original publication, contains Margaret Canovan’s 1998 introduction and a new foreword by Danielle Allen. A classic in political and social theory, The Human Condition is a work that has proved both timeless and perpetually timely.
Category: Philosophy

Technicians Of Human Dignity

Author : Gaymon Bennett
ISBN : 9780823267774
Genre : Medical
File Size : 29.50 MB
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Technicians of Human Dignity traces the extraordinary rise of human dignity as a defining concern of religious, political, and bioethical institutions over the last half century and offers original insight into how human dignity has become threatened by its own success. The global expansion of dignitarian politics has left dignity without a stable set of meanings or referents, unsettling contemporary economies of life and power. Engaging anthropology, theology, and bioethics, Bennett grapples with contemporary efforts to mobilize human dignity as a counter-response to the biopolitics of the human body, and the breakdowns this has generated. To do this, he investigates how actors in pivotal institutions --the Vatican, the United Nations, U.S. Federal Bioethics--reconceived human dignity as the bearer of intrinsic worth, only to become frustrated by the Sisyphean struggle of turning its conceptions into practice.
Category: Medical

A Good Life

Author : Mary Edmunds
ISBN : 9781922144676
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 26.52 MB
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This book is a story. It's a story about ordinary people in very different parts of the world dealing with rapid change in the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries. It's about times of turbulent and violent social upheaval and rupture with the past. It's about modern times. It's also about being human; what it is to be human in a modernising and globalising world; how, in responding to the circumstances of their times, different groups define, redefine, and attempt to put into practice their understandings of the good and of what constitutes a good life. And it's about how human rights have come to be not abstract universal principles but a practical source of consciousness and practice for real people.
Category: Social Science

Law And Globalization From Below

Author : Boaventura de Sousa Santos
ISBN : 0521607353
Genre : Law
File Size : 78.44 MB
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An unprecedented attempt to analyze the role of the law in the global movement for social justice.
Category: Law