Human Rights

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

4 Scopus citations


This article assesses recent attempts by philosophers to shed light on the justification of international legal human rights and, in the light of this assessment, to indicate the direction that fruitful theorizing should take. Among the main findings are: philosophical discourse that uses the phrase human rights to refer both to moral human rights and international legal human rights promotes confusion; philosophers tend to assume, rather than argue, for the Grounding View, the thesis that to justify international legal human rights it is necessary to show that they are grounded, at least in significant part, in moral human rights; and the assumption that legal human rights are best seen as attempts to help realize moral human rights fits well with the justificatory language of the core human rights documents and with the actual history of the development of international legal human rights through treaties following the ratification of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationThe Oxford Handbook of Political Philosophy
PublisherOxford University Press
ISBN (Electronic)9780199968886
ISBN (Print)9780195376692
StatePublished - Jun 18 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • International legal human rights
  • Moral human rights
  • Political philosophy
  • Political theory

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Arts and Humanities


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