Reconciling Law and Morality in Human Rights Discourse

Beyond the Habermasian Account of Human Rights
Author: Willy Moka-Mubelo
Publisher: Springer
ISBN: 3319494961
Category: Philosophy
Page: 205
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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.

Freedom's Right

The Social Foundations of Democratic Life
Author: Axel Honneth
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons
ISBN: 0745680062
Category: Philosophy
Page: 450
View: 4488
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The theory of justice is one of the most intensely debated areas of contemporary philosophy. Most theories of justice, however, have only attained their high level of justification at great cost. By focusing on purely normative, abstract principles, they become detached from the sphere that constitutes their “field of application” - namely, social reality. Axel Honneth proposes a different approach. He seeks to derive the currently definitive criteria of social justice directly from the normative claims that have developed within Western liberal democratic societies. These criteria and these claims together make up what he terms “democratic ethical life”: a system of morally legitimate norms that are not only legally anchored, but also institutionally established. Honneth justifies this far-reaching endeavour by demonstrating that all essential spheres of action in Western societies share a single feature, as they all claim to realize a specific aspect of individual freedom. In the spirit of Hegel’s Philosophy of Right and guided by the theory of recognition, Honneth shows how principles of individual freedom are generated which constitute the standard of justice in various concrete social spheres: personal relationships, economic activity in the market, and the political public sphere. Honneth seeks thereby to realize a very ambitious aim: to renew the theory of justice as an analysis of society.

The Human Condition

Second Edition
Author: Hannah Arendt
Publisher: Rob Shepherd
ISBN: N.A
Category: Philosophy
Page: 380
View: 8968
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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.

Domesticating Human Rights

A Reappraisal of their Cultural-Political Critiques and their Imperialistic Use
Author: Fidèle Ingiyimbere
Publisher: Springer
ISBN: 3319576216
Category: Philosophy
Page: 315
View: 846
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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.

Approaches and Methodologies in the Social Sciences

A Pluralist Perspective
Author: Donatella Della Porta,Michael Keating
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 1139474596
Category: Political Science
Page: N.A
View: 6583
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A revolutionary textbook introducing masters and doctoral students to the major research approaches and methodologies in the social sciences. Written by an outstanding set of scholars, and derived from successful course teaching, this volume will empower students to choose their own approach to research, to justify this approach, and to situate it within the discipline. It addresses questions of ontology, epistemology and philosophy of social science, and proceeds to issues of methodology and research design essential for producing a good research proposal. It also introduces researchers to the main issues of debate and contention in the methodology of social sciences, identifying commonalities, historic continuities and genuine differences.

Totality and Infinity

An Essay on Exteriority
Author: E. Levinas
Publisher: Springer Science & Business Media
ISBN: 9400993420
Category: Philosophy
Page: 297
View: 922
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Ever since the beginning of the modern phenomenological movement disciplined attention has been paid to various patterns of human experi ence as they are actually lived through in the concrete. This has brought forth many attempts to tind a general philosophical position which can do justice to these experiences without reduction or distQrtion. In France, the best known of these recent attempts have been made by Sartre in his Being and Nothingness and by Merleau-Ponty in his Phenomenol ogy of Perception and certain later fragments. Sartre has a keen sense for life as it is lived, and his work is marked by many penetrating descrip tions. But his dualistic ontology of the en-soi versus the pour-soi has seemed over-simple and inadequate to many critics, and has been seriously qualitied by the author himself in his latest Marxist work, The Critique of Dialetical Reason. Merleau-Ponty's major work is a lasting contri but ion to the phenomenology of the pre-objective world of perception. But asi de from a few brief hints and sketches, he was unable, before his unfortunate death in 1961, to work out carefully his ultimate philosophi cal point of view. This leaves us then with the German philosopher, Heidegger, as the only contemporary thinker who has formulated a total ontology which claims to do justice to the stable results of phenomenology and to the liv ing existential thought of our time.

Transformations of Citizenship

Dilemmas of the Nation State in the Era of Globalization : Two Lectures
Author: Seyla Benhabib
Publisher: Uitgeverij Van Gorcum
ISBN: 9789023237242
Category: Citizenship
Page: 76
View: 1417
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Humiliation, Degradation, Dehumanization

Human Dignity Violated
Author: Paulus Kaufmann,Hannes Kuch,Christian Neuhaeuser,Elaine Webster
Publisher: Springer Science & Business Media
ISBN: 9789048196616
Category: Philosophy
Page: 266
View: 8987
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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.

Habermas on Law and Democracy

Critical Exchanges
Author: Michel Rosenfeld,Andrew Arato
Publisher: Univ of California Press
ISBN: 9780520204669
Category: Law
Page: 466
View: 9555
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In the first essay, Habermas himself succinctly presents the centerpiece of his theory: his proceduralist paradigm of law. The following essays comprise elaborations, criticisms, and further explorations by others of the most salient issues addressed in his theory. The distinguished group of contributors--internationally prominent scholars in the fields of law, philosophy, and social theory--includes many who have been closely identified with Habermas as well as some of his best-known critics. The final essay is a thorough and lengthy reply by Habermas, which not only engages the most important arguments raised in the preceding essays but also further elaborates and refines some of his own key contributions in Between Facts and Norms. This volume will be essential reading for philosophers, legal scholars, and political and social theorists concerned with understanding the work of one of the leading philosophers of our age. These provocative, in-depth debates between Jürgen Habermas and a wide range of his critics relate to the philosopher's contribution to legal and democratic theory in his recently published Between Facts and Norms. Drawing upon his discourse theory, Habermas has elaborated a novel and powerful account of law that purports to bridge the gap between democracy and rights, by conceiving law to be at once self-imposed and binding.

Law and Globalization from Below

Towards a Cosmopolitan Legality
Author: Boaventura de Sousa Santos,César A. Rodríguez-Garavito
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 9780521607353
Category: Law
Page: 395
View: 2191
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An unprecedented attempt to analyze the role of the law in the global movement for social justice.

Human Duties and the Limits of Human Rights Discourse


Author: Eric R. Boot
Publisher: Springer
ISBN: 3319669575
Category: Philosophy
Page: 183
View: 3351
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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

Culture and Rights

Anthropological Perspectives
Author: Jane K. Cowan,Marie-B鈋n鈋dicte·Dembour
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 9780521797351
Category: Law
Page: 258
View: 7827
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Part I: Setting universal rights

The Politics of Sincerity

Plato, Frank Speech, and Democratic Judgment
Author: Elizabeth Markovits
Publisher: Penn State Press
ISBN: 0271046112
Category: Philosophy
Page: 234
View: 9369
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A growing frustration with “spin doctors,” doublespeak, and outright lying by public officials has resulted in a deep public cynicism regarding politics today. It has also led many voters to seek out politicians who engage in “straight talk,” out of a hope that sincerity signifies a dedication to the truth. While this is an understandable reaction to the degradation of public discourse inflicted by political hype, Elizabeth Markovits argues that the search for sincerity in the public arena actually constitutes a dangerous distraction from more important concerns, including factual truth and the ethical import of political statements. Her argument takes her back to an examination of the Greek notion of parrhesia (frank speech), and she draws from her study of the Platonic dialogues a nuanced understanding of this ancient analogue of “straight talk.” She shows Plato to have an appreciation for rhetoric rather than a desire to purge it from public life, providing insights into the ways it can contribute to a fruitful form of deliberative democracy today.

Uniquely Human: the Basis of Human Rights


Author: Gabriel Moran
Publisher: Xlibris Corporation
ISBN: 1483685675
Category: Study Aids
Page: 368
View: 5366
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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.

Libidinal Economy


Author: Jean-Francois Lyotard
Publisher: A&C Black
ISBN: 9780826477002
Category: Economics
Page: 267
View: 8310
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Is regarded as the most important response to the philosophies of desire, as expounded by thinkers such as de Sade, Nietzsche, Bataille, Foucault and Deleuze and Guattari. It is a major work not only of philosophy, but of sexual politics, semiotics and literary theory, that signals the passage to postmodern philosophy.

Human Rights, Southern Voices

Francis Deng, Abdullahi An-Na'im, Yash Ghai and Upendra Baxi
Author: William Twining
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 0521113210
Category: Law
Page: 238
View: 8713
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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.

Human Resource Management

Ethics and Employment
Author: Ashly Pinnington,Rob Macklin,Tom Campbell
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0199203784
Category: Business & Economics
Page: 347
View: 5198
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The book examines ethics and employment issues in contemporary Human Resource Management (HRM). Written by an international team of academics from universities in the UK, the US, Australia and New Zealand, it examines the problems and opportunities facing employers and employees. The book subdivides into three sections: Part I assesses the context of HRM; Part II analyses contemporary debates, continuity and change in HRM, and Part III proposes likely developments for the future seeking to identify a more proactive HRM approach towards ethical issues arising in employment. Distinctive features include: � Comprehensive analysis of continuity and change in employment and HRM, � In-depth assessment of the ethical contribution and potential of HRM, � Timely evaluation of the ethical achievements to-date of HRM in: individualized employment relations, HRM partnerships, HRM and employee performance, and strategic HRM, � Detailed recommendations for HR managers and general managers encouraging more ethically aware practice, � Guidance on ethical approaches to leadership, knowledge management and collective employment relations, � Analysis of alternative futures for HRM as a profession and advice on how to create more rigorous and independent professional practice, � A vision of a more innovative, cooperative and ethically sensitive set of HRM practices, � Clear proposals for HRM on how to attain more ethical conduct.

Technicians of Human Dignity

Bodies, Souls, and the Making of Intrinsic Worth
Author: Gaymon Bennett
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0823267776
Category: Medical
Page: 316
View: 9437
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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.

The Fullness of the Logos in the Key of Life

Book I The Case of God in the New Enlightenment
Author: Anna-Teresa Tymieniecka
Publisher: Springer Science & Business Media
ISBN: 1402093365
Category: Philosophy
Page: 258
View: 9923
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Lamentations over the disarray and disorientation in the philosophical quest may be heard from all sides today. The horizon of the All no longer beacons, for our hope of attaining it seems ever to recede. Yet, challenging the mistrust of reason that pursuit is precisely engaged in what is undertaken here. Our forty–year elaboration of the ontopoiesis/phenomenology of life as first philosophy/phenomenology in its unravelling of the metamorphic deployment of the logos of life has laid the foundations for the retrieval of the metaphysical vision. Here the classic concerns of philosophy are not negligently dismissed but are ciphered afresh in the light of innumerable perspectives and insights brought to philosophical attention in a New Enlightenment by advances in the sciences of life and of human apprehension. Strikingly enough pursuit of the greatest enigma of all, namely, that of the All enhancing Divine, is revived in the revelation that the logos informing life is the Fullness of God. In the Fullness being revealed in the infinite intricacies of the operations of the Logos of Life, we find the plenitude of God’s experiencing man. In times when the prevailing critique of reason casts aspersions on the quest for God through reason, the full revelation of the logos brings to the entire human experience the infinities of God.

A Good Life

Human Rights and Encounters with Modernity
Author: Mary Edmunds
Publisher: ANU E Press
ISBN: 1922144673
Category: Social Science
Page: 300
View: 4931
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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.