The Challenge of Human Rights: Origin, Development and Significance / Edition 1

The Challenge of Human Rights: Origin, Development and Significance / Edition 1

by Jack Mahoney
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The Challenge of Human Rights: Origin, Development and Significance / Edition 1

The Challenge of Human Rights traces the history of human rights theory from classical antiquity through the enlightenment to the modern human rights movement, and analyzes the significance of human rights in today’s increasingly globalized world. In this illuminating study, Jack Mahoney surveys and critiques the emerging awareness in history of human rights as an invaluable ethical resource; chronicles their growing recognition and acceptance in modern times; analyses their contents, details, and philosophical basis; and illustrates their relevance and significance today.

Unparalleled in scope and clarity, this engaging book:

  • critically examines the arguments for human rights and offers an original defence for them;
  • explores the meaning of human rights in the context of increasing globalization;
  • confronts the major objections to human rights, including the charge of Western ethical imperialism and the counterclaims of cultural relativism.

Mahoney concludes that human rights are an indispensable addition to modern ethical resources and logically culminate in a cosmopolitan recognition of the whole human race as a single moral family.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781405152402
Publisher: Wiley
Publication date: 10/23/2006
Pages: 228
Product dimensions: 6.40(w) x 9.30(h) x 0.72(d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments     vii
Introduction     viii
Human Rights in History     1
The Ancient Classical World     1
The World of the Bible     3
The Medieval World     5
Renaissance and Reformation Thought     7
Hobbes and Rousseau     11
Revolution in England     17
American Independence     21
The French Declaration of the Rights of Man     24
English Resistance to Human Rights     25
German Developments: Kant and Marx     33
The Modern Human Rights Movement     42
The Charter of the United Nations Organization     43
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights     46
Continental Developments     53
The 1993 Vienna World Conference on Human Rights     56
Wider Human Rights Developments     59
British Developments     63
Conclusion     64
Clarifying Human Rights     71
Some Useful Distinctions     72
Rights and Duties     85
The Proliferation of Rights     91
Individuals-in-Society     98
Selfishness and Social Divisiveness     101
EthicalImperialism?     104
A Challenge to All Cultures     109
The Strengths of Human Rights     111
Establishing Human Rights     119
A Matter of Belief     119
An Essential Requirement     124
The Nature of Persons     127
Intuitionist Approaches     136
Human Dignity     144
"The Wonder of Our Being"     147
Major Opponents     150
Conclusion     155
The Globalizing of Human Rights     162
Global Expansion     162
Seeking a Global Ethic     165
Cultural Relativism     166
Global Human Rights     173
Towards Cosmopolitanism     178
The Inadequacies of States     180
"Principled" Cosmopolitanism     184
Human Solidarity     186
Bibliography     191
Index     205

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