Chapter

The Exclusive Argument

Arvind Sharma

in Are Human Rights Western?

Published in print April 2006 | ISBN: 9780195679489
Published online October 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199081714 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195679489.003.0033
The Exclusive Argument

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This chapter examines the argument that human rights are Western in the sense that human rights are merely a Western concept, which the West is trying to pass off as universal through an elaborate exercise in apologetics. This is not a new phenomenon. Every ideology or religion has had its apologists and they like to assume that their own moral systems can be generalized in ways that allow them to comprehend and incorporate the morally significant aspects of other moral traditions. It is argued that it is not human rights per se, but their espousal as universal, which really possesses deep philosophical roots because Western philosophers presume that the concept of morality makes no sense unless it is universally applicable.

Keywords: human rights; Western idea; apologetics; universal applicability; moral traditions; phenomenon

Chapter.  1978 words. 

Subjects: Human Rights and Immigration

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