Human rights without human supremacism

Canadian Journal of Philosophy 48 (6):763-792 (2018)
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Abstract

Early defenders of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights invoked species hierarchy: human beings are owed rights because of our discontinuity with and superiority to animals. Subsequent defenders avoided species supremacism, appealing instead to conditions of embodied subjectivity and corporeal vulnerability we share with animals. In the past decade, however, supremacism has returned in work of the new ‘dignitarians’ who argue that human rights are grounded in dignity, and that human dignity requires according humans a higher status than animals. Against the dignitarians, I argue that defending human rights on the backs of animals is philosophically suspect and politically self-defeating.

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Will Kymlicka
Queen's University

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References found in this work

The Case for Animal Rights.Tom Regan - 2004 - Univ of California Press.
The case for animal rights.Tom Regan - 2009 - In Steven M. Cahn (ed.), Noûs. Oxford University Press. pp. 425-434.
On human rights.James Griffin - 2008 - New York: Oxford University Press.
The Case for Animal Rights.Tom Regan & Mary Midgley - 1986 - The Personalist Forum 2 (1):67-71.

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