Human Rights

Thomas Campbell

    Research output: Book chapter/Published conference paperChapter


    The origin of the idea that human beings have certain fundamental rights that ought to be recognized in all societies may be traced to a variety of philosophical, legal, and religious sources, mainly in the Western tradition. Its main application has been in the sphere of politics, within which the concept of human (or 'natural') rights has been used to to justify and to limit the authority of states in relation to their citizens and their dealings with other states. This chapter discusses issues arising from analyses and critiques of human rights (moral rights that belong to all human beings by virtue of their humanity, which override, or generally outweigh, other moral considerations.) These issues include the nature and significance of rights. Consideration is given to the philosophical and practical justifications for believing (or not believing) in human rights, to different theories concerning how we might determine their content and scope, to practical implications, and to how human rights should be implemented.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationIssues In Political Theory
    EditorsCatriona McKinnon
    Place of PublicationOxford
    PublisherOxford University Press
    Number of pages22
    EditionThird / 8
    ISBN (Print)9780199572823
    Publication statusPublished - 2012


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