Human Rights, Individualism and Cultural Diversity

Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy 8 (3):265-287 (2005)
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Abstract

Abstract Two features of human?rights discourse are often targeted for criticism: its universalism and its individualism. Both features, it is usually claimed, illegitimately overlook the significance of cultural diversity. In this essay I argue that individualism is incompatible with universalism and compatible with cultural diversity. Thus I defend the view that human rights are individualistically justified, and I argue that it follows from this that human rights are in an important sense non?universal. I go on to show how my non?universalist conclusion can provide the basis for a retort to those who appeal to facts about cultural diversity in order to criticise human rights discourse

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Rowan Cruft
University of Stirling

References found in this work

After virtue: a study in moral theory.Alasdair C. MacIntyre - 1981 - Notre Dame, Ind.: University of Notre Dame Press.
Morals by agreement.David P. Gauthier - 1986 - New York: Oxford University Press.
The Morality of Freedom.Joseph Raz - 1986 - Oxford, GB: Oxford University Press.

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