Tuesday, September 02, 2014

James Griffin on Human Rights

Griffin on Human Rights

Ed. by Roger Crisp

(Oxford University Press, 2014)

256 pages


Human rights are one of the most controversial and widely discussed ideas in contemporary politics, ethics, and law. In recent decades, the philosophy of human rights has become one of the most lively areas in philosophy. One of the most significant contributors to the debate has been James Griffin, formerly White's Professor of Moral Philosophy at the University of Oxford. In his book, On Human Rights, and in other work, Griffin has defended the view that contemporary judicial understandings of human rights rest on an insecure theoretical basis. This has had the result that the language of human rights has been over-extended, and consequently has less force where it really matters. On Griffin's view, human rights are best understood as protections of our agency and personhood, and he argues his case with reference to many real-life human rights cases. Griffin's book has led to a great deal of discussion, and this volume collects several of the most significant responses to Griffin by internationally leading moral and political philosophers. It also includes a response by Griffin himself. 

Contents [preview]

1. Two Approaches to Human Rights - Carl Wellman 
2. Taking the Rights out of Human Rights [paper] - John Tasioulas
3. When the Good Alone isn't Enough - David Reidy
4. The Egalitarianism of Human Rights [preview] - Allen Buchanan
5. Human Rights, Human Agency and Respect - Rowan Cruft 
6. Griffin on Human Rights - Roger Crisp
7. Personhood versus Human Needs as Grounds for Human Rights - David Miller 
8. Griffin on Human Rights [abstract] - Brad Hooker
9. Griffin on Human Rights to Liberty - James Nickel
10. Replies - James Griffin 

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