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dc.contributor.advisorSally Haslanger.en_US
dc.contributor.authorHolland, Sean Jamisonen_US
dc.contributor.otherMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Dept. of Linguistics and Philosophy.en_US
dc.date.accessioned2010-05-25T20:58:27Z
dc.date.available2010-05-25T20:58:27Z
dc.date.copyright2009en_US
dc.date.issued2009en_US
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/1721.1/55179
dc.descriptionThesis (Ph. D.)--Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Dept. of Linguistics and Philosophy, 2009.en_US
dc.descriptionCataloged from PDF version of thesis.en_US
dc.descriptionIncludes bibliographical references (p. 99-100).en_US
dc.description.abstractContemporary philosophy of human rights is dominated by two seemingly opposed approaches. This dissertation is concerned with the choice between them. The traditional approach to human rights is characterized by the belief that human rights are moral rights that all human beings possess simply in virtue of their humanity. The political approach to human rights is characterized by the belief that human rights are those rights that possess an essential political function. Each approach faces a unique challenge, and attending to how each challenge is met reveals that the two approaches are more similar than first supposed. However, there remains an important difference between the two approaches regarding the concept of a human right. I argue that the conceptual claim made by the political approach is false. In Chapter One I focus on the traditional approach to human rights. It has an unclear connection to the existing international political discourse and practice of human rights. I call the challenge for the traditional approach the demand of taking the practice seriously. I argue that the traditional account can do so in at least three important ways that demand might be understood. In satisfying this demand, the traditional approach is shown to be in agreement with the political approach in an important way. In Chapter Two I focus on the political approach to human rights. In focusing on the existing political practice of human rights, the political approach can appear overly descriptive in nature. Its challenge is to account for the distinctive moral authority of human rights.en_US
dc.description.abstract(cont.) I call this challenge the normativity challenge and I argue that the political approach has an effective answer to this concern. However, that answer is indistinguishable from that offered by the traditional approach. Thus, the political approach is shown to be in agreement with the traditional approach in an important way. However, there is an important difference between the two approaches. The political approach ties the concept of a human right to a distinctive political function. The traditional approach rejects this conceptual claim. In Chapter Three I argue that the political approach's conceptual claim is false.en_US
dc.description.statementofresponsibilityby Sean Jamison Holland.en_US
dc.format.extent100 p.en_US
dc.language.isoengen_US
dc.publisherMassachusetts Institute of Technologyen_US
dc.rightsM.I.T. theses are protected by copyright. They may be viewed from this source for any purpose, but reproduction or distribution in any format is prohibited without written permission. See provided URL for inquiries about permission.en_US
dc.rights.urihttp://dspace.mit.edu/handle/1721.1/7582en_US
dc.subjectLinguistics and Philosophy.en_US
dc.titleTwo approaches to human rightsen_US
dc.typeThesisen_US
dc.description.degreePh.D.en_US
dc.contributor.departmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Dept. of Linguistics and Philosophy.en_US
dc.identifier.oclc608229220en_US


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