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Ethics and Political Philosophy

Human Rights Law

Eric Blumenson

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Four Challenges Confronting A Moral Conception Of Universal Human Rights, Eric Blumenson Jan 2014

Four Challenges Confronting A Moral Conception Of Universal Human Rights, Eric Blumenson

Eric Blumenson

This Essay describes some fundamental debates concerning the nature and possibility of universal human rights, conceived as a species of justice rather than law. It identifies four claims entailed by such rights and some significant problems each claim confronts. The designation “universal human rights” explicitly asserts three of them: paradigmatic human rights purport to be (1) universal, in that their protections and obligations bind every society, regardless of its laws and mores; (2) human, in that the rights belong equally to every person by virtue of one’s humanity, regardless of character, social standing, disabilities, or other individual attributes; and ...