A Critical Analysis of Philosophical Foundation of Human Rights

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Human rights are grand political philosophy of the modern times, thus no wonder as a language of progressive politics which once was discourse of social emancipation (Boaventura Santos, 2002), has transcended national boundaries to become aspiration of humankind (Samul Moyn (2010), and is a commonly shared bulwark against evil (Lynn Hunt, 2007). Centred upon moral belief propelled on metaphysical moral assumption with its origin in Christianity pity and Enlightment discourse, however, human rights have become a sort of moral imperialism of our time which exclude and include humanity on the basis of coloniality of power (Anibal Quijano, 2007). Although human rights are site of contentious discourse (Issa Shivji, n.d.) however, rights did not disappear in action and thought, but discussion shifted within national frameworks, in fact, “human rights when belief in them have become more widespread (Lynn Hunt, p.134, 2007)”. The combination of emotional/moral appeal and lack of conceptual clarity makes human rights immensely effective as a rhetorical tool and serve as a moral apparatus for humanitarian intervention into the third world countries. Both, the just war tradition and those who theorize the ethics of the law of armed conflict have taken moral and political reality of human rights seriously. Taking anti-foundational approach by challenging its main elements such as ‘universality’ and ‘morality’ this paper would argue that moral premises of human rights is flawed.
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Archival date: 2018-05-22
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