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This timely book by internationally regarded scholar of ethics and social/political philosophy Michael Boylan focuses on the history, application, and significance of human rights in the West and in China. Boylan engages the key current philosophical debates prevalent in human rights discourse today and draws them together to argue for the existence of natural, universal human rights. Arguing against the grain of mainstream philosophical beliefs, Boylan asserts that there is continuity between human rights and natural law and that human beings require basic, essential goods for minimum action. These include food, clean water and sanitation, clothing, shelter, and protection from bodily harm, including basic healthcare. The achievement of this goal, Boylan demonstrates, will require significant resource allocation and creative methods of implementation involving public and private institutions. Using the classroom-tested dynamic approach of combining technical argument with four fictional narratives about human rights, the book invites readers to engage with the most important aspects of the discipline.Read more
- Presents major modes of thinking about human rights, and argues for an original position
- Sets out traditional ways that the West and China understand natural law (and the resulting human rights)
- Introduces each major section with a short story that depicts a violation of human rights in line with the pedagogical structure presented
Reviews & endorsements
"In this important book Boylan the philosopher and Boylan the novelist join forces. By combining fine stories; conceptual, historical, and literary analysis; an extended systematic argument; and pertinent case studies, Boylan successfully develops his theory of universal human rights. A demonstration of admirable scholarship and a superb addition to philosophy!"
Klaus Steigleder, Ruhr University Bochum, GermanySee more reviews
"In this innovative and accessible work on human rights Michael Boylan has managed to successfully integrate case studies, history of ideas, and general policy prescription with original philosophical analysis. The result is a valuable teaching and learning tool."
Seumas Miller, Charles Sturt University and Delft University of Technology
"Michael Boylan’s Natural Human Rights is to be considered both as an introduction to the history of our thinking about human rights, as well as a proper defense and a contemporary justification. Discussing major issues of today’s society, Boylan is offering his own view and is prepared to engage in a journey with the classics and the moderns."
Bart Raymaekers, Institute of Philosophy, Leuven
"A comprehensive, profound, carefully crafted study of the theory of natural human rights. Scholarship at its best."
Amitai Etzioni, George Washington University, and author of The New Golden Rule
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- Date Published: August 2014
- format: Paperback
- isbn: 9781107664210
- length: 318 pages
- dimensions: 227 x 153 x 17 mm
- weight: 0.44kg
- contains: 2 tables
- availability: In stock
Table of Contents
Part I. Conceptualizing Human Rights:
1. How do we talk about human rights?
2. A short history of human rights in the West
3. Human rights in China
Part II. Justifications for Human Rights:
4. Legal justifications
5. Interest justifications
6. Agency justifications
7. Ontology, justice, and human rights
Part III. Applications of Human Rights:
8. War rape
9. Political speech
10. LGBT rights.
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