Analyse & Kritik 15 (2):101-110 (1993)

It is assumed a) that the statement that a human right exists means that a state which does not grant it is not legitimate, and b) that the legitimacy of power can, in modern times, be justified only by showing that it is in the equal interest of everybody. Mere democracy is insufficient to legitimate political power. Freedom for every individual must be guaranteed. So much is common ground in the controversy on human rights, but to interpret these freedom as a negative freedom, as the classical conception of human rights has done, is insufficient and therefore illegitimate, because it is not in the equal interest of everybody. To add a positive concept of freedom is correct but not enough, because it still neglects those who even if they are given the facilities do not have the capacity. Since the handicapped, the old and the young cannot even enter a contract and the disposessed cannot enter a fair contract, the contractarian foundation ofhuman rights must be discarded
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DOI 10.1515/auk-1993-0201
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