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Human Rights (refereed encyclopaedia entry)

Fagan, A Human Rights (refereed encyclopaedia entry). The Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy.

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Abstract

Human rights are certain moral guarantees. This article examines the philosophical basis and content of the doctrine of human rights. The analysis consists of five sections and a conclusion. Section one assesses the contemporary significance of human rights, and argues that the doctrine of human rights has become the dominant moral doctrine for evaluating the moral status of the contemporary geo-political order. Section two proceeds to chart the historical development of the concept of human rights, beginning with a discussion of the earliest philosophical origins of the philosophical bases of human rights and culminating in some of most recent developments in the codification of human rights. Section three considers the philosophical concept of a human right and analyses the formal and substantive distinctions philosophers have drawn between various forms and categories of rights. Section four addresses the question of how philosophers have sought to justify the claims of human rights and specifically charts the arguments presented by the two presently dominant approaches in this field: interest theory and will theory. Section five then proceeds to discuss some of the main criticisms currently levelled at the doctrine of human rights and highlights some of the main arguments of those who have challenged the universalist and objectivist bases of human rights. Finally, a brief conclusion is presented, summarising the main themes addressed.

Item Type: Other
Additional Information: Refereed encyclopaedia entry entitled Human Rights (9,000 words) in the Internet Encyclopaedia of Philosophy. ISSN 2161-0002
Subjects: K Law > K Law (General)
Divisions: Faculty of Humanities > Law, School of
Depositing User: Jake Newell
Date Deposited: 24 Feb 2015 13:47
Last Modified: 24 Jan 2018 22:52
URI: http://repository.essex.ac.uk/id/eprint/12942

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