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Critique of Human Rights Universalism
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Theology, Department of Theology, Studies in Faith and Ideologies, Ethics.
2018 (English)In: Relativism and Post-Truth in Contemporary Society: Possibilities and Challenges / [ed] Stenmark, Mikael; Fuller, Steve; Zackariasson, Ulf, Palgrave Macmillan, 2018, p. 123-140Chapter in book (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

This essay offers a critical analysis of several forms of skepticism toward human rights universality. What is the substance of the critique of human rights universalism? To what extent is this critique a form of relativism? Is such relativism preferable to universalism?

 

It is argued that a reasonable critique of human rights universalism calls for a new form of universalism. The perspective proposed is that of “critical universalism”, i.e. a normative universalism informed by the challenge of relativism. Additionally, human rights are understood in this essay as a multidimensional value system with legal, political, and moral levels. It is therefore argued that the universality of human rights cannot be justified if human rights are interpreted as primarily legal norms. Nor is it possible to claim universal validity on behalf of conventional political moralities. What is justifiable is a call for a universality of moral judgments that is an essential feature of ethics as critique of conventional norms.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Palgrave Macmillan, 2018. p. 123-140
Keywords [en]
universalism, relativism, human rights
National Category
Ethics
Research subject
Ethics
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-364880Libris ID: hr5fsc19fw155prlISBN: 978-3-319-96558-1 (print)ISBN: 9783319965598 (electronic)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-364880DiVA, id: diva2:1261043
Available from: 2018-11-06 Created: 2018-11-06 Last updated: 2019-03-27Bibliographically approved

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