The Package-Deal Argument

Arvind Sharma

in Are Human Rights Western?

Published in print April 2006 | ISBN: 9780195679489
Published online October 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199081714 | DOI:
The Package-Deal Argument

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This chapter examines the argument that human rights may be regarded as Western in the sense that they are an integral part of Western technological culture and not detachable from it. In other words, the rise of the modern West is to be accounted for both by its ideology and its technology, which it views as a single package. This point could be developed with the help of an illustration provided by the historian Arnold Toynbee. Toynbee points out that the first response of the non-Western world, once Western military superiority became evident, was to opt for Western military technology. The Osmanlis and the Japanese, for instance, wished to adopt Western techniques upon becoming convinced of their merit. Here a distinction may be drawn between those who adopted Western ways as a defeated people and those who tried to adopt them as politically independent people.

Keywords: human rights; Western military superiority Arnold Toynbee; technological culture; technology; ideology; package

Chapter.  1595 words. 

Subjects: Human Rights and Immigration

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