Saturday, February 14, 2015

Tasioulas on the Foundations of Human Rights

Professor John Tasioulas has posted a new paper at SSRN:

"On the Foundations of Human Rights"

This paper provides an account of the grounds of human rights, considered as moral rights possessed by all human beings simply in virtue of their humanity. It identifies two such grounds: a plurality of universal human interests and the value of human dignity (the intrinsic and non-derivative value of being a human being). It also offers an extended account of the 'threshold' at which considerations of universal interests and human dignity generate duties in the case of all human beings. The paper concludes by showing that this pluralistic view of the grounding of human nights is superior to both a needs-based and a personhood-based approach.

John Tasioulas is Yeoh Professor of Politics, Philosophy and Law at King's College London. 

More papers by John Tasioulas at

See also Samuel Moyn's critique of John Tasioulas's inaugural lecture at UCL in 2012 and Tasioulas's response here

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