Expanding the Debate on Moral and Political Approaches to the Philosophy of Human Rights (Introduction)
chapter in: Moral and Political Conceptions of Human Rights Implications for Theory and Practice, edited by Reidar Maliks & Johan Karlsson Schaffer. Cambridge University Press, 2017, s. 1-12.
15 Pages Posted: 9 Jan 2018
Date Written: February 22, 2017
In recent years, political philosophers have been engaged in a lively debate on the virtues of two distinct methods for constructing a philosophical theory of human rights. On the so-called moral approach, human rights are a special class of moral rights we all possess simply by virtue of our common humanity and which are universal in time and space. By contrast, the political approach instead seeks to understand what human rights are by interpreting the role they play in international affairs as a distinctly modern international legal-political practice that regulates the relationship between governments of sovereign states and their citizens, which has emerged through the creation of the international human rights regime since the end of the Second World War.
This volume sets out to contribute to this debate and move it ahead by rethinking some of its fundamental premises and by applying it to new and challenging domains, which have previously been understudied. Thus, the book has two main purposes: To extend and enrich the debate about moral and political conceptions as alternative methodological approaches to the philosophy of human rights, and to explore how these approaches speak to pertinent problems in contemporary human rights practice.
In this introductory chapter, we first provide an outline of the debate, before we proceed to outline the issues covered in the various chapters.
Keywords: human rights, political philosophy
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