Identity, Recognition, Rights or What Can Hegel Teach Us About Human Rights?
27 Pages Posted: 14 May 2003
Rights play a crucial role in shaping identity by organizing the recognition of self by others and by legal and social institutions. For Hegel, legal rights lead to an abstract type of recognition based on the universality of the law. The concreteness of the person, alongside the respect bestowed by legal recognition, calls for the acknowledgment of honour and esteem. Human rights move in this direction, by validating both the similarity of claimants with abstract humanity and their difference and uniqueness. But law's necessary generality cannot meet the demands for the full recognition of the postmodern self with its polymorphous desires and its complex struggles for recognition as a unique individual.
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