Human Rights and Liberal Toleration

23 Pages Posted: 22 Jul 2009 Last revised: 6 Sep 2017

See all articles by David A. Reidy

David A. Reidy

University of Tennessee - Department of Philosophy

Date Written: July 19, 2009


In this paper (revised 8/01/09, revised again 8/07/09)), I respond to Jim Nickel's criticisms of John Rawls's conception of human rights in 'The Law of Peoples.' In the process, and in the context of developing what I take to be a Rawlsian position on human rights, I explore the relationships between human rights and two forms of liberal toleration. I close by noting four fault lines running beneath the surface of a good deal of contemporary theoretical debate over human rights. I suggest that advancing that debate is unlikely absent closer and fuller attention to these fault lines.

Keywords: human rights, liberalism, international relations, justice, Rawls, toleration, humanitarian intervention

Suggested Citation

Reidy, David A., Human Rights and Liberal Toleration (July 19, 2009). Canadian Journal of Law and Jurisprudence, Vol. 23, No. 2, 2010. Available at SSRN: or

David A. Reidy (Contact Author)

University of Tennessee - Department of Philosophy ( email )

801 McClung Tower
Knoxville, TN 37996
United States
865 974 3255 (Phone)
865 974 3509 (Fax)


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